Saturday, January 24, 2009

Montreal's most popular daily newspaper locks out 253 employees

office employees early Saturday.

About 250 employees at the Journal de Montreal have been without a contract since Dec. 31.

President and editor-in-chief Lyne Robitaille said in Saturday's editorial that the current collective agreement prevents the paper from modernizing its business model, adding that the popularity of the Internet, free newspapers and 24-hour cable channels have severely reduced the daily tabloid's revenue.

The dispute is over potential layoffs, an increase in weekly hours without a subsequent pay boost, and a reduction in benefits and vacation time.

Photographers and journalists at the paper make an average salary of $88,000 for a 30-hour work week.

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