In an attempt to entice their employer back to the table, locked-out workers at le Journal de Québec, the Sun-Media Corporation (Quebecor) newspaper based in Quebec City, are calling on Quebec City readers to boycott the paper for one day, on June 21, 2007.
Last week, for the third time since they (members of CUPE) were locked out last April, the paper’s journalists and printers contacted the conciliator in an attempt to re-boot negotiations.
The CUPE locals even made what they consider to be an excellent working proposal that should kick start negotiations and help both sides reach a settlement. The effort was in vain.
Quebecor negotiators rejected out of hand their employees attempt to resume negotiations. In fact, all of Quebecor’s original concessions, dating from December 2006, remain on the table.
Le Journal de Québec staff and others find Quebecor’s actions unacceptable.
Rather that throwing up pickets in various parts of the city and disrupting the lives of Quebec City residents in any way, the workers chose instead to continue plying their trade by publishing a daily (five days per week) daily bulletin MédiaMatinQuébec. The publication allows the journalists to continue keeping people informed while maintaining spirit through the work they enjoy.
Locked out workers are now asking for a public show of solidarity and support from Quebec city residents as a means of convincing Quebecor to return to the table and ensure that the real Journal de Quebec is returned.
If you live in Quebec City
Don’t buy le Journal de Québec on June 21. Don’t even be seen reading free copies in public. Ignore that day. Spread the word about this one-day boycott.
Background on the Journal de Québec lock out:
Office and editorial staff of the Journal de Québec were locked out on April 22, 2007 in solidarity with the office and editorial staff, the printers took a 97% strike vote and joined their colleagues by refusing to work during the lockout. Before the lockout none of the workers had even taken a strike vote.
Since April 24, 2007, employees have been publishing their own free publication five days per week. MédiaMatinQuébec – a free paper – is published as a means of promoting information about the lock out to Quebec City citizens
Since the founding of the Journal de Québec in 1967, their has never been a work stoppage and hardly any workplace conflict between the employees and their employer. Based on a request by Quebecor in 2005, all unionized employees at the paper accepted to roll over their contract as it fought competition with Le Soleil, a second Quebec City news paper that had recently converted to a tabloid as a means of competing with Le Journal.