CBC moves to sell archives

Canadian Media Guild raises alarm about outsourcing national treasure

TORONTO (28 November 2005) -- THE Canadian Media Guild has learned that CBC management is negotiating to outsource national archive sales to a business unit of the BBC. The work is currently done by CBC employees in Toronto ON.

Archival material provides a source of revenue for the CBC, but it is also a cultural asset that belongs to Canadians. The CBC has always had flexibility in using this material. Besides selling it outright, it has been able to trade it with outside producers in exchange for broadcast rights of their final production. As well, CBC has provided a break in rates to help budding Canadian filmmakers. It's not clear such flexibility and support for Canadian cultural production would continue, if an outside company took over the job.

Unfortunately, CBC management has not yet informed the Guild of its plans. In fact, during the lockout, management told us that it had no plans to outsource. The Guild has now asked the CBC to provide full details on its plans for national archive sales as soon as possible.

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November 25, 2005

First discussions about potential outsourcing of TV archive sales

CMG staff representative Glenn Gray met with the CBCs Brett Abram and Mary-Beth Cronin today to discuss the Corporations plans for television archive sales.

The CBC's representatives said that they were operating under the premise: We have a gold mine and how do we let the world know it? They went on to confirm that BBC representatives are looking at the archive sales operation so that they can develop a proposal. CBC assured the Guild that no job losses would result from any deal. The objective is to implement any change as of summer 2006.

The Guild pointed out that the International Sales department already exists for the purpose of marketing programs internationally and asked why CBC would not look at using it as the solution. CBC responded that this was considered.

The Guild has expressed concern about the department's flexibility to assist budding Canadian filmmakers. The Corporation acknowledged that there are issues that will still have to be addressed.

The Canadian Media Guild is a democratic trade union, duly recognized and certified under federal and provincial labour legislation. We currently have nearly six thousand members, all of whom work in the Canadian media.

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