The Guild represents about 300 people at The Canadian Press. They include wire service reporters, radio reporters, announcers, editors, photographers, photo editors, computer maintenance technicians, and sales staff. They work in bureaus and correspondent points across Canada (St. John’s, Halifax, Fredericton, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria) and in Washington.
How We Got Here
The Guild has a long and proud history at The Canadian Press, where employees formed the first local of the Canadian Wire Service Guild in Canada in 1949. CBC news staff formed a second unit the next year and soon had a contract but the newspaper publishers who still control CP were vehemently anti-union. Through dismissals, normal turnover and the careful hiring of anti-union replacements, they managed to get the CP-BN local decertified in 1951. It was a knockout punch that would take almost 25 years to shake off. It wasn’t until 1975 that the Guild finally convinced 65 per cent of CP-BN employees to sign cards and was recertified by the Canada Labor relations Board as their bargaining agent. Even then, the publishers and CP management weren’t willing to really bargain until a series of rotating strikes in 1976 convinced them their employees were serious. The signing of that first contract in November 1976 fully reunited CP-BN employees with their CBC colleagues as the two main branches of the Canadian Wire Service Guild, now known as the Canadian Media Guild.