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Steelworkers union calls for clean-up of traffic signal industry

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The united steelworkers union is calling for changes to the road signage industry, saying it doesn't want to see any more road signallers injured or killed on the job.

It says it wants to improve safety, training and information and create a new whistle-blowing hotline.

The road signage industry is currently governed by a joint employer-worker committee, following the adoption of a decree by the Quebec government.

The steelworkers union, known as the Métallos, is affiliated with the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ).

It is calling for a group to better oversee the industry, ensure the certification of road signage agencies, verify equipment conformity, inspect signage work to ensure compliance and implement comprehensive training.

The union says the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) recorded 215 work-related injuries for road signallers in 2022 alone.

"We hope that the government will listen to our demands to regulate the situation on construction sites and ensure the safety of our workers. It can't go on like this," said Nathalie Perron, president of the steelworkers' union's local branch. "Everything needs to be tightened up in terms of safety, credentials [and there must be] more presence during roadwork."

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on April 1, 2024.

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