If you’ve been wondering where your favorite Cree programs are it’s because after a 24-hour strike CBC/Radio-Canada in Quebec locked-out their employees. The strike was over pay equity for women and job precarity, but it has grown to include the CBC North’s Native workers, including four Crees and one Abenaki/ French worker. Stéphane Boisjoly told the Nation that announcer/producers for CBC North are paid $5,000 less a year than their conterparts in Radio Canada International. Boisjoly said both his Native and non-Native striking collègues weren’t even aware of this until this strike and lockout. “Both RCI and CBC North are broadcast on shortwave and the internet and CBC North is also on CBC FM transmitters in the north,” said Boisjoly. It’s something that Boisjoly finds unfair and said when he informed fellow union members about this they supported his motion to include pay equity for the Native workers in the negotiations. .
Just how well that it going is a mystery to everyone as the negotiations are behind closed doors and union members agreed that the negotiating committee would be the only ones to know what is happening until the final offer.
Boisjoly, though, hopes to put more pressure on the CBC management on April 19. He is planning a Native Support Day to start at 11:30 a.m. in front of the CBC building in Montreal at 1400 Rene-Levesque E. He is hoping to get all Natives and Aboriginal organizations involved. “We’ve invited National Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come to come and talk,” said Boisjoly.