Toronto, Ont – Gathered in Toronto for their national convention, CUPE delegates from across Canada gave an enthusiastic welcome to representatives of the Journal de Québec workers.
Denis Bolduc, Lucie Butler and Jocelyne Martineau, presidents of the locals involved in a labour dispute at the Journal de Québec, made a presentation about the lock out issues to 2,030 convention delegates.
The delegates lined up at the microphones to pledge their financial support for the locked-out workers. This financial support will be added to the strike support pay the members already receive from CUPE’s strike fund. Several locals from across the country promised thousands of dollars in financial support through to the end of the conflict.
Speaking on behalf of the 252 workers from the Journal de Québec, Denis Bolduc described the show of solidarity as uplifting: “Thanks to your solid support, and the support we have already received, and all that will come, we will soon be in a position to say to Quebecor/Sun Media’s pressure tactics and economic pressure they are trying to impose on us will get them nowhere.”
The labour dispute at the Journal de Québec will soon pass the six-month mark, the office workers and journalists were officially locked-out by their employer on April 22. Before declaring the lockout, none of the three locals had even requested a strike mandate from their members. In solidarity with their colleagues who were thrown on the street by Quebecor/Sun Media, the print workers voted 97% in favour of a strike.
Since being founded in 1967, there had not been any other labour disputes at the newspaper. Over a year and a half ago, in collaboration with the employer who was facing increased competition from LeSoleil, the newspaper’s employees agreed to extend their contract for one year.
Members are not walking a picket line; since April 24, workers have published and distributed a newspaper, MediaMatinQuebec, handed out free five days a week. QuebecorSun Media Corporation went to great legal lengths to prevent the publication of MediaMatin – all of their legal maneuvers failed.
Journal de Quebec is continuing to publish. In an August decision the Labour Relations Board of Quebec, applying article 109 of the Quebec Labour Code (anti-scab legislation), ordered the Journal de Quebec to stop using the services of four people who were performing the duties of locked-out workers. In October, the union filed a new complaint about the use of illegal workers by Quebecor. This complaint involves 15 people, and will soon be heard by the labour board.
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For further information, to arrange an interview or a press pass please contact:
Denis Bolduc, spokesperson for all three locals, 418 564-8772
Wendy Forbes, CUPE Communications, 416.892.8716
Robert Bellerose, CUPE Communications, 514.247.9266