Friday, August 08, 2008

Since April 2007 when workers at the Journal de Québec were locked out by their employer, Sun Media Corporation, said workers have been producing their own paper- Média Matin Québec- as a free paper. to say the least this was an exemplary action, and they were supported throughout the duration by their union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Today the workers are shutting the paper down as they have reached a settlement with their employer and are returning to their regular jobs. What did the initiative prove ? One is that there is a world of "tactics" to be used by labour in its disputes with management, and one shouldn't be afraid to use one's imagination. The second thing is that the workers demonstrated that they could run an enterprise without bosses. What they did was show that bosses are irrelevant and unnecessary. There should be more of such things, starting from a position of workplace occupations and resuming production under workers' control, incorporated as a co-op.
The following is the story as told today by CUPE. To read the farewell statement (en français) see the MédiaMatin Québec site.

MédiaMatin stops the presses:
Friday August 8, 2008 will be the final distribution day for MédiaMatin, Québec city's first-ever free newspaper. The five-day "daily" was created when Journal de Québec workers were locked out of their workplace last April 2007.

The paper is finally able to stop its presses in the wake of a negotiated settlement and signed agreement between Sun Media Corporation and its 252 Journal de Québec employees.

"We are extremely proud of these media workers who are members of CUPE,"says Claude Généreux, CUPE's national secretary-treasurer, in anticipation of the celebrations planned following the final distribution. "And we are proud of the support offered-both financial and moral-from CUPE members right across the country during the time they produced and distributed MédiaMatin during the last 16 months."

True to their word, the 252 Journal de Québec employees have ceased publication of their energetic, non-traditional response to a labour dispute they never wanted.

Sun Media Corporation, corporate owner of Le Journal de Québec is itself, part of a stable of media companies owned by Pierre Karl Péladeau. "While the lockout was unnecessary, CUPE is pleased that Mr. Péladeau did, in the end, take good advice, worked with his employees and reached a negotiated settlement. That final act is the kind of media leadership Canadians want," said Généreux.

Interviews: Luc Tittley, (416) 910-2389

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