November 21, 2003

To: Local Union Presidents and Unit Chairs in the GTA

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Television employees at A-Channel Edmonton went on strike on Wednesday,
September 17
th
, 2003 to back demands for a first contract agreement with station
owner, Craig Media, the same owners as the new Toronto 1. The bargaining unit is
approximately 70 people and they are members of CEP Local 1900 in Edmonton.

These employees are not asking for much. All they want is the Company to keep its
promises to workers and the community. When A-Channel started in Edmonton six
years ago, the young workers, averaging about 26 years old, accepted low wages in
return for a promise they would get a bigger piece of the pie once the station
established itself. Employees kept their end of the bargain. They’ve made A-Channel
an award winning local station, third in the city's ratings behind CTV, and Global. The
Company failed to make good on its word. A-Channel continues to dish out the lowest
wages in the Edmonton television market. The average salary at A-Channel is
$28,000. Some full-time employees only make $19,000/year. The six o’clock news
anchors and weather girl (all SCABS) are some of the highest paid anchors in the city.

A-Channel is also breaking its promise to the community. The station claims to be
“Very Edmonton” but it’s threatening to move jobs to Calgary. Management refuses to
give assurances that this won’t happen. Employees are fighting to keep jobs in
Edmonton.

Media strikes are unique. You can’t stop production of a newscast with a group of 20 or
so managers, sales people, other SCABS running the station. A-Channel strikers are
targeting their only other option – advertisers. As long as commercials are running and
advertising dollars from clients keep the station operating, it’s impossible to negotiate
the first collective agreement effectively. Secondary hand billing of advertisers is
underway in full force in Edmonton and the fight is expanding to include all of the
markets Craig Media has stations in.

We need your help and this is where you come in. Two members of Local 1900 in
Edmonton are in Toronto leading the assault on advertisers. They need volunteers to
assist in hand billing. They’re targeting stores like Best Buy, Future Shop, The Brick,
Winners, etc. and need crews of 5 to 10 people to hand out information outside these
stores in an effort to make the advertisers uncomfortable enough that they’d suspend
their advertising and remain neutral during the dispute.

(over)
A-Channel strikers Jordi Weidman and John Macklin will be in Toronto for the next
several weeks, working out of the CEP Ontario Region Office and in front of Toronto 1
advertisers. They’d be happy to come to any upcoming general meetings to make a
presentation and give further details about their dispute. You can reach them both at
(416) 622-2740 ext. 313. Jordi’s cell phone number is (780) 709-0547 and John’s cell
phone number is (780) 709-0545.

2
Also, any financial contributions would be a huge help to these young people in
Edmonton. (The majority who have never been in a union before, let alone on strike).
Cheques can be made payable to the “A-Channel Strike Fund” at:

CEP 1900 Headquarters
#32, 10320 – 102 Ave. NW
Edmonton, AB
T5A 4J1
www.cep1900.ca/strikepage001.html


In solidarity,





Cec Makowski
Vice-President

cc: Joel Carr, Administrative Vice-President, CEP
Bob Huget, Administrative Vice-President, CEP
CEP National Representatives



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