There are fears that a TV technicians strike could spread and prevent 1,000 million people throughout the world from seeing the Olympic Games live on television.
GV EXT Main switching centre with strikers carrying placards outside (3 shots)
CU & SV Strikers with placards walking around outside centre (3 shots)
GV & SV Canadian Telecommunications Union headquarters (2 shots)
GV & CU INT Union officials and partially completed strike posters (3 shots)
GV & SV Pickets parading near satellite transmitter (6 shots)
Programming for the games coverage is particularly vulnerable as nearly all pictures are being produced by O.R.T.O. which plans to pass them onto Teleglobe for transmission to individual networks and broadcasting groups throughout the world. Only the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the American Broadcasting Company have a few cameras of their own at the stadiums and they would probably be unable to transmit without O.R.T.O.'s help. Some 70 individual television networks and 110 radio broadcasters have been planning to put their own commentaries on top of O.R.T.O.'s pictures but they too depend on the Canadians' facilities.
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Background: There are fears that a TV technicians strike could spread and prevent 1,000 million people throughout the world from seeing the Olympic Games live on television.
SYNOPSIS: The strike started on Monday (12 July) when 350 technicians working for Teleglobe in Montreal stopped work in support of increased pay demands. They want an increase of 23 per cent. Teleglobe -- the Canadian government's communication organisation -- has offered them 12 per cent, which has been refused. In itself the strike's not serious. The men have agreed to let administrative staff man the centre while they're out and the admin men are confident they could feed full pictures and commentaries of the games to the world on their own if necessary.
The strikers are all members of the Canadian Overseas Telecommunications Union. By Thursday (15 July) there were grave fears that the strike would spread to other unions. A spokesman for the National Association of Broadcast Employees is conducting a poll of its members to see whether they want to ban sending material to Teleglobe for world transmission. NABE members will be the technicians producing broadcasts from 27 venues during the games and processing the material for Teleglobe. If the 1600 members of the Olympic Radio and Television Organisation also join the strike it's almost certain that normal coverage of the games would collapse. If this happens viewers could only see limited programmes of events the day after they've been staged.