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Canada's CBC Network Wants A Disposable Workforce

The CBC, Canada's public television and radio network, is yet another public institution that is being reengineered by neoconservative idealogues. 5,500 employees have been locked out, leaving non-union members of CBC's workforce to maintain programming.

The issue of contention, a famililar one in this day and age, is the hiring of contract employees. According to Richard Stursberg, executive vice-president of CBC Television, CBC needs "more flexibility to hire contract employees in the future for some jobs". The CBC is defending its position by arguing that contracting out doesn't effect the employment terms of existing workers. However, if permanent positions can be made redundant by disposable contract positions then job security of unionized employees is obviously jeopardized. According to a representative of the union, 30 per cent of the CBC's work force is already contracted out, giving the network ample flexibility.

According to Stursberg, "We owe a duty to the Canadian public ... who actually pay for the CBC to have a set of arrangements that are not only as effective and as efficient as the private sector, but indeed are more so."

Perhaps they owe a duty to the Canadian public to focus on supplying quality programming, rather than following the trend of WalMart-izing public institutions by moving towards indentured labour?

Let CBC know what you think!

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