Au revoir, Rue Frontenac?

Screengrab from Rue Frontenac's front page, May 19, 2011.


Rue Frontenac launched in winter 2009 as website for locked-out workers at the Journal de Montreal, offering union information on the conflict between the paper and its unionized workers that began in January 2009. The site also posts general news, offering those locked-out journalists an outlet for their work. A print edition of Rue Frontenac that launched in 2010 was discontinued on April 28 this year.

Le Devoir has a story about the current situation (English story from the Montreal Gazette here). The Rue Frontenac site now faces closure, though its management is in talks with two or three companies whose investment could ensure its survival. The site has 40 employees; since the end of the conflict with the Journal de Montreal in February, which saw only 62 of 227 workers return to their jobs, the site has been unable to pay them. While the lockout was still in effect, the site was running on funds from the union’s strike pay. The Gazette has reported that the site needs “$2.5 million and $3 million to survive its first year without the strike pay.”

A deadline has been set to get funds in place, and that deadline is tomorrow, May 20. Richard Bousquet, the site coordinator for Rue Frontenac, when asked why such a tight deadline was set, said [ed.’s note: a Google translation]: “At one point, we must make a decision and set a limit… We no longer have strike funds to support members. We must therefore give them a chance to find another paid job. ”

But will the 40 journalists find those paid jobs? The fact that less than 30 per cent of the Journal de Montreal‘s locked-out workers still had jobs at the end of the union conflict does not bode well. Fingers crossed that a hail-mary angel investment is in the works.

Please check back here for updates on this story and feel free to share any news on Rue Frontenac‘s prospects in the comments.


Posted on May 19, 2011 at 2:05 pm by editor · · Tagged with: , , , , ,

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