MONTREAL – More than fifty crane operators from the Montreal area took to the streets Friday.
The group protested outside the SNC-Lavalin headquarters to denounce what they claim are unfair practices by the company when it comes to the work being done on the new Champlain Bridge.
“There’s a difference between what you’re allowed and what you’re socially supposed to do,” said Yves Ouellette, General Director of FTQ Construction.
“When you get a contract in a certain city or region, you have the social implication to take the people from the place.”
The union said SNC-Lavalin is hiring workers from across Quebec, and not just from Montreal.
“The people from the region have the right to work,” said Ouellette.
“If you do that, every region is going to be able to have their people work. Those people have the same competence.”
Nevertheless, SNC-Lavalin stood by its choice to draw crane operators from throughout the province.
“We’ve hired four crane operators to work on the Champlain Bridge project. Three are from Montreal, one from Quebec, we are following the rules,” said Isabelle Perras with SNC-Lavalin.
But Ouellette insisted all contracts should to go to local workers first, and then expand if more people are needed.
“The job is just beginning. Why not take the good step right now?” he asked.