Locked-out Journal de Montreal employees to launch tabloid

A group of employees locked-out of the Journal de Montreal have announced plans to launch a weekly publication called Rue Frontenac.

The paper will be an extension of the workers’ site, ruefrontenac.com. The site was launched in early 2009, after 253 members of the Syndicate
des travailleurs de l’information du Journal de Montréal were locked
out. The site claims more than 300,000 unique visitors monthly.

Editor and Publisher reports:

“The workers’ weekly will launch in spite of mediation set up by the provincial labor department last month, Richard Bousquet, vice president of the union’s editorial section, told Montreal’s English-language daily, The Gazette. According to Bousquet, approximately half the locked out workers were from the newsroom, though 10 or more have since quit or retired.”

E and P notes that “A fund pays workers about three-quarters of their former take-home pay, tax free. The Journal announced in mid-July that it will fire nine locked-out employees and suspend about 100 others when the lock-out ends. The Gazette’s Jan Ravensbergen reported that Quebec Superior Court found employees in contempt of court after 124 entered Journal offices a year earlier while protesting the lockout.”

The 50,000 copy circulation of the 48-page tabloid will be distributed by locked-out workers and will be available on newsstands in the fall. It will include investigative features, analysis and columns. Funding will come through ad revenue and contributions – the Canadian Auto Workers Union recently gave $25,000.