Quebec construction commission must stop using replacement workers: Labour board

Labour board sides with union; 25 workers to stop immediately

The Quebec labour board has provisionally ordered the Construction Commission of Quebec (CCQ) to stop using the services of a consultant to complete work normally conducted by unionized workers.

The CCQ has also agreed to stop using the services of 25 replacement workers, according to Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union Local 573 — the union representing the striking workers.

This is the first time a government agency like the CCQ has contravened the provisions of the labour code, said COPE Local 573 president Serge Cadieux. In Quebec, the use of replacement workers is illegal.

About 600 CCQ workers began striking on June 5 after 86 per cent of the membership voted against the organization’s final offer.

The union also is also claiming the president of the CCQ, Diane Lemieux, has been negotiating in bad faith since she took the helm of the organization in January 2011. Prior to Lemieux’s appointment, the union only had an issue with management’s proposals for the company’s pension plan, according to COPE.

A year after negotiations began, there are 189 new contract demands by the CCQ, including cut-backs to job security and a 15 per cent wage cut, the union says. The union filed a bad-faith bargaining complaint with the labour board that is scheduled to be heard on June 21.

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