(L-R) Carmel Smyth, Karen Wirsig, Katherine Lapointe and Buffy Childerhose
CMG president Carmel Smyth and organizer Buffy Childerhose are appearing today before a panel reviewing Ontario labour and employment law to make recommendations on how to improve employment standards and make it easier for workers, including freelancers, to form a union.
“The media should be a rewarding place to work,” says Smyth. “But too many media workers in Ontario fall through the cracks in the existing laws. Many work long hours, in sometimes dangerous situations, often with no voice at work.”
Media workers who would benefit immediately from the changes the CMG is proposing are those in the independent factual TV sector. The union has been organizing with hundreds of workers in this growing sector to improve working conditions since 2013.
CMG is urging the removal of exemptions from the Employment Standards Act, including the one that excludes limits on hours of work for film and TV workers, and to improve existing standards. The union is also recommending a mandatory training program for employers, supervisors and workers on the Employment Standards Act to improve awareness of workers’ rights in the province.
In addition, the union is recommending expanding the Labour Relations Act to allow freelancers and independent contractors to organize in unions.