One of La Presse’s unions has sent its members a notice asking them to stop blogging on Cyberpresse as a pressure tactic. As a result, bloggers Sophie Cousineau and Marie-Claude Lortie have stopped their blogs with notices explaining why. Both are regular columnists who will continue their columns as usual.
Unaffected by this is star blogger Patrick Lagacé, who explains that he’s under a specific contract to do his blog (unlike other journalists who blog as part of their regular journalistic duties). Tristan Péloquin has a post about it as well, but it’s unclear if he’s stopped blogging or he’s just pointing out the situation.
The local union news blog has more details on the situation.
This isn’t the last we’ll see of this. Employees at the Journal de Montréal are already arguing over online rights to their articles. And as media outlets start expecting journalists to blog, shoot video and do other “online extras” as part of their regular duties (and without extra compensation), we’ll be seeing a lot more of these kinds of disputes over the next few years.
UPDATE: Heri and Steph have some interesting comments on the issue, but they seem to miss the main point: Unionized employees are being told to perform duties outside of their collective agreements, and for no additional compensation. Say what you want about Cyberpresse’s approach to blogging, but these aren’t personal blogs being updated out of the kindness of their hearts. It’s work, and employees deserve to get paid for it.