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Montra006c, Sunday, April 14, 2002 – This morning, some 2,000 people took to the streets in Montra006c’s downtown core to protest against the dismantle of Vido0074ron. The employees wanted to let Quebecor know that they do not intend to pay the price for Pierre Karl Pl0061deau’s poor business decisions. You will remember that on December 14, Quebecor announced that during the on-going collective bargaining, it wanted to recover some $35 to 40 million from its employees and that, on March 4, it announced its intention to “sell” some 650 employees of the Vido0074ron cable distribution company to the firm Entourage.

This demonstration was held as bargaining between Vido0074ron lte0020and its employees were slated to resume on Tuesday morning (April 16) in the presence of a conciliator. According to announcements made last week, the employer will be presenting a package offer to the Vido0074ron employees, who are members of two locals of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), affiliated with the QFL.

Evidently, not expecting much from the employer’s offer on Tuesday, Gilles Dub,0020President of CUPE Local 1417, issued a serious warning to Quebecor. “If they want a war, they’ll get one!” Speaking to the demonstrators, he also let the head of Quebecor know that, “We’re not going to let you take the food from our children’s mouths to pay your debts!”

Yesterday morning, the employees of Vido0074ron Tlcom lte0020rejected the employer’s offer with a 94.9% vote and gave their union executive a mandate to strike. The employees of this other component of Vido0074ron are members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), also a QFL affiliate. It should be noted that the members of CEP-QFL take care of business telephone and broadband data transport services, offered by Vido0074ron Tlcom.

With 7,000 members in the communications sector in Qub0065c, CUPE is also active in several other areas, including health and social services, education, universities, urban and air transport, crown corporations and public agencies in Qub0065c, hydroelectricity and municipalities. With close to 100,000 members, CUPE is the largest QFL affiliate.

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SOURCE: CANADIAN UNION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (QFL)