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Quebecor’s press release says it’s making a breakthrough in outdoor advertising by getting the contract to sell ads on STM bus shelters – for twenty years.
Kate, Josh, Jack, and 10 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
Kill me, a company that invests millions in solidifying its 450 market by dumping on Montreal and public transit. The STM is now officially run by monkeys.
I can’t seem to get away from Quebecor… I even cut my Videotron service in protest. Now what?
@Jack I second your emotion
Great, screens running looping ads on buses in 3.. 2… 1…
This is good news for the STM. Quebecor is one of the few major corporations in this province that actually knows how to get things done. I’m in favour of more advertising/sponsorship of the entire public transit system. Hopefully this is the next step towards branding metro stations, etc.
@Noah “Quebecor is one of the few major corporations in this province that actually knows how to get things done”… can you give examples ?
@ Noah you are so right Quebecor gets things done.Using its nationalist connections it gets the Caisse Depot to buy Videotron and lose a billion of my pension dollars in the process. It scares the hell out of the political class in Quebec City and gets 400 million to buy a rink. It busts 3 unions squeezing middle class jobs hard. Quebecor and PKP gets things done!
As a federalist, I don’t love PKP – but I can’t say enough how much I respect and appreciate the way he’s crushing the unions that hold our province hostage. I’m a proud user of Videotron – excellent service and it’s supporting someone who finally has the balls to stand up to unions. I wish he’d run for mayor of Montreal next time the blue collar contract is up.
@Noah another place you would love is Mississippi.Unions and their politics can be a pain in the ass but the one thing they truly do is create economic space for a middle class, without them you get an economy that once had a G.M. at its core now has a Walmart.I could care less if PKP is a federalist or a sovreignist what bugs me is he uses his media empire to intimidate our political class to do his bidding.They are scared to death of him,TVA,LCN,the Journals and all the Hebdo’s can put a hurt on a politician big time and they know it.Even watching Amir Khadr going after Lucian Bouchard was fun but when PKP came to Quebec City to get our $400 million he was way more subdued and everybody knew why.
I’m sorry, but unions are the ultimate scourge of our society. I understand they’re a necessary evil to a degree in order to maintain balance, but they’re too strong now and I like that he stood up to them. Look at what they’re doing with the student movement – using the students as front-line soldiers to fight against the government… they’re funding and advising kids who are not mature enough to manage their own movement, and it’s total chaos.
But this thread is about PKP getting ads in the public transit system and that can only be good in my opinion.
Videotron’s service is far from “excellent”. Their rep misrepresented the package I was signing up for and my 2nd bill was $1300.00, my third $600.00 because I downloaded 1 large file. I screamed at them on the phone for days to no avail and ended up paying the bill. I can’t prove it but I suspect they collude with Bell on the rip-off pricing we pay for net access in Montreal. They are against net neutrality and supporter of more restrictive copyright law. As far as ISPs go, they’re basically villainous.
@Tux: Of course they’re ripping us off. And it’s a guarantee they’re colluding. But when you have to choose between the options we’ve got, in my opinion, Videotron is BY FAR the best. Every time I’ve ever had a problem, they’ve resolved it immediately. That’s about all you can ask for these days. Compared to Bell, Videotron are the kings of customer service.
@ Noah: “unions are the ultimate scourge of our society”
But unions are just a symptom of too much respect for human rights and dignity. Perhaps these things are the real scourge. When the corporations can get rid of them, the unions will fall apart without any pepper spray at all.
@qatzelok: I call total BS on that reply. I specifically said “I understand they’re a necessary evil to a degree in order to maintain balance, but they’re too strong now and I like that he stood up to them.”
You can’t for a split second tell me with any level of genuine sense for right and wrong that the blue collar and construction unions in Quebec aren’t completely robbing us blind. I’m not talking about teachers and nurses. I’m talking about the blue collar workers who sit in their trucks and screw off on jobs, make umpteen dollars an hour, and then hold us hostage when it’s time to negotiate the next contract. I’m talking about the blue collars who plow sidewalks without it even snowing. That’s the scourge of our society.
There is no balance now – the unions run the show and corporations and more importantly, taxpayers are paying through the nose for it.
There are no sweatshops where evil CEOs sit above the production floor in a tophat, stoke their cat, and have their managers whip slow workers. It’s time for balance and the scale need to go back towards common-effing sense.
@Noah,”There is no balance now – the unions run the show and corporations” someone in an office on a top floor with a magnificent view is laughing his ass off.
People who write that way about unions have no understanding of history. Most of the norms we have as working people were won for us, sometimes with their own lives, by unionized workers in the early part of the 20th century: safe working places with fire alarms and all the other assurances we have that we won’t die on the job, 8-hour working days, regular weekends and vacation time – all those things are thanks to the unions. There should be more and stronger unions worldwide. They allow a working person to stand eye to eye with the boss.
