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Québec’s labour board has ruled that management at Journal du Québec has been using scabs during the lockout which began April 22.

The province’s labour code makes it illegal for management to hire workers - known as scabs - to do work normally done by workers on legal strike or lockout.

While the law is considered progressive among unions, in practice it is very hard for unions to prove that an employer is using scabs. But on August 23, the unions did it.

“It’s a big victory for us,” said Denis Bolduc, spokesperson for the CUPE locals locked out at the news paper. “You might even say it’s a real coup.”

The labour board settlement (french only), reached through mediation between Quebecor and the unions, named Dominique Turcotte, Patrick Daigle, David Gaudreault et Mathieu Roy as illegal replacement workers.

The union accepted management arguments that Jacques Trudel and Sylvain Roy were not performing struck work and dropped complaints against them.

Bolduc invited management to return to the negotiating table. “That’s the only place where we’ll be able to settle this conflict.