Workers at BellMedia are entering their first set of negotiations with the company since media giant BCE Inc. purchased CTV. Inc. The negotiations affect just over 650 workers, members of Unifor Local 723M, who work on CP-24, Much Music, MTV, E!, Bravo, Space, BNN and other specialty and digital stations.

"These workers are simply looking for an agreement that protects good jobs for themselves and their families, as well as the next generation," said Unifor national president Jerry Dias. "Bell continues to be a highly profitable company, and it's important that that success is shared with the workers who make that possible."

Bell's purchase of CTV Inc. signalled a significant change in the media industry in Canada. Cable and phone carriers are now looking to gain control over content that is increasingly accessed through new devices such as computers, tablets and smartphones.

"As NABET, then CEP and now as Unifor, our union has a strong history of working with Bell Inc.," said Unifor national representative Dave Lewington. "While this is the first set of negotiations with Bell for this local, we look forward to finding an agreement that is fair for everyone and reflective of the current success of the company. Protecting job security and the quality of the work environment are crucial to our members."  

The negotiations begin today, May 21, in downtown Toronto, and will continue on Thursday and for two days next week. Unifor looks forward to continuing talks until an agreement is reached.

The workers affected work in studios, offices, control rooms and in the field bringing viewers news and other unique programing featured on these stations and on the Company's web sites.  They are camera operators, writers, producers, broadcast engineers, web specialists, graphic artists, live eye operators, programming assistants, production assistants, administrative staff, distribution staff, and technical operators. 

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 305,000 workers, over 12,000 of who work in media. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.