Eye -- a sister Torstar publication, it must be said -- has a bang-on editorial this week about the CBC lockout of 5,500 members of the Canadian Media Guild, now in their seventh week of pounding the pavement.
The piece argues that public sector unions -- and, I might add, crown corporations -- be prevented from going the labour disruption route. Specifically, no strikes, no lockouts. There are too many losers -- and most of them are ordinary citizens.
Think about CBC. Top management has absolutely no incentive to end the dispute because there is no financial penalty in continuing it.
In a private company, losses would pile up as assembly lines ground to a halt and inventories dried up. Executive bonuses would shrink. Shareholders would scream and yell.
But CBC managers are getting paid extra to cover for the locked-out workers. There will be more money for them to play with after this is all over. There's no financial downside.
- Antonia Zerbisias,Toronto Star
Bang-on post by Antonia. CBC management has shown that it has no regard for a) Canadians, b) public broadcasting, and c) its most valuable asset - the employees.
Makes me wonder: What treatment should we expect from CBC management once we graduate?
For many of us young wanna-be journalists, working for the CBC is a dream, but not the distant, fantasy-type. We work on assignments, interviews, tapings, edits, bearing with each frustrating screw-up, hoping that it's all preparing us for the day we can say "CBC News" in our extro. We dream of sporting the CBC logo on our press pass and equipment. We want the Mother Corp. to adopt us, treat us well, and give us the chance to do what we're so passionate about.
Whether our dream is to report from far away places, do exposes as investigative journalists, or become a trusted news anchor, most of us would want to do it for the CBC before doing it for anyone else.
But Mama's ugly side is beginning to shatter the dreams. Sure, we may be passionate about journalism and the CBC, and we may very well find ourselves without much of a choice, but if this is the type of CBC that'll be adopting us, well....then let us re-focus our dreams.
Rabinovitch seems to be under the impression that young people nowadays (yeah, that's us) don't like to stick around for too long, and thus can conveniently be offered short-term contracts.
In other words, we don't deserve careers at the CBC.
Well, I've got news for Mr. Rabinovitch.
We don't dream of spending six months or a year at the CBC. We dream long-term. We don't like uncertainty. We want stability so that we can pursue our passion while earning a decent living, enabling us to raise families and live a stable life.
If someone else offers that, we'll probably go for it.
End result: Rabinovitch will be left mostly with those who have no choice, which won't be a happy bunch. Unhappy kids working for a unloving mom is not a recipe for a good product.