Quebecor imposes lockout again, more trouble at the Montreal Gazette

January 26, 2009

Tough weekend for Montreal’s press. Quebecor put its Journal de Montréal hacks and support staff on lockout. The Montreal Gazette union rejected management’s latest proposal.

Quebecor is getting good at this. They continued to publish the Journal de Québec during a lockout that brought the union to its knees. There is no reason they cannot do the same with the Journal de Montréal, with the same results (yep, they’ve published today). Quebecor doesn’t fear the competition. Given the state of the advertising market, there’s no place for a new daily to emerge and La Presse has proven incapable of attracting Journal readers. Le Devoir? I don’t think so…

As for the Gazette, Canwest wants to have some of the work done in other cities where the chain has operations, but the Montreal workers are not too keen on watching those jobs leaving through the corporate Internet connection. In this economy, where do you go if your position gets cut? Management doesn’t fear a strike, but a lockout is certainly a possibility.