The FTQ-Construction is withdrawing from consultations led by the Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, on the construction industry, accusing Quebec of wanting to “go it alone” and not listening to worker representatives.
The Minister of Labor has already announced his intention to table an industry reform this fall that would affect several aspects and, in this context, he is conducting an industry consultation.
However, after participating in several meetings, the FTQ-Construction, which represents 90,000 workers, decided to withdraw. She sent a letter to the Ministers of Labor, Jean Boulet, and of Education, Bernard Drainville, to explain her dissatisfaction.
The FTQ-Construction is particularly critical of the fact that Quebec wants to reduce the number of training hours for certain trades: carpentry, refrigeration, tinsmithing and operation of construction equipment.
In an interview, the general director of the FTQ-Construction, Éric Boisjoly, criticized Quebec for cutting short “to have labor more quickly in the construction industry.”
The industry’s largest union sees this as a potential health and safety problem for both workers and the public. Reducing the number of training hours will reduce the quality of this training, believes Mr. Boisjoly.
According to what he heard, the training to obtain a Diploma of Professional Studies in Refrigeration, for example, would go from 1,800 hours to 700 hours. ” This is unacceptable ; it makes no sense ! » exclaims the union leader.
This reform of Law R-20 which regulates the construction industry is awaited by employers’ associations. The Quebec Construction Association, for example, is calling for a decompartmentalization of trades and more versatility on the part of workers.
Mr. Boisjoly argues that to gain productivity, we should first consider better planning the work, which would avoid a lot of wasted time.
And the union community also has expectations regarding this reform, in particular that of having access to retroactive salary increases at the end of collective agreements, when there is a new agreement on their renewal.
Although the FTQ-Construction is withdrawing from ministerial consultations, Mr. Boisjoly assures that it is not closing the door for good.
“That’s really not a declaration of war there. The FTQ-Construction, we are not at war with anyone. We want to basically participate in the parliamentary commission, if there is one, to try to make ourselves heard by the opposition parties, because we understand very well that the party in power does not want to listen to people at all. of the construction industry, in any case especially the union aspect,” he concluded.