National broadcaster, CTV owned by BellMedia continues to cut its operations to the bone across the country reducing local television to only a fraction of what was offered before.
Yesterday CTV gutted their local sportscast with more cuts coming. In Northern Ontario, including Sault Ste. Marie, local sportscasts were dropped earlier this year. Unifor, the union representing workers in London, Windsor and Kitchener released the following statement yesterday as the cuts were announced.
A decision by national broadcaster CTV to cut local sports and other programming at several of its stations is another demonstration of the need for urgent action on the crisis in media, Unifor says.
“People turn to local television to keep up on what is happening in their communities,” Unifor Media Director Howard Law said. “These cuts give people less of a reason to turn to local news. The CRTC is about to grant CTV a new license for local TV programming, they had better be paying attention to this.”
Layoffs announced in Kitchener, London and Windsor today follow a similar move by CTV in Barrie, where local sports coverage was eliminated earlier this year in favour of the CTV national sports feed.
With more cuts expected at CTV stations across Canada, Unifor is calling on the federal government to move quickly on the review of the industry outlined in last week’s budget.
“There are some simple moves the federal government could make to help ensure the viability of this vital industry, including regulatory and tax changes,” Law said. “Unifor will be very active during the coming review of the industry.”
Unifor will meet with CTV to discuss the layoffs, and will work to negotiate the best deal it can for the workers impacted by these cuts.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including more than 12,000 in the media sector. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.