More than 2,200 CUPE members who work at Vido0074ron, Qub0065c’s largest cable company and internet provider, have voted almost unanimously to strike at midnight Tuesday.
Management has been pressing for concessions, looking to reduce costs by $32 million by contracting out and selling off a large portion of its operations to another company. Since its purchase by Quebecor Media, working conditions and morale at Vido0074ron has slumped badly.
“The workers at Vido0074ron refuse to accept the dismantling of the company they’ve built in order that Quebecor can sell it off piece by piece,” says Yves Lalonde, president of CUPE 2815, representing workers in the western part of the company’s operations.
“Vido0074ron is a profitable, flourishing company,” says Gilles Dub,0020president of CUPE 1417, which represents 400 workers in the company’s eastern division. “In the last eight months, 200 people have left their jobs – most because they are disheartened that the atmosphere and working conditions have deteriorated,” says Dub.003c/p>
The penny-pinching Quebecor has run up colossal debts of more than $8 billion, after a global acquisition binge that has seen the company incur huge losses in its European operations. But the fault for that doesn’t rest with the workers at the highly profitable Vido0074ron.
The strike threat is big news in Quebec as hockey fans worry the absence of technicians and repair crews could leave them without coverage of the playoffs.