March 9, 2018
Trois-Rivières - Following a meeting early this morning, members of Unifor Local 1209 accepted the agreement negotiated with Delastek earlier this week, ending one of the longest labour disputes in Quebec.
"A story of courage and tenacity,” Renaud Gagné, Unifor Quebec Director.
"We are very happy to finally have been able to resolve this conflict. I want to emphasize the determination and courage that our members have shown since the beginning of the dispute, for 1073 days or 2 years, 11 months and 8 days! The next challenge will be rebuilding healthy working relationships within the company," said Gagné.
After the union-friendly decision made last week at the labour board, the foundation was laid for an agreement. Unresolved items will be submitted to arbitration including monetary clauses. The heart of the labor dispute, namely the determination of when work will move from research and development to production, will also have to be decided by the arbitrator. The return-to-work protocol calls for the recall of 25 employees in three phases. Ten employees will be recalled next Monday, another nine on March 26 and the remainder on April 16. If additional production requirements exist, the employer will recall additional employees still on the recall list.
Anti-strikebreaker provisions with no teeth
According to Unifor, this protracted conflict highlights the lack of effectiveness of Quebec’s anti-strike-breaker law. "You cannot have an effective balance of power when scabs do our job. As soon as we had the decision last week that ordered Delastek to no longer use the services of 15 people identified as scabs, the conflict was resolved within five days,” continued the union leader.
A case of solidarity
"Without the support of the labour movement, including local chapters in the aerospace sector, this would not have been possible, we must sincerely thank everyone who gave their support," said Gagné. Since the beginning of the conflict, hundreds of local unions coordinated to send money to the strikers to help them get through this struggle.
Unifor also criticized companies with Delastek contracts that failed to apply greater pressure to Delastek to comply with the law and resolve this dispute more quickly.
This strike began on April 1, 2015.
For information: Marie-Andrée L'Heureux, Unifor Québec Communications Representative, (514) 916-7373 firstname.lastname@example.org