The Syndicat des travailleurs de l’information du Journal de Montréal, in response to Quebecor’s response to their response to the lockout, has released a page of frequently asked questions on its Journal du Journal website.
The text makes the union’s case on some of the issues that have been circulating in the media:
- It finally gives an explanation for the discrepancy in salary figures. As I suspected, the union is using base pay and the employer is using pay including overtime and other perks to reach $88,000. As the union points out, all overtime is approved by the employer, so journalists are making that extra $30,000 because the Journal didn’t want to hire more journalists to make up for a shortfall in staff.
- It links to a summary of those 233 demands the employer made (PDF), with commentary about what those changes would mean for workers
- It links to a letter sent to freelance columnists (PDF) just before the lockout was called.
- It says the union is against Quebecor setting up the Journal website as part of the Canoe network and they want the Journal to have its own unique website
- It explains the work week (30 hours plus breaks = 32 hours over four days) and says the union is willing to be flexible about that
- It explains why workers are paid time and a half for vacation (it was the suggestion of the employer in a past contract)
There are also some items that might rub people the wrong way. It suggests that, because most of the workers the Journal wants to lay off in the classified department are female, the move is in some way anti-women. It also skirts around the issue of freelancers, and the fact that the union has done little to protect their interests and is not giving them strike pay.
In other news
- Louise Harel went by the picket line, and Rue Frontenac shovels as much praise on to her as they possibly can.
- Serge Touchette writes a profile of two locked-out workers who are daughters of people who worked at the Journal when it first started. I guess it’s meant to drive up sympathy for the cause, but it smacks of the same woe-is-us self-important dramatization that we saw in those black and white videos at the beginning of the lockout.
- The Journal situation got a writeup in France’s Libération.
- Rue Frontenac goes into depth on “Agence QMI” mistaking a CP reporter for an accused terrorist.
- Infopresse has a quick rundown of what’s happened over the past week.
- Don’t feel too badly for the Journal managers who have to work hard to put out the paper. Dany Doucet has been sent to Florida to report on stuff there.