La Presse: According to Michel Leblanc, an agreement in principle has been reached between the union and employer, which will remove the disparity between newspaper journalists and online journalists, and would bring back the blogs that were suspended in September, including that of Tristan Péloquin (remember him?).
No word yet from official sources. Patrick Lagacé confirms, saying there will be a general assembly on March 19 for union members to approve the deal.
Le Journal de Montréal: Steve Proulx quotes Le Trente that a strike (or lockout?) is on the horizon, because the manager-to-employee ratio is high. JdM employees are paid generously (so much so that my colleagues were shocked to hear pay rates for equivalent jobs there), and Quebecor might look toward building on the “success” of the Journal de Québec. (See some analysis by Julien Brault) (UPDATE March 5: Proulx has an update based on statements from some anonymous sources within the Journal)
Le Journal de Québec: Tomorrow, the 10-month-old lockout/strike will set a new record for a labour dispute at a French-language Canadian newspaper, eclipsing the previous record set by Le Soleil in 1977. (The irony, of course, is that the Journal itself owes much of its early success to that very dispute.) Mario Asselin is starting to lose his zeal for the fight.
The Gazette: Also management-heavy in preparation for new contract negotiations this spring, the paper has decided to lay off 46 employees in its Reader Sales and Service department, transferring call centre operations to a centralized centre in Winnipeg as of May 30. The union is fighting the move, calling it a violation of a contract clause against outsourcing. (UPDATE March 5: The layoffs have been put on hold while arbitrators sort out the union issue.)