Quebec gov't cracks down on construction unions, curtails powers
MONTREAL - The Quebec government plans to curtail the clout of the province's powerful construction unions.
Labour Minister Lise Theriault says legislation will likely be tabled in the fall to limit the power of unions to say how many and which workers are assigned to a particular construction site.
Under the proposed law, the unions would instead make recommendations to a provincial licensing board, which would make the decision.
"From now on, no unions could impose (on) the workers that they want to work for an employer. From now on, the employer would have the choice for what worker they want to hire," said former CSN president Michel Gauthier.
Failure to follow that system would result in severe penalties.
The recommendations are among 57 suggestions released Monday from a government commission that looked into the industry.
Theriault says the measures herald a new era in labour relations in Quebec that will benefit everyone.
"It's to stop the intimidation. It's very important, I think, that all workers in the construction industry have the right to work," she said
The report mainly looked at labour relations and did not address the so-called black market labour in the industry.
Theriault says that about $46 billion was invested in the Quebec construction industry in 2010.
Charest's government has been under pressure to act on alleged corruption in the construction industry and he has resisted calls to hold a public inquiry.