As the detailed study of the reform in occupational health and safety draws to a close, the FTQ marked its disagreement with Bill 59 by a unanimous vote of all its major unions against the reform on Thursday evening.
In a special meeting, representatives of all of its major unions rejected the bill: Steelworkers, Unifor, Teamsters, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the FTQ-Construction, the Union of Postal Workers, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the Professional Union of Office Employees (SEPB), the International Association of Machinists and Workers of aerospace (AIMTA), the Quebec Union of Service Employees (SQEES) and others.
In an interview on Friday, the president of the FTQ, Daniel Boyer, indicated that his unions are so unhappy that they prefer to start from scratch with another bill. At first, they thought they could have it amended. But after months of study in committee and with the approach of its adoption, they no longer believe that it is possible.
“We are trying to improve something that went wrong. You have to “scrape” all that, summarizes Mr. Boyer. We want another one. The minister must redo his homework. We must start from scratch, rewrite a bill where we will find prevention mechanisms for all sectors of activity, in all workplaces, which will protect all workers. The life and health of workers comes at no cost. “
The president of the largest trade union center in Quebec accuses the Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, of having refused to settle the dispute between employers and unions concerning these prevention mechanisms.
He entrusted everything to the CNESST (Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work), a joint body, where unions and employers will have to try to find a consensus. “We would have liked more courage from the minister. The Minister says that there will be mechanisms in all sectors of activity, but what mechanisms? What are we going to give birth to in two years, three years, four years, five years? And in the meantime, are there going to be transitional measures? Asks Mr. Boyer.
Same story at the Central of Democratic Unions (CSD), where the president, Luc Vachon, criticizes the bill to reduce access to compensation and rehabilitation, to achieve “savings of candle light” . “If he proposes to extend prevention to all workplaces, he at the same time considerably weakens the effectiveness of prevention mechanisms and marginalizes the participation of workers. Under these conditions, we cannot give the passing grade to the reform proposed by Jean Boulet. We must call for the rejection of the bill, unfortunately, ”says Mr. Vachon.
For its part, the employers consider the scheme too expensive for employers and too cumbersome. The Employers Council (CPQ) finds it too generous in terms of the duration and amount of compensation. He also criticizes him for his long delays in processing files and returning to work.
The president and CEO of the CPQ, Karl Blackburn, is also disappointed with the reform. “Workers will not be more protected than before, as productivity drops and costs rise. “