Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Negotiations TVA: no lockout or strike before March

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In November, TVA set in motion a restructuring which includes the overhaul of its information sector, the end of its internal production activities in entertainment content and the optimization of its real estate portfolio.

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Negotiations for the next convention collective of TVA Montreal employees were suspended Tuesday by the union. However, they continue for employees in the rest of the province. Due to the Canada Labor Code, there are no imminent lockouts or strikes, but calls for solidarity have already been made in the union community.

The union is divided into two union certifications, one for Montreal employees and the other for the rest of the province. Negotiations are conducted separately, as there are two different collective agreements, depending on the employee's place of work. These expired on December 31, 2021.

We were in negotiations with the conciliator in Montreal, then we decided to take a step back. I will not hide from you that these are difficult negotiations. There are 547 people who have been cut, I must also have in mind the future of TVA, that is to say the employees who remain, indicates Steve Bargoné, union representative at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), who represents TVA staff.

In both cases, a request for conciliation was made. It also occurred early in the Montreal negotiation process. The conciliation mandates began on December 13 for the metropolis and January 3 for Quebec and the regions.

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Pierre Karl Péladeau, president and CEO of Quebecor, says that TVA Group is hit hard by the crisis facing the television world.

The tense climate of the negotiations adds to the fact that the media company's employees were already shaken by the announcements in 2023 of job cuts across the four corners of the province and in different departments.

It's complicated with people who are not at all in the same place, I have half of my staffwhich is cut and the other half which is not cut. I have people who want to be defended for their job loss and others who want to ensure they stay with TVA, but in my head it is inseparable, notes the union advisor.

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ELSE ON NEWS: Israel says it has dismantled the Hamas brigade in Khan Younes< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Despite the suspension in the Montreal file, the two negotiation meetings for next week remain on the schedule.

Steve Bargoné assures that for the moment on the union side, there is no question of a strike.

There was never any question of a strike, it is not even on the table in the negotiations.

A quote from Steve Bargoné

He specifies that the lockout was not mentioned by the employer either, despite the rumors.

As TVA employees are represented by a union under federal jurisdiction, before going on strike or locked out, the preliminary steps provided for in the Canada Labor Code must be followed.

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Steve Bargoné, union representative at the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

A conciliator has already been appointed to the file, the parties must first wait for the end of the 60-day mandates. The employer or union must then wait 21 additional days before initiating a strike or lockout, which corresponds to March 4 for the Montreal case and March 25 for the other regions.

The employer or union must notify the Canadian Minister of Labor 72 hours before its intention to initiate a lockout or strike.

I can't stop the rumors, but I don't behave like a guy who is going to be locked out on March 4, I behave like a negotiator who wants to find solutions, argues Steve Bargoné.

The Quebec Alliance of Image and Sound Technicians (AQTIS), which represents freelancers in the television industry, published a statement following rumors that some of its members had been contacted to fill positions in the event of a lockout or strike.

The union invites its members to be vigilant and show solidarity with TVA employees before accepting positions on TVA productions.

Not having a job will never justify taking that of a person on strike or locked out, writes AQTIS. Solidarity between all of us, television workers, is more essential than ever.

With information from Colin Côté-Paulette

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