Freelancers meet at Toronto’s historic Gladstone

The Gladstone Hotel’s Art Room turned out to be an apt spot to launch the new alliance between Canada’s only agency for freelance writers and a major media union.  A historic hotel — and an age-old problem.
The problem is figuring out how to give collective voice and leverage to people who are, by law and trade, independent.
The solution, proposed Canadian Writers Group founder Derek Finkle, is the freelance alliance between his group and the Canadian Media Guild.  And about 40 people who came to celebrate and learn more about the alliance on December 7 seemed to agree.
Finkle explained how and why he started his agency in 2009 and why the next logical step was to join forces with a union in order to enable more people to be represented and increase the bargaining clout for those involved.   Lise Lareau, president of the Canadian Media Guild, said that while the Canadian Writers Group will be the agency that does the one-to-one negotiations for clients, the Guild will concentrate on advocating for contractual and legal changes that support CWG’s work.  Lareau said everyone in the room, no matter their organization or background, will need to work together to push for pay for digital re-use and other rights and that the days of turf disputes between organizations “are over”.
Sandy Crawley, executive director of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada, called the alliance an exciting development and wished it success.
Andrew Cash, musician, journalist and NDP candidate in Davenport – a riding that happens to include the Gladstone Hotel – told the group he was excited about the alliance. He said the problems faced by freelancers are part of a bigger network of issues facing all independent/self-employed workers, including access to EI, pensions and benefits. He’s organized an “urban workers forum” to push these issues; watch for more info on this initiative soon in this space.
Posted on December 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm by editor · · Tagged with: , , , ,