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Qub0065c, Saturday, February 1, 2003 At a meeting this afternoon, employees of the Journal de Qub0065c printing plant voted 92% in favour of ratifying the agreement in principle concluded with the Journal management. Over the past few weeks, the three other groups of employees at the Qub0065c daily had also approved the agreement, but were waiting for the results of the meeting today in order to execute the mandate. This afternoon’s vote has therefore concluded the present round of bargaining for all the Journal de Qub0065c’s employees.

“This is an advantageous agreement for the members, from many points of view,” said Lise Guay, union representative. “The settlement was concluded following a bargaining blitz just before the holidays,” adding that “the four new collective agreements will be signed on Tuesday [February 4]”. Employees of the Journal de Qub0065c are members of four separate unions - news-room, printing plant, office and advertising representatives - affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-FTQ).

The new agreements are for a term of four years, from January 1, 2002 to December 31, 2005. For 2002, employees will receive a lump sum equal to 2% of their salary, applicable on premiums and overtime. Their salaries will then be adjusted to the CPI (Consumer Price Index) for each of the following three years of the labour contract, to an amount of 2% for 2003, 2.25% for 2004 and 2.5% for 2005.

Several improvements will also be made to retirement conditions, particularly those concerning the transition premium and the introduction of gradual retirement. Retirement age has been set at 58 years based on a factor of 90 (age plus years of service). Even through employees of the Journal de Qub0065c participate in a retirement fund shared by several other components of Quebecor Media, a local and joint advisory committee (employer-employees) has been formed at the Journal de Qub0065c and will rule on the use of actuarial surpluses.

In addition to some 250 employees of the Journal de Qub0065c, CUPE represents 7,000 members in communications in Qub0065c as well as being active in several other sectors including health and social services, universities, education, urban and air transportation, provincial corporations and public organizations, hydroelectricity and the municipalities. With close to 100,000 members, CUPE is the largest FTQ affiliate.

This press release and other information has been posted on the Internet at scfp.qc.ca