The construction holiday, threatened

Des vacances de la construction menacées

The construction holidays are threatened to be relegated to the dustbin for many workers, whose employers are tempted to overcome the delays caused by the pandemic.

Some managers will likely only be able to afford a new interruption of the work sites during the last weeks of July, with as consequence the cancellation of the traditional holiday.

“This is something we can expect, with delays on construction projects […] It is about 50-50 that it was like the sound of a bell of our entrepreneurs “, believes the spokesperson of the Association de la construction du Québec (ACQ), Guillaume Houle, indicating that there was no “word of order” to the “complete cancellation” of the holiday.

A Quebec-based company, which has over a hundred employees, has already signified, by an internal memo that was obtained The Journal, that ” unfortunately […] this year, the building will not stop for the summer period “.

“Contractors are asking us specifically to continue the work in order to try to catch up the delay caused by the COVID-19, we read. If the government were to shut down the construction sites of building […] the employees of these projects will be placed on construction sites and civil engineering for this period. “

Other entrepreneurs want to first discuss a postponement of the holiday with their employees, ” says the spokesperson of the ACQ. This is in particular the case of Anthony Dussault, contractor, residential, Sainte-Anne-de-Sabrevois, in the Montérégie region.

“If employees want to work, we will go. But we will not force them, ” he says, assessing one month late.

A custom

If the period of the end of July is provided for in the collective agreements of the sectors in the industrial, commercial and institutional, it is more of the “custom” in residential and civil engineering sectors “more permissive” accommodation of leave, reports to Jean-Claude Bernatchez, professor of industrial relations at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières.

“There are exceptions which are provided in the [collective bargaining agreements] to ensure that the work on sites is ongoing,” says Pascal Gingras, spokesperson for the Commission de la construction du Québec.

The trade union side, a survey of the FTQ-Construction among its members in which 88 % say they are for the status quo, sets out the “clear” the will of the workers, advance the DG Eric Boisjoly.

The president of the provincial Council (International), Michel Trépanier, qualifies, as to him, of the “unfortunate” changes in unilateral imposed by the employer, regardless of the collective agreement.

The union representatives have a vacation of the building each week with the minister of Labour, indicates the cabinet of the latter.

– With the collaboration of Amélie St-Yves and Hugo Duchaine

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