Quebec City - April 22, 2008 marks the first anniversary of the day Quebecor/Sun Media locked-out its employees at the Journal de Québec.
- Background on the Journal de Québec lockout
- Hommage aux camelots (YouTube)
- Lockout at the Journal de Québec (YouTube)
The lockout came as a shock since Quebecor was racking up profits of $25 million annually thanks to the Journal de Québec. The daily was consistently the highest-ranking paper in its market in Canada and had no history of labour strife in forty years.
Local actions will mark the anniversary
On April 22, Quebec unions will demonstrate in the province’s capital city and locked-out workers will call for a boycott of the Journal de Québec.
Denis Bolduc, spokesperson for the Journal de Québec workers is asking Quebec City residents to encourage Quebecor to either come back to the bargaining table or agree to binding arbitration.
“To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the lockout, we are asking the public for help in sending a clear message to Quebecor management - don’t buy or read the Journal de Québec. Ignore it, for now.”
Bolduc reminds that Quebecor precipitated the lockout without cause. The media giant has backed itself into a corner and since the lockout has refused any interviews on the subject: “That is why we feel arbitration is the only solution to this problem,” says Bolduc.
“On January 27th, unions proposed to take the conflict to arbitration, as per the Labour Code - that proposal still stands,” says Bolduc.
“This lockout is not only cruel, it is useless,” Bolduc says, “Quebecor management has created conflict in the workplace and have broken an historic trust between this employer and its workers.”
While actions take place in Quebec City, the CUPE continues a cross-Canada tour with two of the 252 rank and file members who have been locked-out since last April.
The next stop on the national tour is Vancouver, British Columbia on April 16th, 2008, followed by Winnipeg, Charlottetown, St. John’s, and Niagara Falls. The tour will end at the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) convention taking place from May 26 to May 28 at the Toronto Convention Centre.
Information about actions in Quebec City:
Robert Bellerose, CUPE Quebec Communications, 514.247.9266.
Pam Kapoor, CUPE National Communications, 613.853.8089