Journalists Issue New Call for End to Deadlock in Media Battle at Radio-Canada

The International Federation of Journalists today issued a new call for the management at Radio-Canada to end the lockout of 1,400 journalists and media workers, which has been going on since March 22.

"The staff are saying enough is enough," said Aidan White, General Secretary of the IFJ, "The management must negotiate a peaceful settlement that will end workplace discrimination and get high quality broadcasting back on the air."

The IFJ says the conflict between the management of Radio-Canada and its employees is rooted in the high proportion of unstable and discriminatory working practices in Quebec and Moncton compared with other areas in Canada.

On Tuesday 26 April, a march took place in Quebec with several hundreds of locked-out employees. They also invited the public to join them and to debate in a public forum about the future of the public broadcasting system. The Prime Minister of Quebec, Bernard Landry, has signed the petition to support the locked-out journalists.

This massive solidarity, together with the exceptional duration of this social conflict, is a strong argument in favour of a rapid and satisfactory agreement between the locked-out journalists and the management of Radio-Canada.

"There is massive public support and a willingness now to find a settlement. We need negotiations that will respect the aims of our colleagues in Radio-Canada", said White. "Public Service broadcasting has to set a model standard for working practices and social dialogue," said the IFJ. "But Radio-Canada has shocked many during this dispute by using reports from French media, including public broadcasters, in order to have a news service without the locked-out journalists".

The locked-out staff have prepared a petition that asks the public to remind that as taxpayers they contribute to the services of Radio-Canada and that programming has to be restored to its usual level of quality.