Friday, July 19, 2024

Bell Media continues to slash and burn jobs before Canada Day long weekend

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TORONTO – Unifor is deeply concerned and outraged that Bell Media has once again announced restructuring plans, this time, giving notice to close to 50 Unifor media workers.

“This is a corporation that has made billions of profits at the end of last year and they continue to carry on with their profit-over-people principle,” said Unifor National President Lana Payne. 

“This is yet another blow to journalism and democracy and a step towards bigger swaths of news deserts across Canada.”

Unifor was informed that 49 unionized positions may be impacted in Locals 79-M and 723-M, driven by what the company calls, the “Willow” plan to relocate its downtown Toronto news stations CP24, BNN and NewsTalk 1010, to Agincourt, Ont.

The company plans on consolidating these stations with its existing CTV Toronto, CTV News Channel and CTV National News.

The Bell Media cuts specifically impact production workers, including ENG editors and supervisors, media services coordinators, media services technicians, graphics artists, post sound, AV technicians, and engineering technicians, among others.

In June, 2023 Bell cut 1,300 media jobs and in February of this year terminated 4,800 workers, including 100 in media as noon news broadcasts on all CTV stations, except Toronto, and weekend newscasts on all CTV and CTV2 stations, except in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa were cancelled.

Earlier this year Unifor launched its ‘Shame on Bell’ campaign to call out the BCE Board for decimating Bell’s media division while continuing to hike shareholder payouts. 

The Bell cuts are the second major hit to local news this month.

On June 12, 35 Unifor members at Global News were laid off as part of restructuring by Corus Entertainment Inc. There were 13 layoffs in Calgary, seven in Toronto, eight in Edmonton, three in Lethbridge, three in Ottawa, and one in B.C.

The 35 Global TV cuts were on top of 11 Unifor members at the company who were already laid off in 2024.

Unifor represents more than 10,000 media workers, including 5,000 members in the broadcast and film industries.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 320,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

For more information, please contact Unifor National Communications Representative: Jenny Yuen or (416) 938-6157.

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