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Montra006c, Monday, August 5, 2002 – All the mediation talents of Judge Alan B. Gold have not succeeded in bringing the parties in the Vido0074ron labour dispute any closer. After four weeks of talks, Judge Gold has been forced to admit defeat. The parties representing the union and employer announced today that this latest bargaining attempt had failed.

“Pierre Karl Pl0061deau’s enterprise refused to budge. We are dealing with a company that only understands the hard line and is trying to crush its employees’ organization. Once again, we are facing the self-complacency and arrogance of an employer who thinks he’s master of the world. Quebecor’s representatives came to the table with their minds already made up and amused themselves by making us waste our time. On every issue raised, Quebecor refused to look for an acceptable compromise. On the other hand, we demonstrated we were open to seeking solutions that would enable Vido0074ron to substantially reduce its costs over the competition, but the employer’s representatives wouldn’t budge. In general, we find ourselves with the same proposals that were rejected by 99% of our members just three months ago,” said Denis Plante, CUPE representative.

In the union’s opinion, Quebecor bears full responsibility for the failure of this mediation. For the employee’s representatives, it is clear that the company agreed to appoint a special mediator simply to project the image of bargaining in good faith. In reality, according to CUPE, Quebecor never showed the slightest desire to arrive at a settlement that would be acceptable to both parties. “It’s rather unusual; Pierre Karl Pl0061deau’s company does not seem to want to come to an agreement that would enable it to relaunch the firm. The employer’s negotiators themselves admit that Quebecor’s proposals means the loss of almost half the jobs. We are watching a massacre in which Quebecor’s directors are in the process of dismantling and destroying Vido0074ron. Two billion dollars more were recently written off Quebecor Media’s books. This is not a good sign, but Quebecor remains stubborn. All the evidence indicates that the directors of this company want the labour dispute to bog down. Only they can bear responsibility for the dramatic consequences this may provoke,” concluded Michel Parenteau, union representative and spokesperson for the employees.

It should be remembered that on July 8, to give a real chance to the mediation process, the employees’ unions had agreed to suspend their complaint for unfair practice and bargaining in bad faith submitted to the Canada Industrial Relations Board.

In Qub0065c, CUPE represents 7,000 members in the communications sector (Radio-Canada, Rs0065au TVA, Global, TQS, Radiomd0069a, Telus, Vido0074ron, Cogeco, TV5, ONF, Journal de Qub0065c, etc.). CUPE is also active in several other sectors including health and social services, education, urban and air transport, government corporations and public organizations in Qub0065c, hydroelectricity and the municipalities. With close to 100,000 members, CUPE is the largest FTQ affiliate.

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