February 9, 2021
TORONTO – As details continue to emerge about the cuts announced by CTV Bell Media last week, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are witnessing a severe reduction in the news media that Canadians rely on every day, by a company still making good profits.
“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.”
Despite the pandemic, BCE continues to be profitable and forecasts a profitable 2021. Dividends to shareholders have gone up by 5.1%. The company has received at least $122 million in federal wage subsidies, and at the end of 2020 had $3.8 billion of available liquidity.
BCE has forecasted it will see revenue and earnings growth of 2% to 5% in 2021, and free a cash flow of $2.85 billion to $3.2 billion.
“There is barely a region in this country that has not been hit by the CTV Bell Media cuts over the past week,” said Unifor National Media Director Howard Law.
“From Vancouver Island to the Atlantic, we are hearing reports of facilities closed, shows cancelled and beloved on-air hosts being shown the door without even being given a chance to sign off with listeners.”
Unifor is focused on working with members in affected locations and to monitor the scope of the cuts across Canada, which so far have hit 133 Unifor members.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector and represents 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.
Information about the union’s response to the pandemic, as well as resources for members can be found at unifor.org/covid19.