AN UPDATE TO THIS STORY: AGREEMENT IN PRINCIPLE REACHED
Faced with the threat of shutting down highways so engineers can evaluate overpasses and bridges for safety, Quebec is going to impose a contract on Ministry of Transportation engineers.
The province's transportation engineers have been without a contract since March 31, 2015, and in September announced they would no longer work on nights and weekends.
Quebec wanted to declare inspections an essential service, and thereby gain the control to force engineers to do their work when traffic was lightest.
However on Monday a labour tribunal ruled that inspecting these items is not an essential service, and so engineers would be able to inspect these items during regular business hours.
In her ruling Judge Myriam Bedard said that if the work was so essential it had to be done by Dec. 1 the Ministry of Transportation should have made arrangements during the summer.
Following several days of fruitless negotiations, the Liberal government has called MNAs for a special sitting at the National Assembly at 7 p.m. on Thursday to impose a contract on engineers.
Members of APIGQ denounced that move Thursday morning, saying that government ministers were negotiating in bad faith.