We all knew it would happen eventually: the union has officially protested with the government that the Journal de Montréal is using scabs to replace 253 locked-out workers.
Specifically, it is asking for an injunction preventing the Journal from using content derived form the “Agence QMI” news service as well as other Quebecor publications and websites. It’s also asking that freelancers be restricted to providing the same amount of work as they did before the lockout, and not being given more space to replace locked-out columnists (they point specifically to Joseph Facal, who had written once a week but was upgraded to twice a week after the lockout started). And it complains about cartoonist YGreck, who hadn’t appeared in the Journal de Montréal before but has been used since the lockout.
Exhibit A in the union’s argument is the decision reached in the Journal de Québec case which showed that much of what that paper did during its lockout was exploiting illegal scab labour, including those who worked for other Quebecor divisions, notably the Canoe website. The main difference in the Journal de Montréal case is that 24 Heures and ICI, where it’s taking much of its content from, existed long before the lockout and are legitimate publications. The question will be whether the work some of them are doing is being done primarily for the Journal’s benefit, in which case it would probably be ruled illegal.
Quebecor, of course, denies that they’re breaking any laws, just as they did with the Journal de Québec.
- Rue Frontenac asked Influence Communication to crunch the numbers, and surprise surprise Quebecor newspapers tend to promote Quebecor television shows to the detriment of shows on competing networks Radio-Canada, Télé-Québec and TQS.
- The CSN is accusing the Journal of dumping issues to keep its readership numbers up despite a drop in demand. And there was protest.
- Guy Fournier has joined the Journal as a television columnist, something the union has a big problem with and apparently caused a scene during Christiane Charette’s radio show where he announced the appointment.
- Rue Frontenac has started a wine column and a hockey blog.
- Lots more petty nitpicking of errors, manufactured stories and errors in judgment at the Journal and embarrassing personal issues of its managers. Thankfully this stuff isn’t featured prominently at Rue Frontenac because nobody cares outside of the union.
- Solidarité! TVA employees support their comrades.
- The union thankfully has the communist vote now.
- Richard Martineau got some mean words said to him during a union protest of him personally and complained about it in his column. He also suggests that some comments made by unnamed union people were racist, and wants readers to send him stories of their harrassments by unions.
- Une erreur inexpliquable
And at Le Réveil, Quebecor’s other locked-out newspaper, they’re handing out stickers so people can show they’re boycotting the free weekly paper.