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A-Channel exec refutes union's claim of victory

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Craig Media Inc.
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Independent Broadcasters
Labor/union news
EDMONTON - The Craig Media executive in charge of A-Channel Edmonton says that the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union claims of 'victory" are simply false.

Last week, CEP issued a press release upon the end of a five month strike, calling the Edmonton workers' first contract, a "major victory for media workers across the country� This settlement sends a message to media companies right across Canada that CEP is not only capable of organizing within the industry but also will fight with everything we've got to ensure a fair first contract," said the release.

The deal was no victory for the workers, as A-Channel Edmonton vice-president and general manager Jim Haskins made clear in an e-mail to www.broadcastermagazine.com:

"I was disturbed to read this article in that it was totally one sided and, to the best of my knowledge, no one at Broadcaster attempted to get the other side of the story," reads Haskins' response.

"The truth of the matter is that this was no victory for the union on any account other than they will now be able to deduct union dues from the bargaining unit members once they are back on the job.

"The union was offered 5%, 3%, and 3%, with a thousand dollar lump sum payment last September, prior to the strike. They were also offered a one year guarantee of no layoffs," he continues.

"Since that time, the workers have been on the line for over 5 months. They settled for 5%, 3.5% and 3.5%... and NO LUMP SUM payment [his emphasis]. If you were to do the math, you would see the strikers lost money on this deal.

"The union also agreed to all of the vital jurisdictional language that the company demanded. As well, the strike saw the company consolidate its master control and traffic operations in Calgary, eliminating some 9 jobs in those two areas in Edmonton," he explains.

"During the strike, over 35% of the union workforce crossed the picket line and worked inside the station.

"Those are the indisputable facts of the story."

Jim Haskins
A-Channel Edmonton

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