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Unifor reaches deal for CHCH workers

HAMILTON, ON, March 27, 2017 /CNW/ - Fifteen months after more than 100 staff at Hamilton TV station CHCH lost their jobs with no notice and no severance, Unifor has reached a deal to compensate those workers who lost their employment.

"Today's deal means some justice for these dedicated workers," said Unifor President Jerry Dias. "The challenges facing the broadcast industry as a whole, however, continue. The federal government and the CRTC need to act quickly to ensure we continue to have strong local broadcasters delivering news to keep Canadians informed about their communities."

Under today's mediated settlement, the station will pay out $1 million in severance and general damages for workers denied such payments after the December 2015 job cuts, and recognizes Unifor as the sole bargaining agent for the staff currently at CHCH.

"This resolution took many months of work, and would not have been possible without the support and solidarity of the membership," said Unifor National Representative Liz Marzari. "Without a union, these workers still would have received nothing. Without today's deal, they could be months or years from seeing any settlement."

The agreement between the union and the employer was reached 15 months after Channel 11 LP declared bankruptcy and 100 CHCH staff lost their jobs with no notice and no severance. Local programming was slashed from 80 hours a week down to 17.5.

Unifor continues to actively support and defend local broadcast media. At CRTC hearings and in meetings with the federal government the union is working to help ensure the long-term viability of the broadcast industry.

Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including more than 12,000 in media. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.