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Quebecor Workers Stand in Solidarity for Striking Workers at Journal de Montreal American

Friday, June 09, 2006

Press release from the issuing company

WASHINGTON, June 8 -- Quebecor World workers throughout the United States took action on Wednesday to support union members on strike at the Journal de Montreal, the flagship of Quebecor's extensive media holdings. The 115 workers, members of Graphic Communications Conference/IBT Local 41M, went on strike to block proposals that would endanger the health and safety of employees. Workers at nine plants throughout the U.S. wore stickers to support the Montreal strikers. In the Mt. Morris, Illinois plant, workers approached the new CEO of Quebecor World to urge him to help settle the strike. Workers in the U.S. are familiar with Quebecor's tendency to put profits ahead of safety: QW printing plants in this country have twice as many health and safety violations as those of their main competitors, according to government records. Workers have lost fingers and had other serious injuries, and in more than one case even died due to workplace injuries. Inadequate staffing has contributed to these dangerous conditions. That is why American workers are so concerned when Quebecor proposed in Montreal to slash staffing by 80 percent and force additional job responsibilities onto workers for which they are not trained. This would be a major threat to the health and safety of employees in Montreal. "The entire Teamster union stands behind the workers at the Journal de Montreal," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "We pledge the resources of our union to win a fair contract at the paper which will protect the health and safety of the employees who have done so much to make the paper a success." Union members at plants in Dickson, Tennessee, Jonesboro, Arkansas, Atlanta, Georgia, Versailles, Kentucky, Fernley, Kentucky, Elk Grove, Illinois, as well as Mt. Morris wore the stickers supporting the Montreal strikers. In Mt. Morris, new QW CEO Wes Lucas was visiting the plant, and members talked to him about the need for a fair settlement in Montreal. Workers who are organizing for a union in Covington, Tennessee and Olive Branch, Mississippi also wore the stickers and distributed leaflets about the strike. "Our members in Montreal have been an important ally in the fight to end anti-union intimidation during organizing campaigns in the U.S., so it was only fitting that workers who are currently organizing here could come to the aid of Montreal strikers," said George Tedeschi, President of the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters. "We appreciate the support of workers at Quebecor World for their Canadian brothers and sisters. This is what solidarity is all about," said Robert Bouvier, Teamsters Canada President. "We all face the same issues of protecting the health and safety of workers at Quebecor, so we should all be in this struggle together."




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