Saturday, January 24, 2009

Journal de Montréal union will fight 'scab labour'

Locked-out workers at the Journal de Montréal are warning they will use every legal means necessary to fight the potential use of “scab labour” by their employer.

More than 250 reporters, photographers, copy editors and office employees were barred from working at the Frontenac St. tabloid at midnight Friday after talks broke down between the two sides.

Raynald Leblanc, president of the Syndicat des travailleurs de l’information du Journal de Montréal, described the lock-out as a “sad day” in the newspaper’s 45-year history.

“Until today, we had 45 years of labour peace that permitted (the late Pierre) Péladeau to create an empire,” Leblanc said, alluding to the founder of Quebecor Inc., which owns the Sun Media chain that includes the Journal.

“We’re in a state of shock,” Leblanc added. “We didn’t think the employer would go to these lengths.”

Isabelle Dessureault, vice-president (public affairs) at Quebecor Media, said the Journal will continue to publish during the lockout and she ruled out the possibility of scab labour.

“All our newsroom executives are former journalists and they will pick up the torch,” Dessureault said, noting they have the legal right to put out the paper.

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