Note from Carmel Smyth, President, Canadian Media Guild
Thank you for all you do to make our working conditions as supportive and as positive as they can be.
There’s no question it’s a challenging time to be a media worker. On the one hand news and information has never been more accessible. On the other hand, the proliferation of misinformation, fake news, and global competition for advertising dollars, has brought even more stress to an overly stressed industry.
Changes in technology are a constant and media workers have survived similar transformations in the past. Sadly, today we are experiencing an extended period of downsizing that’s pushed a generation of workers into precarious jobs. Our business will always need freelance and temporary talent, but when every fifth person is unsure whether they’ll have a job tomorrow, we’ve moved into a dangerous territory effecting our livelihoods and eroding respect for the profession.
Precarious work undermines what we all do, increases instability, and is an obstacle to a rewarding career. At many of the organizations we deal with, this problem is a priority. It’s critical that we work jointly and strategically to find solutions. To that end, our union has set up a Temporary Workers Task Force. There’ll be updates in the coming months.
Everyone, regardless of age, needs access to digital skills training. We know workers from all generations are eager for new challenges. The Canadian Media Guild (CMG) will be working with employers to ensure fair access to opportunities. We also have big plans for union education. CMG leaders will be meeting with members across all locations so we can share ideas and suggestions, and develop solutions together.
Gender equality and pay equality need to be constantly revisited, and increasingly Canadians expect a more accepting, diverse workforce. Several union committees are looking into these issues and working to keep employers honest. Please continue to share your ideas and your stories.
Finally members said clearly that we need to be more outspoken in promoting our craft. We will be doing that by building a community of support for trusted journalism, independent media, and public broadcasting as reflected in our CBC Licence renewal submission to the CRTC. We are working with allies, and provincial and federal organizations to promote understanding of the news crisis and its impacts on jobs. As an all-media union, we are in a unique position to be leaders on this front.