Journal Weekly Digest: Bring in the lawyers

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.

The text of the complaint is available as a PDF on Rue Frontenac.

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.

The government won’t step in, but the STIJM (and the FPJQ which supports them in this matter) still hope the case will be expedited.

Meanwhile…

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.

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