Canwest employees deserve better

OTTAWA, Oct. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - "Media workers at Canwest stations should not be forced to pay the price with their pension and severance payments for financial problems that are of the company's own making." That reaction to today's announcement that Canwest has filed for Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) protection for some of its operations, from Peter Murdoch, Vice-President, Media for the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

"Employees have done everything they can to sustain this company," says Murdoch. "Thousands have already lost their jobs, and there has been no wage increase for years. Though management salaries have been excessive -- $49 million to eight people from 2001 to 2008, while during that same period over 1,000 Canwest employees lost their jobs.

"Those who are left are on pins and needles," he says, "including pensioners."

Murdoch adds that governments, banks, and media conglomerates have all ignored the warnings about the dangers of massive media convergence and unsustainable debt.

"CEP will be front and center to ensure that employees are first in line for company obligations."

Murdoch also says the federal government should step up to the plate. "The federal government has been irresponsible in monitoring and policing pension plans, and where is it now to backstop this?

"Yet another major company has filed for bankruptcy protection under Prime Minister Stephen Harper's watch," adds CEP President Dave Coles. "It's time for this government to stop congratulating itself and to take action to prevent more working people from falling victim to this recession," says Coles.

"CEP represents more than 25,000 newspaper and broadcast employees across Canada, including workers at Global TV who are affected by today's announcement.

SOURCE Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

For further information: For further information: Peter Murdoch, (905) 516-5720

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Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada

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