Unions no longer deciding which construction employees get jobs
Published Monday, September 9, 2013 10:58AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 9, 2013 7:08PM EDT
Construction workers no longer have to seek the approval of union executives before going to work on jobsites.
A provincial bureaucracy, the Quebec Construction Commission, is now in charge of determining which employees will work at which location.
As of Monday trained construction workers can now register their qualifications online, and employers can post job openings. The CCQ will then randomly match candidates with work positions.
The website means unions will no longer get to determine which of their members gets to work, but it does not stop employers from offering jobs to specific individuals.
The Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ) opposed the move when it was first proposed, and still thinks it is unnecessary.
"We don't think it's going to work because there's no need for that," said Yves Ouellet of the FTQ-Construction
"That's why the workers don't really want to fill out their profile because they don't use the unions for hiring. 85 percent of all workers in construction don't use the union."
For decades construction companies in Quebec have made arrangements with unions, so that union brass would determine who was working at which job site.
Two years ago the then-Liberal provincial government moved to stop this practice amid complaints from some construction workers of being intimidated and of being passed over for positions.
In October 2011 members of the Quebec Federation of Labour and members of the Conseil provincial du Quebec des metiers de la construction (CPQMCI) staged a two-day 'wildcat' strike to protest unions being stripped of their power.
The public hearings about Bill 33 were acrimonious, and several people who were supposed to discuss the issue in public backed off, with one woman refusing to talk after telling the government she had been assaulted by a fellow construction worker.
However not all unions opposed the government, with the CSN being one union that approved of the measure.