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CEP Condemns Quebecor's London Free Press Announcement

Press release from the issuing company

OTTAWA, Aug. 30 -- The Communications Energy and Paperworkers Union has condemned Quebecor's announcement that it will close its press room at the London Free Press resulting in the loss of up to 180 jobs. "This decision could not be worse for London and Ontario," said CEP Ontario Vice President Cecil Makowski. "Quebecor is attempting to spin this decision as a good news story resulting in investment in its Toronto plant, but it is cold comfort for employees in London and for the community which will lose up to 180 jobs. In fact, this corporate decision will result in losses for Ontario's economy and a poorer quality London Free Press which will sacrifice timeliness for local news in favour of centralized printing." "This is awful news for London and the affected press, mailroom and trades workers," added Richard Leitner, President of CEP Local 87M, the Southern Ontario Newspaper Guild. "Despite Quebecor's spin, shutting the pressroom of the highly profitable Free Press reflects the absentee landlord mentality that is all too common in Canada's media conglomerates today." The London Free Press is one of Canada's oldest newspapers founded in 1849 and operated as an independent newspaper until bought by Quebecor in 1997. "This is yet another example of a profitable paper sacrificed to the burden of corporate debt," commented CEP National VP Media Peter Murdoch. "Quebecor is a media empire with absolutely no ties to the community of London and the loss of these jobs is absolutely unnecessary. This is the direct result of media consolidation and the failure of the federal Liberal government to take action to prevent the conditions which lead to these kind of deplorable business decisions."