Media Review News Story - Union Serves Essay

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Media Review

News story - Union Serves 72-Hour Strike Notice at Viking Air

The CAW (Canadian Auto Workers Union) has announced a 72 hours strike while making a bargain with the Viking Air management. As per the notice, the Union will go on strike by 12 noon on Thursday, 19th January (CAW, 2012).

The union's national spokesperson Gavin McGarrigle said that it had been over a year since skilful workers had been waiting for renewal of job contracts, benefits, and other on the job issues. However, Viking Air had been reluctant to go for the new contract on the patterns of Cascade Aerospace which went into a contract with union previous year at Abbotsford (CAW, 2012).

The voting conducted on 28th October, 2011 showed that over 94% of the Viking Air staffers are in favor of strike. According to McGarrigle, this start of the year, they were going to try their level best to make up a final deal with Viking Air as, if, the workers actually went on strike, it will halt all of the production processes, which will further delay the already delayed orders and deliveries, particularly the one of Twin Otter aircraft (CAW, 2012).

The term of previous cooperative contract ended on 31st October, 2010, and now there was no choice for the parties but to negotiate for another deal in the coming week in Sidney, British Columbia (CAW, 2012).

Viking Air is one of the jet manufacturing and refurbishment firms that is based in Vancouver Island in British Columbia, near Sidney. Viking has decided to once again start manufacturing Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter jet plans, which will make the company the sole manufacturer of airplanes in the west Canadian region. In order to deal with the project vulnerabilities, the company has also made a satellite station in Calgary, Alberta (CAW, 2012).

The Canadian Auto Workers Local 114 union corresponds to over 270 skilled staffers in Viking Air, where its members are from painting, welding, storekeeping and general mechanics fields (CAW, 2012).

This news story has been chosen for this study. The main purpose is to analyze the way it was covered in the media and conduct an analysis of its coverage in the mainstream and alternative media. The comparisons and analysis will be done based on how perception of the story affected the coverage along with aspects like the dominance/resistance model, propaganda model and/or Martin's frame.

Coverage of the chosen news story - mainstream media

Times Colonist

Times Colonist was one of the first news agencies to report the strike. They were also one of the few news agencies that gave details about it more so than the other agencies compared here. A summary of their news story is given here followed by an analysis at the end.

The primary concern of the workers is job safety because there are rumors that Viking is going to move its manufacturing facility to some overseas destination. Back in July 2010, the company signed MOU (memorandum of understating) to construct a Twin Otters manufacturing and refurbishment factoring in Russia (Wilson, 2012).

Viking president, Mr. Dave Curtis recently claimed that company provides a handsome package of pays, perks and privileges to its people. Previously, people were to be paid $20/hour along with bonuses, which later on moved to $25. However, the details of the company's suggestion are quite secret (Wilson, 2012).

The union has been focusing on the prospects of contracting out of the work, while the organizations' focus has remained on growth in Victoria, where the union's hold has more than doubled in the last couple of years. As per Mr. Curtis, he claims that his past actions and investments should be proof enough of the patterns of choices he has made and will or could make in the future (Wilson, 2012).

While discussing the company's new constructions in the area and employing new staffers, he went on to say that he will require an environment of adaptability and flexibility where the company can have maximum freedom to do what it should do to ensure that they meet their goals and validate their existence. He says that they have not even a distant idea of moving their operations anywhere else, as for now (Wilson, 2012).

He also goes on to say that the company will not persuade anyone to come back, but will try and ensure that their focus remains on coming days and the apt and timely fulfillment of their objectives (Wilson, 2012).

Last year, both sides had a meeting to discuss the matter, which didn't resume till November, when the dialogue continued for around a week. Curtis said that they didn't knock on Viking's gate and Viking Air also was not on their shoulders to discuss anything (Wilson, 2012).

As per the CAW state spokesperson; Gavin McGarrigle, the union was looking to make a 3-year agreement but will not like to go limited. Owing to greater prospects of production in Russia and India; the issue of job safety will be the real bone of contention and the toughest issue to reconcile (Wilson, 2012).

As per the views of the civil union, the sole objective of the strike is that fact that Viking Victoria should remain a national symbol. Additionally, the spokesperson said that they don't have any opposition on the issue of Viking's expanding its project; instead, they take it as a positive step for the company. However, this place has been the global headquarter of the company for so long, and they want it to remain headquartered here (Wilson, 2012).

Few other contracts wrap up the operational matters, like; if the company moves its operational base, the employees will remain engaged with the company as per their collaborative agreement, while those who can't move, will go jobless. The union, as per Mr. McGarrigle, wants to ensure that in any prospects of downsizing in the future, Victoria must remain the last option (Wilson, 2012).

We see a very strong element of defying Martin's frames here as the overall need for the strike by the civil strikers from the news story seemed to be about the apprehension they faced with the security of their jobs if and when the Viking Air would choose to expand. Martin's frames clearly states that the illusion or perception of the media coverage is rarely ever on the need of the civil workers and becomes a statistics relay; however this news story stays on point and highlights the main concerns of the civil workers and only highlights those aspects of Viking Air's response that was relevant to those concerns.

Oak Bay News

Oak Bay News also covered the news of the strike. The news story was very minimal and highlighted only some of the points when compared to the news story above. A summary of their news story is given here followed by an analysis at the end.

Viking Air put the time limit on Thursday for a strike. A large number of employees in the jet production and refurbishment unit are members of Canadian Autoworkers Union, which has announced a 72-hour strike on Monday (Reeuwyk, 2012).

Gavin McGarrigle; the CAW general spokesperson is of the view that, it had been over a year since skilful workers have been waiting for renewal of job contracts, benefits, and other on the job issues. However, Viking Air has been reluctant to go for the new contract on the patterns of Cascade Aerospace which went into a contract with union previous year at Abbotsford. The voting conducted on 28th Octover, 2011 showed that over 94% of the Viking Air staffers are in favor of strike. He said that "We're going to work hard in bargaining this week to reach a fair deal as a strike at Viking Air will completely disrupt production and further delay deliveries of many new Twin Otter aircraft that are already behind schedule." The incumbent working agreement ended on 31st October, 2010. The Canadian Auto Workers Local 114 union corresponds to over 270 skilled staffers in Viking Air, where its members are from painting, welding, storekeeping and general mechanics fields (Reeuwyk, 2012).

This news story is again very to-the-point and defies Martin's frames by only focusing on the main reason behind the need for the strike. The propaganda model does seem to come to light here though as the overall construction of the story is such that it presents there to be conflicting views between the workers and the Viking Air representative and his statements as the only reason that they are even considering a fair deal is to avoid any further delays in their work. This is where the philosophy of Martin's frames has surfaced, as the focus of the reader is for a moment taken away from the need of the strike and onto the demands on the company from its clients and stakeholders. Even though both stories above presented the same facts, this news troy was short and structure so as to highlight a conflicting perspective as opposed to…[continue]

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