Hundreds of transit workers took to the streets of Montreal on Wednesday for a noisy demonstration in front of STM offices.
“We want to be respected for the good work that we do day-to-day,” said union representative Dominique Daigneault.
About 2,400 maintenance workers will go on an overtime strike from May 7-12 as part of an ongoing labour dispute with the transit authority (STM).
The two sides are negotiating a new contract. Forced overtime and scheduling are the main sticking points.
The STM wants to be able to force more daytime workers to do evening or night shifts when many buses are off the road and in the garage ready to be worked on.
Right now, instead of doing night shifts, day shift workers have pre-planned overtime scheduled in order to cover the maintenance schedule.
The union has a different solution.
“There’s an answer to their problem, hire more people. They need 300-400 more workers,” said Daigneault.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the transit authority warned commuters to expect sporadic disruptions during the overtime strike.
“There will be an impact for clients,” said STM CEO Luc Tremblay.
The STM says it will keep customers up-to-date during any disruptions via social media.
Negotiations have been dragging for months and according to the transit authority, there have been threats and vandalism.
“They destroyed property and broke some windows, we will have zero tolerance for intimidation or vandalism,” said Tremblay.
The transit authority is also in negotiation with two other branches of employees, including some 4,000 drivers, who will announce Thursday whether they will give their union a strike mandate.