The union representing workers at CTV Bell Media is condemning recent layoffs at radio and television outlets across the country. Unifor says these come at a time when the telecommunications company that owns it, BCE, is profitable and forecasts a profitable 2021.
The cuts have so far affected 133 people belonging to the Unifor union members among an estimated total of 250. Exact figures not yet clear. Unifor says the layoffs will contribute to a severe reduction in the news media that Canadians rely on.
BCE accused of boosting share price ‘on the backs of workers’
Unifor says BCE forecasts revenue and earnings growth of between two and five per cent in 2021 and dividends to shareholders have gone up by over five per cent. “This is a company that has been doing very well throughout this pandemic and now seems to be trying to boost its share price on the backs of its workers,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias. “Bell Media’s parent company has boosted its dividends and still has almost $4 billion in the bank, and yet they’re cutting jobs right across the country.”
In addition, Dias says the company has received at least $122 million in federal government wage subsidies that were provided to help ailing companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.