Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Defending the indefensible?

This Magazine Staff

I want to laugh at the idea of CBC president Robert Rabinovitch spilling water all over himself and then falling out of his chair, but I’m afraid I’ve done the same a few too many times to pass judgement.
However, I’m having trouble with his claim that the CBC lockout was justified. While his point about jumping the gun and locking employees out before they could walk out during the oh-so-profitable return of the NHL season could sound reasonable to some, it has a few noteworthy flaws. The fact that the guild’s strike mandate expired Sept 6 is probably the biggest thorn poking holes in that logic.
Perhaps most troubling, though, is that the CBC didn’t even save money with the lockout. Costs of flying in managers and putting them up in hotels — not to mention the beefed-up security — proved to be as pricey as paying the regular staff.
Lockouts are tough to justify in any circumstances, but I’m starting to think this one takes the cake. Maybe it’s time for Rabinovitch to take the high road and admit it was a mistake…that might go a long way in terms of rebuilding shattered employee morale.
That said, his continued emphasis on the need for more government funding is certainly valid. Too bad the government is ignoring him on that point.
Antonia Zerbisias has a good piece on it in the Star today.

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