@Kate: Making a generalized statement claiming I have no understanding of history is pretty weak. I’m not sitting here saying unions serve no purpose and are terrible. I’m saying we’ve swung too far the other way – from “evil” corporations abusing workers to workers abusing society.
If you can come up with a rousing defence of how our blue collars are in the right, please indulge me. Did you follow the JDM lockout? Do you know the details of how there were many people doing one person’s job, at grossly-inflated salaries? Are you really going to defend bus drivers making $65,000-plus salaries while people with the educations these kids are out in the streets crying to get for free can’t find a reasonable job?
I’m saying we need balance – and so far no response has evoked anything remotely close to balance. It’s not all evil-corporations-and-government vs the poor worker. There’s 2 sides to every argument.
@Jack: That statement was missing 2 commas. Read it again now:
There is no balance now – the unions run the show, and corporations, and more importantly, taxpayers are paying through the nose for it.
Noah: I can’t say enough how much I respect and appreciate the way he’s crushing the unions
Yeah. You understand history just fine.
“Don’t agree with me? It’s because you don’t understand history.”
@Noah Every time I’ve had a problem with Videotron I’ve ended up talking with script-reading monkeys with no technical expertise who refuse to let you speak to anyone with a clue or any power to solve problems. When they can’t diagnose a connection problem because you are unwilling or unable to connect a windows box directly to your cable modem that’s not ‘good service’. They put the absolute minimum into training, and if you press 9 for English you end up in India. They might be ‘better than Bell’ but it’s still f-ing criminal that we have to choose between tweedle-dum and tweedel-dee. How can you support these guys?
More importantly, how can you think that strengthening the lot of workers collectively is a bad thing? The service we get at Videotron is because they won’t put money (money that they HAVE) into decent salaries for phone reps to attract people with decent skills and keep them. Call centres in Montreal are where you go when you need a shit temp job between real jobs and it doesn’t have to be that way, and that is the fault of bottom-line-obsessed corps, not unions.
@Josh Great contribution there bud. What was your argument again?
I’m not anti-union – I’m anti-the-current-state-of-unions in Quebec. I believe wholeheartedly in the need for our teacher and nurse unions.
But the vast majority of the rest of them? A call centre union? I’m sorry, but I’ve worked my ass of since I was 16 at more than one job to make the money I need… if you’re working at Walmart or a call centre or Couche Tard and you think you need a union to protect you, I just don’t think our views are going to line up here…
Those are unskilled jobs for unskilled people who, unless their lives are being put in danger, should take their minimum wage paycheques and deal with life.
I’m not saying I don’t value low-income people or that we shouldn’t try to take care of everyone as a society, but unions should exist to protect people from danger. There’s no exploitation going on in a society with a $10 minimum wage and enough social programs to have someone live an entire lifetime without suffering.
We are a PRIVILEGED society at every level – I’m not saying take it or leave it, but yeah, I’m ecstatic that PKP pushed back on the unions.
And Kate, that is some weak bullshit. You have no idea of my understanding of history and I’ll pass no judgments on your own – but you know what, Josh had it right about… your argument is essentially “Don’t agree with me? It’s because you don’t understand history.”
For someone to glory over crushing unions tells me that they have been so brainwashed into identifying with their economic masters that there isn’t much more to say about it. Good, go have a nice life.
Also a very strong argument, Kate. I hope you’re not the same Kate who runs this blog – I expect more from that Kate.
What is it that you want?
Well, frankly, either an actual conversation instead of a lecture, or no comment at all. It’s an open forum and voicing my opinion resulted in me being informed that I “don’t know history”…? That’s not a debate – a debate is a healthy exchange of ideas. I’m not saying anyone here has to come on board with my philosophy, but I’d love to read opinions either way – not be lectured that my opinion is different so I don’t know what I’m talking about… I happen to be well-educated on the matter, and my opinion still holds.
Although I do not agree with Noahs position I find he presents his rather extreme views reasonably. I agree with Kate about the historical contribution of unions as well as the need still for a strong union movement. However, the unions here tend to concentrate on conserving the incomes of the already quite well paid workers rather than defending the working class, of which I consider myself to be a member in a general sense. This appears to be Noahs position and it is certainly defendable if it were more nuanced.
@David: Agreed – I definitely should not have said “crush” the unions. That’s more extreme than I intended. Unfortunately I didn’t choose my words carefully enough in that regard this morning.
My father was a unionized employee for north of 33 years. Throughout that time the perspective held by he and all colleagues in his department was that the union’s sole purpose was to defend the lazy and incompetent. That, and filling up the coffers with union dues. The union did sweet bugger all for them. But I guess he has no understanding of history…
Well, Quebecor just shut down the Mirror – I guess they get things done.
Marc, I am sorry the union was not of more use to your father. Did he think he would’ve been better off without it?
