Opposition parties will vote against reform of occupational health and safety system

The three opposition parties in Quebec will vote against the controversial reform of occupational health and safety of the Legault government.

Despite all the efforts of the Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet, to rally all parties and present a consensual law, both the Liberal Party (PLQ) and Solidarity Quebec (QS) and the Quebec Party (PQ) will vote against the final text, which is expected to be put to a vote on Thursday.

However, Mr. Boulet again urged the oppositions on Wednesday to vote in favor of Bill 59, but the liberal labor spokesman, Monsef Derraji, indicated that his party would vote against. He said on Tuesday that there were still caucus discussions regarding the Liberal Party’s final position.

Despite all the amendments made and the minister’s setbacks, the PLQ is not satisfied with the final version. Mr. Derraji argued in particular that all groups, whether unions or even employers, saw a decline. He also noted that there was no consensus on the bill.

“This bill could have been an opportunity to make giant strides in occupational health and safety, instead, the minister proposed only meager advances that were tarnished by a series of semi – unacceptable measures and setbacks throughout the detailed study, ”for his part lamented the spokesperson for QS, the deputy Alexandre Leduc.

The PQ has also indicated that it will vote against.

The stage of final adoption

The important reform in health and safety at work has just started the stage of final adoption. The voluminous bill tabled a year ago consists of the overhaul of two laws dating from 1979 and 1985.

Several governments had promised this review, but none completed it.

In his speech on Wednesday, Minister Boulet said he was aware that, despite all the amendments he made to his bill, it “does not meet everyone’s expectations”. But in labor relations, he said, “there is never unanimity”.

This bill could have been an opportunity to make giant strides in occupational health and safety, instead, the minister only proposed meager progress

The four centrals – the FTQ, the CSN, the CSQ and the CSD – which will be joined by the Syndicat de la fonction publique du Québec, will therefore demonstrate one last time to denounce the reform Thursday noon in front of the National Assembly.

In an interview on Wednesday, the president of the CSD, Luc Vachon, deplored the fact that the reform moved away from the fundamental principles of the laws of 1979 and 1985, which had made Quebec a precursor in the matter.

“I don’t think the results will be there. I think that in terms of occupational injuries, what awaits us will not be the fun. I think that unfortunately, health and safety at work, far from improving, […] it may deteriorate, ”said the union leader.

He is skeptical, for example, as to the fact that prevention mechanisms will have to be discussed and reach a consensus within the board of directors of the Committee on Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work. However, the CNESST is a joint body, made up of representatives of employers and workers.

“How are they going to do? They will put it to the vote and it will cancel [à cause de la parité] ? He asks himself. The presidency will have to decide?

Or else, it will be “completely paralyzed”, fears the president of the CSD.

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