CBC employees OK five-year contract

Talks with Canadian Media Guild took seven weeks

TORONTO -- Labor peace reigns at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. after the public broadcaster said Tuesday that about 5,500 unionized employees overwhelmingly ratified a new five-year contract.

The  agreement with the Canadian Media Guild, hammered out over seven weeks in November and December, contrasts with 2005 when the public broadcaster locked out CMG producers, directors, technicians and on-air talent for eight weeks before it could agree on a contract.

The latest contract also marks the first in a decade from the CBC that did not require a strike or lockout to force a resolution.

Marc-Philippe Laurin, president of the CMG's CBC branch, and CBC president Hubert T. Lacroix both touted the latest deal, which includes a 1.5% wage increase in each year, as a fresh start in labor relations at the public broadcaster.