Tuesday, August 16, 2005

This ain't no Labour Disruption


English Canada is waking to the sizzling on-air chemistry of management's Susan Marjetti and Rob Renaud on a show called Radio Morning these days. There's a reason Rob is management, and, say, Anna-Maria Tremonti is a host. Susan M. even had the nerve to call the lock out a "labour disruption." A labour disruption?! Ya, a "disruption" enforced by YOU! I was OK with my 4am shift this month, thank you very much! Get back to the damn table!

A good amount of people were already working the picket line when I arrived at 9:30am this morning. We made front page news in the Globe and The Cit sent another reporter this afternoon. We were told the union is talking to mediators right now so that's good news. There's still no sense of how long this lock out will last, but we had fun picketing today. JD (aka the CBC bunny) bought some posters and markers and we made some colourful signs.
Michael Munnik, Bob Carty, and Daryl O'Dea played their guitars and sang "Yellow Submarine." We're getting to know our Rad-Can friends quite well. My French vocab is increasing for sure (though, sorry guys, marquer is NOT a French word). We worked on the posters alongside with them, while Caitlin Crockard and Jason (JJ) Ramsay sliced up watermelon and peaches for us. The atmosphere and morale was really great so far. I'm meeting people who've been on strike or lock-out like three or four times in their career; even some retired people are back helping us on the line this time. The politics of picketing is fascinating.
Poster making was the most fun, giving us a break from the dizzy walking. Using coloured Crayolas and sitting on the Sparks Street ground brought back Grade 2 memories for everyone. Our signs read, "Put Management on Contract," "CBC Radio None," and "CBC NOT BBC." While I worked on this last sign, an old couple marched up and said, "what does it mean?" I explained that the Corp was running BBC News instead of BBC news on Newsworld these days since we were on lock out. The old woman said, "but it's not the BBC's fault!" Others around me began to explain that we weren't protesting the BBC itself - just that there was no CBC News because we were on lock out! She said, "But you're on strike!" That's when she got it - "NO we're not!!" we all started to say at once. "We're locked out! We want to work!" Unfortunately, the essence of what our picketing is all about is not understood by the public. We, Canadians' taxes AND their stories are LOCKED OUT by the management of the CBC- ie kept out of the buildings and off the air. We're not allowed to work because management doesn't want us to until our union caves in to their terms. Step back for a moment and reflect on how aggressive this move really is. Management is risking audience loyalty and putting bad programming on the air (ok, fine - Promo Girl off the air is one good thing to come out of this lock out) because they are too stubborn to see, well, my side of the story. I am being effetively told my effort, talent, and the time I put into the CBC doesn't mean that much because they need the "flexibility" to hire or fire me as they wish to "keep up creativity" at the Corp. I offer what anyone from my generation is prone to say in such a situation: riiiiiiiiiight.
Andrew the hotdog vendor is outraged, at least. He just wants his radio programming back. Bring back my Current, he says. Andrew's having a lock out special on his dogs right now. The other good thing to come out of this non-labour disruption.

28 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Man, I've seriously been lost in the morning without my CBC, I miss the Canadian prespective already!!
--melkadri

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Anonymous Jennifer Quesnel said...

The best part about this post? The awesome pictures.

I hear you on the whole "the public has no clue what this is about thing". Even a few days of picketing have made me realize we are doing a pretty crap job of explaining this to non-online people.

Keep on rocking. I love this blog.

Jenkew in Regina

P.S. Jackie Czernin is such a cutie! I worked with her for a bit in Quebec City too.

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