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A Sherbrooke TV station locked out its six advertising sales reps members of CUPE 4646 on January 30. The station, affiliated to the French-language network TVA, has been in first contract negotiations with CUPE since summer 2003.

Local president Richard Labelle says managements last offer would have had the workers required to sell more ads, while earning a lower base salary. Meanwhile, TVA is pulling in record profits.

Labelle says the offer was hardly a formula for success: The more you sell, the less you earn.

Ad sales staff at all TVA stations joined CUPE in the fall of 2002. Bargaining began last summer. Conciliation began December 18 and continued into January. So far the only topic broached at the table has been the salary question. No meetings are scheduled.

Of the other four other TVA stations, only the Montréal advertising staff have reached an agreement.

CUPE represents 7,000 communications sector workers in Québec.