Quebec Premier Readies to Enforce Back-To-Work Legislation

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois has requested the national assembly to convene despite its summer recess in order to table a special legislation that will be aimed at imposing a contract on striking construction workers in light of recent news that the mediation efforts have halted completely.

In a brief press conference in the morning, Quebec’s Labour Minister Agnès Maltais stated that “it is clear that the people at the negotiating table are no longer able to make any progress.” Maltais further added that both sides shall now that there is still some time left for negotiation after which a new law will be imposed. Maltais insisted that a negotiated settlement is still a preference over the back-to-work legislation. The national assembly is scheduled to convene for a special sitting at 9:45 a.m. tomorrow, regarding which it was aimed that the government will be able to return all on-strike workers back to job by Tuesday morning.

An alleged letter addressed late yesterday by the Quebec construction association (ACQ) to the premier, advised the government to advance with a back-to-work legislation. The letter written by ACQ president, Jean Pouliot, directly advised Marois to adopt a special law. A copy of the letter obtained by Radio-Canada revealed that Pouliot highlighted that there is a lack of progress in the negation despite a special mediator appointed by the government on Monday. Premier Pauline Marois had already warned on Monday that the government will have to eventually intervene with back-to-work legislation in case the mediation efforts failed.

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