Quebec nurses' union files complaint with UN agency due to 'forced labour'
After trying virtually everything to end being forced to work overtime (OSI) the Quebec nurses' union has filed a complaint with the International Labour Organization, a UN agency.
In its complaint, the Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé (FIQ) invoked Conventions 29 and 105, which deal with forced labour, and which have been signed by Canada.
In an interview with The Canadian Press on Friday, FIQ president Julie Bouchard said she felt it was important that authorities be held accountable for their management and, if necessary, that they be subject to recommendations from the International Labour Organization -- something she said would make them "very uncomfortable."
For Bouchard, there is no doubt that OSI is akin to forced or compulsory labour.
In one of the affidavits supporting the complaint, FIQ vice-president Nathalie Lévesque said she "witnessed blackmail, intimidation and threats by some managers to impose the work."
Before filing a complaint with the ILO, the FIQ tried to plead their case to successive Quebec governments, the labour court and professional orders, without success. Its members had also held "days without OSIs" in 2019 and 2021.
As well, no less than 25,000 grievances have been filed against the use of forced overtime.
-- This report by the Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 11, 2022.