The union representing locked-out workers at Quebecor's printing plant in Mirabel says an arbitrator has ordered the eventual reinstatement of 13 of the 15 workers laid off in January.

The Teamsters local says the employees will recover "hundreds of thousands of dollars" in salary and other benefits once the labour dispute ends.

It says arbitrator Suzanne Moro ruled that the employees were covered under the worker-protection provisions of its collective contract.

Another 35 workers who were laid off because of lower printing volumes and the conclusion of commercial activities could also be reinstated if another arbitration process rules the same way in a few weeks.

Quebecor's Mirabel printing plant north of Montreal locked out 44 press workers, mechanics, electricians and handlers on Sept. 1.

The plant prints a number of newspapers, including Montreal French-language dailies Le Devoir and le Journal de Montreal.

Quebecor said that it had no other choice but lock out employees after months of negotiations failed to reach a new contract.