On Thursday evening the Commission de la construction du Québec (the “CCQ”) obtained an injunctive-type order from the Quebec’s Administrative Labour Tribunal (Labour Relations Division) putting an end to the slowdowns and work stoppages by crane operators on several construction sites in the province.
The crane operators and their unions affiliated with FTQ Construction and the Conseil provincial du Québec des métiers de la construction had undertaken a wave of contestations against an amendment effective May 14, 2018 to the regulations dealing with professional training of crane operators on construction sites, which did away with the requirement of holding a professional studies diploma in order to work as a crane operator.
Following the filing of the CCQ’s application, FTQ Construction issued a communiqué that same day, in which it urged its members to return to work [TRANSLATION]:
“The management of FTQ Construction reminds you that it does not support the use of pressure tactics that are potentially illegal. … Without admitting that this is a concerted pressure tactic, FTQ Construction is asking crane operators to perform their normal employment duties and to report to their job sites as normally required.”
The Administrative Labour Tribunal granted the CCQ’s application and ordered the crane operators to immediately resume performing their jobs on a normal basis, both during regular working hours and the additional overtime hours necessary for completion of work on the sites according to the originally agreed upon timetables.
Despite the order, crane operators are apparently today defying it, thereby exposing themselves to fines of up to $10,000 per day, or $100,000 per day for a legal person.