La Presse lives!

Well, another win for the good guys. After threatening to close its doors Dec. 1 without significant concessions from its eight unions, a deal was hammered out with the last one yesterday. It was ugly for the staff, starting with a four per cent raise over five years, return to a five day workweek instead of four days, and rollbacks in benefits, but a major Canadian newspaper will continue to exist. First CHEK Victoria, now La Presse; good things are happening in Canadian media.

The newspaper wins frequent praise from within its industry and from media observers for the depth of its coverage, from international issues to municipal politics where it played a key role this year in breaking details of Montreal’s construction scandal.

CP/Canoe, November 26 2009

La Presse threatens to close Dec. 1

La Presse, North America’s largest French language broadsheet, has advised its unions and management they have three months to come up with $26 million in savings, half from unions, or it will close Dec. 1. Obviously, a ploy to get concessions from the union, but given Quebec’s tough unions, it promises to be quite a fight. Meanwhile, you have to wonder if the Quebec or federal government is going to get involved to preserve the biggest French daily. On the other hand, Quebec City has never been partial to its Montreal rival. Stay tuned.

CTV/CP, September 3 2009