Quebec’s anti-scab law undermined by teleworking

These provisions prohibit an employer from using replacements to perform the work of employees during a strike or lockout. The government of René Lévesque had them adopted in 1977 following several heated labor disputes.

However, since the lockouts in Journal of Quebec and at Journal of Montreal in the late 2000s, the court ruled that employees whose texts were published in these dailies, but who did not work in the building of the employer, could not be considered strike breakers.

The notion ofestablishment of the employer therefore becomes important in a context where teleworking has become widespread due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notion anachronistic

What would happen today in the event of a strike and teleworking?

antiscabs risk losing their teeth if this interpretation [des tribunaux de l’époque] is resumed “,” text “:” It concerns me. Anti-scab provisions risk losing their teeth if this interpretation [des tribunaux de l’époque] is repeated “}}”>It worries me. Dispositions antiscabs risk losing their teeth if this interpretation [des tribunaux de l’époque] is resumed, comments Gilles Trudeau, professor of labor law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Montreal.

We are caught with an anachronistic notion, that of the establishment employer, says Trudeau.

With telework today, in the event of a strike, I do not know how it would be received by the courts. It is so absurd as a result. It’s so against the spirit of the law, launches the professor.

Amendments requested

In an interview, the president of the FTQ, Daniel Boyer, estimated thatwe must correct the shooting, especially with teleworking which has become widespread. Teleworking has increased the number of places people work outside the establishment from the employer, he said.

We want it to be amended according to the new realities. We don’t want more than what was at the time. We want what was agreed, specifies the president of the largest labor center in Quebec.

: “Me, I’m locking you out and I’m going to hire other people. ” Look, there is something that doesn’t make sense. It can’t work like that. It hasn’t worked like that for 40 years in Quebec. We have to adapt that, otherwise we come to undo what we did well 40 years ago “,” text “:” If it weren’t for that, it would be easy for employers, in the context of ‘a balance of power that is exercised at a negotiating table, to say: “Me, I lock you out and I am going to hire other people. ” Listen, there is something that does not exist. makes no sense. It can’t work like that. It hasn’t worked like that for 40 years in Quebec. We have to adapt that, otherwise we come to undo what we did well 40 years ago “}}”>If it weren’t for that, it would be easy for employers, in the context of a balance of power exercised at a negotiating table, to say: “Me, I put you in lock-out and I’m going to hire other people. ” Look, there is something that just doesn’t make sense. It can’t work like that. It hasn’t worked like that for 40 years in Quebec. We have to adapt that, otherwise we come to undo what we did well 40 years ago, pleads Mr. Boyer.

The president of the 600,000-member central argues that the provisions antiscabs had the effect of reducing tensions near the picket lines.

This prevents conflicts from escalating and taking very long. It equalizes the balance of power. This is one of the reasons why there is industrial peace in Quebec., he says.

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