Construction: the unionized relieved and entrepreneurs disappointed from the decision of the minister

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
The industrial and commercial sectors-the institutional had not managed to agree on the renewal of collective agreements at the maturity date of October 30.

Construction workers give a sigh of relief following the decision of the Labour minister, Dominique Vien, the limitation of the mandate of the arbitrator in the dispute on wages. But the entrepreneurs themselves, see it as a missed opportunity.


As two industry sectors, construction, industrial and commercial-institutional, have not been able to agree on the renewal of collective agreements at the maturity date of 30 October, the minister of Labour to refer the whole to an arbitration board. Under the special law that had been adopted to put an end to the strike, the 30th of may last, the minister was to refer “the dispute” to arbitration.


However, a dozen of points remained in dispute between the trade union Alliance and the Association de la construction du Québec, on 30 October last year, said in an interview with The canadian Press, on Tuesday, Michel Trepanier, a spokesman for the union Alliance. Among these points, one finds the issues of work-family balance and overtime pay, for example. But the minister has chosen to limit the mandate of the arbitration board only to the wage question, and refuses to interfere in a negotiation process is private between the construction contractors and the trade union Alliance.


“Now, that just reassure us. It welcomes the gesture of the minister, who has come to send a clear message to the parties that it will not support any request, an employer or trade union. Then it sends a clear message that the next negotiations must be settled at the negotiating table, ” said Mr. Trepanier.


But the president of the ACQ, Francis Roy, was disappointed. “The government is missing a golden opportunity to settle once and for all of the issues that have existed for too long and which cripple the competitiveness of the construction industry, he said. Employers will be thus deprived of a real opportunity to modernise the collective agreements, of which certain clauses are archaic. “

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