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Canuck union sez no

Workers at pubcaster reject management offer

TORONTO — The union representing locked-out newsroom staffers at pubcaster Radio-Canada narrowly voted down management’s latest offer Tuesday night by the slimmest of margins — 502-499.

“It was quite dramatic, a Hollywood-type situation,” Michel Couturier, president of the Syndicat des Communications de Radio-Canada (SCRC) told Daily Variety. “But people who try to pretend that our union is fractured would be deeply wrong.”

After the vote, Couturier said employees unanimously ordered the union to request a 72-hour bargaining blitz on the issue outstanding between management and workers — the status of term employees. “We have people who have worked there 15 or 20 years,” said Couturier, “and those people should be part of the family.”

Management: no more talks

Radio Canada management issued a statement Wednesday saying it is unwilling to return to the table and that the offer will stand until May 24. “The CBC clearly stated that the negotiations were over and that it had no intention of adding anything to its offer,” said the release.

Management’s offer was tabled in the waning hours of the last “bargaining blitz,” which ended Monday at midnight. It includes an extra 152 permanent positions and a lump sum of $1,000 per employee as well as an 8% raise — subsequently raised to 10% — over two years.

About 1,500 on-air and production staffers have been off the job since March 22.