Workers set to doff hardhats as construction holiday approaches
Published Thursday, July 21, 2011 11:22PM EDT
MONTREAL - For the 40th straight year Quebec construction workers are taking the last two weeks of July for some down time of their own.
The tradition, unique to Quebec, was legislated in 1970 and launched the following year.
Roughly three-quarters of the 160,000 construction workers in the province are free starting at 5 p.m. Friday but by custom they have been allowed to leave earlier.
The Quebec Construction Commission reports that it has issued 145,000 vacation cheques, for a value of $326-million, which represents a 10 percent hike from last year.
Workers finishing road contracts are generally staying on the job whereas those working on commercial or residential projects are getting the vacation.
CTV Montreal surveyed a number of workers at a Duke St. construction site Thursday and found the bunch of them to be salivating over the looming leisure like a hound over a pork chop.
"The hot weather is not very fun for these guys, but it's a beautiful day today. One more sleep, after that holidays," said foreman Eddie Plante of Mayton Construction.
Another looked forward to some family time.
"I'm very anxious to go on vacation with my young 13-month-old son," he said.
A younger worker was looking forward to sand, sun and suds. "I'm going to relax, go to the beach and drink a little beer," he said.
With files from The Canadian Press