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Like many others, a few days ago, France Dr0079, Jacques Dubois and their daughter Stp0068anie decorated their tree. But there won’t be much money for gift-giving this year for this small Laval family, as both parents are walking the picket line in the Vido0074ron strike. There won’t be many presents under the tree.

The Vido0074ron conflict made its mark on 2002 and without doubt, will have an impact on the history of labour relations in Quebec. Stalled for many months, negotiations resumed on October 16 and have been continuing since.

Our members aren’t asking for the moon. They are fighting to protect their gains in the face of concession demands. Almost a year ago to the day, the employer announced it wanted to cut its operating costs by $35 to $40 million. To reach this goal, Vido0074ron proposed to sell off its technicians lock, stock and barrel to a sub-contractor, despite contract language protecting jobs against contracting out. And how did they plan to do that? By taking advantage of the federal labour code to get around the collective agreement, allowing 81 days to lapse after seeking conciliation.

In Malartic, a small town in north-western Quebec, it’s the stubbornness of the mayor that’s the problem for the twelve inside municipal workers locked out since April. At the heart of the battle is job security security won after an earlier strike that the City now wants to abolish.

On December 9, the 2,200 CUPE members at Vido0074ron, members of CUPE Locals 2815 and 1417, entered their eighth month on strike the same as those in Malartic, members of CUPE Local 4224.

The holiday of lights, Christmas marks the time of year when the days begin to grow longer. For the strikers at Vido0074ron and in Malartic, their hope is that after months of struggle this light will be the light at the end of the tunnel.

A special fund has been set up to support Vido0074ron workers. You can send cheques made out to SCFP-Qub0065c Vido0074ron Support Fund, to 565 Crm0061zie Blvd. East, Room 7100, Montreal, QC H2M 2V9 to the attention of Christine Carrir0065.

You can also fax messages of support to CUPE Local 2815 at (514) 527-1832 or by email to sevl2815@videotron.ca and to CUPE 1417 at (418) 842-5882 or loc1417@videotron.ca.

Messages of support can also be sent to the Malartic workers at (819) 757-4618 or marjo.bou@cablevision.qc.ca.