Strike on ferries: both clans accuse of bad faith

usagers-traverse-quebec-levis-butes(Quebec) Users of five bars affected by the strike Tuesday will likely take their troubles patiently. The Society of Quebec ferries and the union representing 150 mechanics and navigation officers accuse each other of bad faith.

On the side of the employer, it does not understand how the union representatives could trigger a general strike based on the latest management offers, while the latter were not yet filed when receiving strike notice , there is a little more than a week.

“It is the union left the table on September 24th. Strike notice was received [around October 2]. October 5 was deposited general and final management offers. We do not think it was presented to the workers, “said Tuesday the president and CEO of the Society of Quebec ferries (STQ), Jocelyn Fortier. “One can hardly claim that we went on strike on employer offers.”

The union contends that it does not consider the documents STQ as a serious offer. “It is an empty shell,” we did we do understand. “There is no salary scale, we do not even know how our members will win next year,” said a union source.

The union demanded a wage increase of 13.5% over three years, while the STQ offers 3% over five years – the same as all government offers to employees of the Quebec government.

Over the past two years the employment contract expired in March, the striking workers were treated, depending on their location, a “premium experience” 6.5%, to a “standby pay” 5% and could count on “an accelerated progress echelons” – depending on the employer.

These benefits fell with the end of their contract, “as planned,” said a government source. It was not expected that they are renewed automatically.

During these negotiations, the employer has however decided to renew them in the next labor contract when it is signed. The government should set a retroactive six months – from the date of signature of this next labor contract. No more, though.

The union has already indicated that he wanted more of these premiums and are instead converted to a bonus of base salary. A sailor located in step 3 (3) currently earns $ 18.22 an hour, while a chief engineer second class located in step 4 (4) earns $ 27.99 an hour.

Concerning the legitimacy of the strike mandate obtained by the union, some employees call into question the process, Jocelyn Fortier declined to comment. “The employer should never intervene. I have too much respect for the law and rules, “he ruled before relying on unionized workers. “They are the only ones who can intervene. It is for them to check. ”

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