Quebec's Progressive Legislation Benefits Workers, Employers, Economy
THETFORD MINES, QC, Dec. 1 /CNW/ - Prohibited by law from recruiting scabs or "volunteer" replacement workers, a Thetford Mines hotel has negotiated a contract settlement with its unionized staff.
Comfort Inn hotel workers unanimously ratified a new collective agreement on Tuesday, ending a short strike that began Nov. 12. The workers, members of United Steelworkers Local 9400, were back on the job this morning.
"If we didn't have an anti-scab law in Quebec, this strike would have lasted for months, instead of 2½ weeks," said Steelworkers staff representative Pascal Loignon.
"I'm sure the hotel chain bosses in Toronto couldn't believe their ears when they heard they could not use replacement workers," Loignon said.
The union had complained to Quebec's labour relations commission, alleging the hotel was recruiting scabs or "volunteers" to replace the striking workers.
"Hotel management quickly had its fingers rapped by a commission investigator," said Loignon. "Once a hearing was scheduled to rule on the use of these would-be volunteers, the employer decided to return to collective bargaining with us."
The new contract includes a nine-per-cent wage hike over three years, an additional increase of 45 cents an hour to help bring the workers' pay in line with colleagues from the same hotel chain in Quebec City, and sick leave improvements.
"Thanks to Quebec's anti-scab legislation, once again a group of workers and their employer have reached a fair settlement, while avoiding a prolonged, damaging and unnecessary labour dispute," noted Ken Neumann, the Steelworkers' National Director for Canada.
"Experience shows that anti-scab legislation benefits workers, employers, their communities and the economy as a whole," Neumann said.
"In jurisdictions without such progressive laws, we increasingly see employers abusing the imbalance of power to provoke disputes, recruit scabs and prolong labour strife that hurts families, communities and our economy.
"The United Steelworkers believe it is unacceptable for governments to condone such abuses by employers. Along with our allies across the country, we will continue to campaign for anti-scab laws in all provinces and at the federal level."
For further information: For further information:
Contacts: Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-487-1571; /
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-434-2221, 416-544-5966; /
Clairandrée Cauchy, USW Communications, Quebec, 514-774-4001.