IFJ Calls for End to Radio-Canada Lock-Out and "Renewal of Public Service Values"

The International Federation of Journalists today called for peace in the bitter dispute at Radio-Canada where journalists and media staff have been locked out since March 22nd. "The time for talking and for a renewal of public service values in broadcasting is now," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ. "The inequalities at the heart of this dispute need to be resolved as a matter of urgency." The IFJ says that the complaints of the workforce, represented by the IFJ affiliate the Federation nationale des Communications, have an echo across the globe in many other broadcasting houses. "Many broadcasting people are shocked at the situation in Radio-Canada. Canada should be a world leader in setting model standards for decent working conditions and sound industrial relations," says the IFJ. The IFJ says that the key demands of the workforce should be met. They are: 1. To end the appalling inequality - almost 18 per cent - between what men and women are paid; 2. To provide justice for the half of the almost 1,300-strong workforce who are in precarious jobs without security of employment; and 3. To obtain a pay settlement of at least 5.5 per cent that will make up some of the ground lost in recent years. "The workforce is seeking justice, pure and simple," said Aidan White, "Management should seize the opportunity to negotiate a settlement that reinforces confidence in Canadian broadcasting values and re-establishes sound industrial relations at the network." The IFJ is calling for both sides to reach a settlement that re-affirms the principle of collective negotiations. "Free bargaining and good co-operation between unions and management are essential to the future of professional, pluralist and viable broadcasting. Radio-Canada should seize the opportunity to bring this lock-out to an end and allow the staff to work," says the IFJ.