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The union of technicians and tradespeople at Radio-Canada has signed a service agreement with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).

The Syndicat des technicien(ne)s et artisan(e)s du réseau français (STARF) recently finalized a service agreement with CUPE.

STARF and CUPE each remain completely independent,” explained STARF National President Benoit Celestino. “The two unions are going to be pooling their resources to move forward on key issues and better defend the jobs of their members. Effective immediately, STARF has access to CUPE’s full range of services to assist in fending off more effectively the various attacks on the public broadcaster’s employees.”

STARF and CUPE continue to fight against the employer’s initiative targeting a revision of the union accreditation structure. Following 19 days of hearings, the four unions involved are still defending their full independence before the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

At CUPE, the president of the union representing Radio-Canada office workers and professionals (CUPE 675) welcomed the agreement. “In the union world, we understand that strength lies in numbers,” said Isabelle Doyon, president of CUPE 675, which currently represents some 600 Radio-Canada employees.

Not a formal affiliation

The newly signed agreement is not a union affiliation. To proceed with formal affiliation, STARF’s members would have to confirm their agreement through an official vote.

Nothing is changing at STARF,” confirmed Celestino. “STARF’s national board of directors simply decided that we needed access to better tools to support us in our battles. We chose CUPE to provide the support we need in this regard.”

STARF is an independent union representing 1,300 workers. CUPE is the largest union in Canada, with 630,000 members.