The locked out workers of the Journal de Quebec will continue to publish MediaMatin, a free daily newspaper with a circulation of 40,000 copies in Quebec City, despite the legal attempts of Quebecor/ Sun Media to secure an injunction to stop production.
The Quebec Superior Court rejected today the Quebecor/Sun Media request for a provisional injunction to stop the publication of MediaMatin.
The workers determined to continue with their campaign to get Quebecor/Sun Media to negotiate will continue to publish the free daily. “We are not overly surprised by this move of Quebecor/Sun Media. It was an intimidation tactic even though we are in our legal rights. Our free daily is having an impact here in the capital, explained Denis Bolduc, spokesperson for the locked out workers.
Many labour relations specialists in the province of Quebec concur with the decision, “There is nothing illegal that has been done by publishing MediaMatin, said Bolduc. It is Quebecor/Sun Media that decided to lock us out rather than continue to negotiate. Of course there is resistance to the employer ‘s rollbacks. We have found a unique pressure tactic that is efficient, peaceful and appreciated by the public.”
Some 280 employees working at the Journal de Québec, a division of Sun Media Corporation, are represented by four unions (Office, Printers, Newsroom, and Advertising Representatives), all affiliated with the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-FTQ). Only the advertising representatives’ union has reached an agreement with the employer, and that was narrowly ratified by 54.5 %. Published in runs of 104,000 copies on weekdays and 127,000 on Saturdays, the Journal de Québec is the largest daily newspaper in Quebec City.
CUPE via its National officrs, President Paul Moist and Secretary- Treasurer, Claude Genereux have pledged the support of CUPE’s 560,000 members across Canada to the Journal de Quebec’s locked out workers, also CUPE members.
In addition to the workers of the Journal de Québec, CUPE has 7,000 members in communications in Quebec and is present in several other sectors, notably health and social services, universities, education, urban and air transport, Quebec government corporations and public agencies, hydroelectric power, and municipalities. With about 100,000 members, CUPE is the largest affiliate of the 500,000-member FTQ, the most substantial confederation of labour unions in Quebec.