Ok Kate, you’re obviously not capable, or more likely not willing, to have an actual discussion on this. Thanks for taking the time to read my opinions, I’m shutting down for the day.
I have other things to do besides watch this blog every minute and jump to attention whenever a commenter disagrees with me.
I am not clear on what you want me to say. You have expressed your opinion. I disagree with it: I think workers should have the right to organize, and I don’t glory in the idea of the crushing of unions and the reduction of the work force to frightened, grateful little units.
Please enjoy this time, because at the moment the pendulum is in your court, but neoliberalism, like all trends, will also reverse eventually.
this is one reason why I want there to be unions. Yes, especially for people working for minimum wage.
My biggest problems with unions is that they obligatory. In many places you are required to belong to a union to work. That’s wrong. If unions are so great for employees, why aren’t they voluntary ? I have no problem with people getting organized to negotiate their working conditions in a group. However, such a group, a union, should not have more rights than an individual. If they can’t come to a collective agreement, they should not have a right to “occupy” a workplace, as much as an individual should not have a right to prevent others from working.
A group of people still have an advantage negotiating, because it’s hard to loose a large amount of employees in one shot. Yet, they should not have a right to block a workplace. You do not like your workplace, go to another one, where it is apparently better.
@kate I never understand this: if you do not like the place, leave. Enough people leave, they’ll have nobody to do their work and they’ll go out of business. High unemployment can make leaving harder, because there is less options, but that’s just reality of life. In that situation you might be better of with your job from hell than being unemployed.
And believe me, I have done my share of sweet shops…
This article is really depressing, but I wonder how unions can help. The world is more and more set-up to undermine the possibilities of unions — and the strong remaining unions seem to have no interest to help workers at large, or even workers at the same company, or even all the workers of that union. It seems that big powerful unions today merely help out their core constituency, everybody else be damned.
(Case in point: the MTA in New York saw unionized labor’s wages increase by 4/4/3% during the last three years, whereas everybody else got 0% increases, the system saw grave service cuts, fare increases, reduction and work force, reduction of support from the state, and a shitload of borrowing).
I feel like big unions are a bit like big corporations in the way they are becoming less and less socially responsible because they have leverage, and there’s no incentive to be responsible without our society or for our society.
Maybe some big unions need to reinvent themselves from the bottom up. I’ve never actually belonged to a union, believe it or not – always been either self-employed or worked for smaller businesses – but unions are politics, and anyone who is determined enough should be able to involve themselves and support their position.
I’ve thought about what happened here on this thread today and I have to say I feel bullied by pissy lines like Noah’s “I hope you’re not the same Kate who runs this blog – I expect more from that Kate.” No you didn’t – you just want to browbeat me with your right-wing agenda. You don’t want an argument, you want a soapbox. You will not get one from me again.
My main issue with the original story was that the STM had signed a contract for twenty years. No public body should sign anything lasting longer than five. In five years so many conditions change – technology changes, the political atmosphere changes, the economy changes – so that there’s not enough certainty at all to allow a public body to sign over a big deal for longer than that.
But it turned into a flamewar over Quebecor.
@kate: my intention truly was to have a discussion. When I want a soapbox, I use my own blog – whether people read it or not. I was just surprised at being lectured and really didn’t realize think it was “the” Kate in charge over here. You may remember from my post a while back how much I respect this blog… (maybe you don’t but we had a whole exchange about it). Anyway, I give up – I was hoping for debate but it’s just an argument over who’s meanest to who now. I respect your position even if I disagree – I’m not some Fox News right wing neo-liberal people hating psycho. I just think unions here are too strong and we need some balance the other way – and as I said above, my choice of words was poor earlier.
@Noah you write “unions are the ultimate scourge of our society” and then complain about being lectured? Come on!
@Jack: The difference is Noah did not attack Kate personally. He voiced an opinion (unions are bad) and then was told that his opinion is, I guess, evidence that he doesn’t have enough education.
Kate wasn’t replying to Noah’s point, she was telling him that he wasn’t educated enough to understand hers.
And Kate, no one is asking you to be here 24/7 responding to comments. All I’d like to see, personally, is for you to refrain from attacking individuals with dripping sarcasm and instead address their arguments.
I think this is a dumb argument personally (I support organized labour in a big way), but I don’t think that “Yeah you understand history just fine” advances the discussion at all. Kate, do you think that kind of dialogue – about the educational levels of commenters – is productive?
@Josh, I was trolled by Noah. Read my initial posting. As I state above, my main worry was with the STM signing 20-year contracts with anybody. Noah brought in the praise of Quebecor and so forth that got people talking, and dragged in the “crushing the unions” line. Nobody made an argument so I feel no need to argue in response.
I will be sarcastic if people come here to troll. Please do not come here acting like a mod and requesting me to behave differently. I also don’t welcome you rephrasing my comments as you’ve done above. You are not a mod.
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