February 2008 – Action Committee spokesperson suspended!
Radio Canada International tries to “muzzle” communications union which represents RCI employees
The Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada (FNC-CSN) is outraged by and condemns the three day suspension without pay of one of its union stewards, Wojtek Gwiazda. For years he has defended the international mandate of Canada’s Voice to the World, Radio Canada International (RCI).
The union’s president Alex Levasseur says he’s shocked at CBC/Radio-Canada’s actions, “As a union we defend not only our members’ salaries and rights, but we fight to preserve and defend the idea of public broadcasting. Since 1991, when RCI faced closing,” continued Levasseur, “Wojtek Gwiazda and employees at the international service have fought to prevent the closing of the service and from having it’s mandate changed. This tireless effort was done as part of the RCI Action Committee, an inter-union committee.”
Unfortunately, in the last year and a half, RCI’s international mandate has been radically changed to focus on broadcasting to new immigrants in Canada, and has re-directed resources away from the core mandate of telling the world about Canada.
Last November, concerned by what was going on at RCI, Gwiazda as spokesperson for the RCI Action Committee contacted members of the Canadian Heritage Committee, which is examining the mandate of CBC/Radio-Canada (and Radio Canada International). As a result, members of parliament questioned outgoing CBC President Robert Rabinovitch and French Vice-President Sylvain Lafrance.
Following this questioning, Gwiazda was informed he was being investigated for disciplinary action, and then called in for a disciplinary meeting. In a letter dated February 6, 2008, he was informed that he could face more serious penalties if he continued to raise questions about the change of mandate at RCI with the House of Commons Canadian Heritage Committee.
“By taking this action, CBC/Radio-Canada is not only interfering in internal union matters, but the public broadcaster is attempting to muzzle the Syndicat des Communications. This is unacceptable,” concluded the union president.
Source: Syndicat des communications de Radio-Canada (FNC-CSN)
14 February 2008
For more on the mandate of RCI, the RCI Action Committee’s efforts, and the actual questions raised by a member of parliament which led to the suspension, please go to the following link