Branchez-Vous has the EXCLUSIF today: a poll it commissioned shows that about two thirds (literally 66.7%) of Quebecers support the 253 workers who were locked out by the Journal de Montréal in January.
But the full results of the survey show that about the same percentage (65.5%) support the employees and their union in labour conflicts in general. So it’s probably fair to say that the level of support is more of a default position than any serious analysis of the conflict. This is backed up by results showing that while the vast majority (82.7%) of Quebecers are aware of the lockout, three quarters of them (70% in Montreal) say they know little or nothing about the reasons behind it.
Who wins in this is a good question. The union will no doubt consider this a big win, because it looks good on its face and because initially it seemed the public might turn its backs on the union because of the generous working conditions (32-hour weeks, high salaries, etc.). Despite Quebecor’s efforts, this seems not to be the case.
But public support is irrelevant if people are still buying newspapers and advertisers are still putting ads. We don’t know how this is affecting the Journal financially, but that will be the big decider in all this.
The online poll of 1125 adult Quebecers taken Feb. 10-16 (margin of error 3% 19 times out of 20) also breaks down its answers by region (Montreal, Quebec and other), though the only one that shows a significant difference is that people who live in and near Quebec City support locked-out Journal workers more than they would workers in general. This is probably a result of the long Journal de Québec conflict, which also began with a lockout.
- During Québec solidaire’s general meeting Sunday in Quebec City, the far-left political party refused access to a Journal de Québec reporter and photographer, saying that their work would end up in the Journal de Montréal. The Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec has apparently denounced this move.
- In case you base all your decisions on what former Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Michel Therrien thinks, he’s supporting the workers. He also says the Journal offered him a weekly column (to replace Jacques Demers and Martin Brodeur?), which he refused.