Journal de Quebec lockout near an end

Newspaper staffers locked out for 14 months

TORONTO -- An end to Quebecor Media's 14-month lockout of 140 editorial and office staff at the Le Journal de Quebec newspaper appears in sight after both sides reached a tentative agreement Wednesday.

Sun Media Corp., Quebecor Media's newspaper arm, and unionized workers at the French-language Le Journal de Quebec said a new contract offer has been agreed to, and that the union has recommended acceptance as it prepares for a ratification vote.

A mediator last week restarted negotiations, which hit an impasse in April 2007 over workplace conditions and calls by Sun Media management for journalists to adapt to the emerging digital age.

Sun Media continued to publish Le Journal de Quebec through the lockout.

In addition to newspapers, Quebecor Media operates Quebec cable giant Groupe Videotron and TVA, the province's largest private French-language broadcaster.