CBC union to seek leave to appeal injunction
Wednesday, February 24, 1999
The Globe and Mail
Toronto -- Striking technical workers at the CBC will be asking Ontario Divisional Court this week to let them appeal an injunction that prevents them from picketing Toronto's new Air Canada Centre.
The workers, members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, want to be able to ring the stadium with pickets on Saturday before a National Hockey League game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers. The game is scheduled to be broadcast across Canada by CBC Television.
Last Friday, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, owner of the Air Canada Centre, was granted an injunction by Mr. Justice James Farley of the Ontario Court's General Division preventing CEP pickets from interrupting the first game at the centre between the Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens. The injunction runs through March 1.
However, lawyers for the CEP will be arguing tomorrow that the injunction was obtained through a misrepresentation by Maple Leaf Sports. The holding company said marching CBC strikers at the Air Canada Centre would constitute "secondary picketing." CEP representatives, on the other hand, say that the Air Canada Centre can be considered a CBC work site because the corporation plans to regularly broadcast games from there as part of Hockey Night in Canada.
Last Saturday, the CBC managed to broadcast the English-language version of the Leafs-Canadiens game by using a U.S. feed and commentators based in Washington. The CEP has said that CBC management and production staff and perhaps freelance or replacement workers were used at the Air Canada Centre, but CBC denied it.
In other CBC news, the CEP strike is preventing production of new episodes of such television shows as This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Royal Canadian Air Farce, Undercurrents, the fifth estate and Venture. Repeats will be run in their time slots. Work has also been halted indefinitely on It Must Be Santa, a multimillion-dollar TV movie starring Dabney Coleman that was being shot at CBC's Toronto broadcast centre.
Negotiations with the administrative wing of the Canadian Media Guild are expected to resume today. Meanwhile, conciliation talks with the writers, producers and reporters of the Guild broke off last week and a national strike vote is scheduled for March 3-4.