When Corus announced it was buying Shaw Media for $2.65 billion in 2016, we were proud to be part of building the company into a media empire. We worked hard to help merge 45 specialty TV channels and more than a dozen conventional channels.
We were also ready for the work it would take to create a new collective agreement for TV operations employees coming from Shaw, who were already in the union, and co-workers at Corus who joined the union after a vote of the full group last February. We formed a bargaining committee of both new and longer-term union members and developed serious proposals for an agreement that would support a fair and productive workplace.
Sadly, Corus didn’t waste any time before punishing employees for voting in favour of the union. The very day after the vote, the company reduced benefits and pension entitlements for the workers coming into the union. They did this despite the fact that a Corus employee new to the union is already earning an average of $10,500 less per year than a unionized co-worker who came over from Shaw.
Worse, after months of negotiations, Corus recently told employees that it has “no plans” to eliminate that $10,500 average disparity in wages.
We don’t believe that this multi-billion-dollar company is incapable of wiping out the wage gap over the next few years. We have told them wage fairness is a top priority for the members of our bargaining unit. But they don’t even want to talk about it. Instead, they are insisting on a short-term agreement – that would expire in six short months – with a reduction to pension benefits and a small across-the-board salary increase that doesn’t close the wage gap.
As we’ve said elsewhere, Corus’s approach to us goes against every value they say the company stands for.
Corus can make fairness in our workplace happen. Corus, respect us.