Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Settling in...

We had a meeting for all CMG members in Edmonton today. It was great to see everyone, some people I hadn't seen in weeks since I don't picket downtown. Great as it was, there was a definate shift in the mood, compared to our last Guild meeting two weeks ago. There seems to be a sense that we are in this for the long haul. The novelty has worn off (though I wonder if it was ever really there). The people I talked to said they just want to get back to work but you sense that it is not at any cost. People seem to have accepted the idea that this could go on for awhile and, despite the hardships and frustrations it may and most probably will cause, they seem resigned to doing whatever it takes to hold the line.

We're talking about planning events for the end of Sept, maybe even something in October. People seem to have let go of the idea that hockey will get us back in. And as disappointing as that may be, it just seems to be "the way it's gotta be". No one likes the idea, but they like the idea of contractualization even less.

As for me, I see the toll this has taken on my colleagues. Some people are working numerous jobs, besides picket duty, in order to make ends meet. Some are having relationship problems due to the stress this has created in their households. Others, passionnate as they are about public broadcasting, wonder how they could return to work for a corporation that just doesn't seem to want to commit to their employees. But quitting the fight doesn't seem to be an option. People feel that this is a fight that deserves fighting.

I wonder if anyone around that negotiating table has listened to Tod's podcast on the future of CBC. I hope so. He makes alot of good points. If it's true that the Prime Minister has that podcast on his desk, on his to-do list, wouldn't that be something? It obviously would have had to make an impact with someone down the chain for it to be deemed "worthy" of the PM's attention.

I really hope he does listen to it. It'd be nice to know that someone out there is listening.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


Together again... and again.... and again

As I've mentioned before, my husband and I are experiencing this "growth opportunity" together. We are both locked out and hence, are spending ALOT of time together. We picket together, do projects around the house together... together, together, together!

I guess we already spent more time together than most couples since we both work for Radio-Canada but as I am in television and he is in radio, we did not actually WORK together. But, it has always been convenient and satisfying to have a spouse who knew your work environment, who knew the people you complained about at the end of the day and who basically, just understood the "Culture of the Corp".

Now that we are both out and walking the line together I have one thing to say :


We both GET it. Whereas many of our non-CBC friends just don't understand what this kind of situation can do to you, mentally and emotionally, my hubby and I are able to support each other and encourage each other.

I know our friends mean well but even just the other night, I'm with a bunch of girlfriends and one of them happens to be a Telus worker (a manager, actually) who is talking about how tough it is for the managers who are working such long hours during their own lock-out and "you know, the money is great but it is so hard on them working those long hours..."

Puleeeze!! I just wanted to scream. Fine if you think that but could you wait until I walk away to spew the crap? Very easy to say when you have money coming in, don't you think?

Now, before you all start sending me comments, telling me that you're sure she didn't say that to make me feel bad, etc etc, let me spare you the trouble. I know that. The woman who said that is one of the nicest women I know, a very good friend who wouldn't ever hurt a soul. I KNOW she didn't say that to make me angry or to hurt me in anyway. She would be crushed if she knew how much it did. I am using this simply as an example to illustrate my point about how people, even those who really care about you, just don't GET it. I'm sure she was just trying to put across that this is hard for everyone involved, whether you are inside or outside.

But unless you have been on THIS side of a labour dispute, you cannot possibly know that that is not the way to make us feel better. Regardless how difficult it must be for these managers to be away from their families and working such long hours, not having a paycheque and not knowing when you will get one again is a pretty huge stress. And uncertainty tends to breed a certain resentment.

Some friends and family have been incredible to us during this time. Unbelievably concerned and unconditionnally supportive. Even some that I totally didn't expect have been the ones who have called to make sure we were ok or have come over with little things to help out in their own way. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I know I am not easy to be around at the moment. I've become a self-imposed hermit, in a way. It just feels easier to stick with people who GET it, instead of trying to make polite small talk with people that don't. Selfish? Probably. Self-preservation? Definately.

But for right now, I am just happy that my husband is in this with me. That we are experiencing this "growth??" together. That I'm with someone who GETS it. And the extra time together is a real bonus. And that can't be bad. Let's just hope he feels the same way.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Blah Blog

So, I haven't written in a couple of days and have been getting some flack for it so here I am.

I haven't been out picketing for the past two days. It sure changes the beat of the day. I'm actually missing my fellow picketers. When you're not out there, you tend to think and dwell on things abit more. Not always a good thing. I've been trying to keep busy to keep my mind off the "reality". I've been washing walls. It's monotonous, abit of a workout, sort of a necessity since it hasn't been done in awhile (ok, I'll be honest... it's never really been done since we moved in 5 years ago - just spot washing here and there as needed) and it feels satisfying. Ok, it doesn't feel satisfying. It's actually more a pain in the ass. But it keeps me busy and it doesn't cost anything.

Ok, I just wrote a complete paragraph on washing walls. Not good. Come back later. There'll be something better, I'm sure.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


En français, SVP!

