Montreal, Monday, March 30, 2009—Unionized employees and management at Videotron can look forward to industrial peace until 2013. The some 2,800 CUPE (FTQ) members at the company have voted 95% in favor of an agreement in principle reached by their negotiating committee. The five-year labor agreement calls for salary increases of 3% per year.
The new agreement was ratified this morning at a meeting attended by Michel Arsenault, FTQ president; Michel Poirier, director of CUPE Québec; Lucie Levasseur, president of CUPE Québec; Pierre Karl Péladeau, president and chief executive officer of Quebecor; and Robert Dépatie, president and chief executive officer of Videotron. “Relations have been turbulent,” the three union officials stated, “but with the conclusion of this round of talks, we are more optimistic about what lies ahead. We have turned the page and are looking to the future.”
The agreement calls for hundreds of new unionized positions, primarily at a new customer call center in Joliette. Other employee gains include the filling of a number of positions, establishment of minimum employment levels, and the return of work that had been contracted out. In return, the company will benefit from increased flexibility as it modernizes its network and deploys its 3G wireless network. The outcome of negotiations is very encouraging, according to union representatives. “It was a long and sometimes arduous process, but we are pleased with the outcome,” said Denis Plante, CUPE representative. “In the long run, there’s something for everyone: our members’ jobs are safe, and we are improving their working conditions.”
Union employees also negotiated a telecommuting plan and the opportunity for workers 55 and up to work reduced hours or days. This approach to work–life balance will also be offered to union members who wish to return to school to further their education. “We have also gained flexibility for the employees,” noted union representative Bruno Tremblay. “We are very pleased to offer our members these opportunities. They reflect the new realities and needs of today’s workforce.”
CUPE represents 7,000 communications employees in Quebec as well as workers in a number of other sectors, including health care and social services, education, urban and air transportation, Quebec government corporations and agencies, energy, and municipalities. With over 105,000 members, CUPE is the largest affiliate of the FTQ.
This release and additional information are available on the website scfp.qc.ca
SOURCE: CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (FTQ)/jb sepb491-qc