In my "real" life, when I am not blogging and locked-out of my workplace, I am an executive producer for french television in Western Canada. I love my job and as many have stated on their blogs, feel a certain vocation in doing what I do. This stems largely from the fact that I am a French Canadian who grew up in the West and feel it is important to preserve and protect my French Canadian language and culture. Not always easy to do in a minority situation, especially in Alberta!! But important work it is because regardless what many people believe there is a thriving French community outside the province of Québec.

I bring this up today because I notice that when the media talks about the "labour dispute" at the CBC, many of them are quick to say that this affects only English Television and Radio, since our colleagues in Québec belong to a different union (or unions to be exact). This frustrates me because they fail to realize or take into account that every CBC location across the country has the Radio-Canada counterpart.

True, our french equivalent to The National, "Le Téléjournal" is still being aired since it comes out of Montréal and all employees in that province are still working. But the newscast would normally consist of items from across the country. Items prepared and produced by CMG reporters, techniciens and producers. This is not happening. So at the moment, there is not much "national" content during those newscasts.

Hitting closer to home is the fact that the french-speaking audiences in our communities outside of Québec are not able to get their own local news in their spoken language. While CBC audiences can tune into alternative television and radio stations to get the gist of what is happening in their city, Radio-Canada viewers and listeners don't have that option as we were their ONLY option for local news in their language.

Just another point to consider on how this lock-out is affecting our nation as a whole.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


4 months work... down the drain

I worked all summer on a centennial special that was supposed to air Sept. 1st. That really sucks.

I travelled the entire province, talking to ordinary and extra-ordinary people about Alberta and what being Albertan meant to them. Those stories will never be told. That also sucks.

I wonder who is going to call all those people to tell them that the show won't air. Probably me. Once we are back in. Possibly weeks or months down the road. I will have to call and apologize to those wonderful people who agreed to meet with me and tell me their stories, who welcomed me into their homes.

I'm not looking forward to that.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Fireworks : front row and center

Yesterday was Alberta's centennial. We took our kids down to see the fireworks. We didn't really plan it, just went out for a drive with them since they'd been cooped up in the house too long and decided last minute to see if we could find a spot to watch the fireworks from. Well, we found a spot. But I firmly believe that when your kids leave the show with pieces of the firework casings... you are sitting too close. Oh well, they had a hoot.

And now for todays news...

After a quick stop at the picket line to drop off some muffins to our buds, we were off to the food bank to volunteer our time and energy. Is it just me or was that hard work??! I am seriously exhausted. We were busy the entire time, lots of food to sort, hampers to be made up. I don't know how a family of four can live off what they put in a hamper for four. I kept thinking of us and our kids and wondering how we'd live off that. We really are blessed, regardless of what is happening in our lives.

And then there's New Orleans... don't get me started. I cry at commercials so imagine me watching images of this on TV. It's not pretty.

The long weekend is approaching. What to do... what to do...

We were supposed to have family come in from out of town but they changed their mind. Just as well... they would have gotten sick of pasta pretty quick. My husband and I are both on the line so we're on a tight budget. I'm sure they would have understood but now they won't have to.

I've been wanting to redo a section of the basement for a long time. Maybe I should do that. There's a wall that has to come down. Demolishing that would feel great right now. It would be a nice way to take out my frustrations.

But then it would be a mess downstairs. Because I don't dare spend money to fix it up.

So annoying... all the time to do those projects you always put off but... do I really want to spend our savings on a reno right now? I may need that money to buy more pasta down the road.

Oh, before I sign off... if ever you give food to the Food Bank, DO NOT GIVE KD!!! They have enough KD to last the next 10 years I am sure. Give canned fruit and veggies, and coffee, and sugar. Give lots of sugar.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Us & Them

Have you had the pleasure of reading the email that was sent to all managers a few days before the lockout? It contained "picket-line étiquette" to all the people who would be "locked-in" during the lock-out.

Read it here :

Frankly, I'm appalled. What are these people thinking? They act like we are to be punished but punished for what, exactly?

For being locked-out?

For wanting some job security?


Thankfully, some managers across the country are not taking this "advice". Because trust me, it's BAD advice. These "picketers" (also known as "employees") are the ones that you will all need to work with once this whole mess gets resolved.

Us "picketers" will be the ones putting together fabulous shows to win back our viewers and listeners.

My advice : Let's just respect each other. We can differ on opinions or on the way things should be done at the Corp. That is pretty much why we are out here at the moment. But don't belittle us, don't chastise us. Don't act like we don't exist. Because trust me, even with managers bringing us food and drink, we are still "not comfortable" out their picketing. It definately isn't making us want to stay out there longer. We are not sitting out there saying "Wow, this is great! More donuts! Gee... I don't ever want to go back to work!"

Give me a break... We want a quick resolution to this, just like you do.

Shame on you, Fred and Krista, for handing out such bad advice.

Good grief... do I need to call your mothers, too?

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