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Employers want more mobility and versatility for construction employees

Photo: Ethan Cairns The Canadian Press The Quebec Construction Association and the Quebec Association of Construction and Housing Professionals both welcomed the reform, which they believe is going in the right direction.

Lia Lévesque – The Canadian Press

March 15, 2024

  • Quebec

Large employers' associations in the construction sector would like to obtain even more mobility and versatility from workers than what the reform proposed by the Minister of Labor, Jean Boulet.

As part of the hearings on the bill, Thursday at the National Assembly, the Association de la construction du Québec (ACQ) and the Association of Construction and Housing Professionals of Quebec (APCHQ) all both welcomed the reform, which they believe goes in the right direction.

However, they would have liked Quebec to push the provisions on worker mobility even further than those in the bill.

Maxime Rodrigue, CEO of the APCHQ, asked the minister to instead promote “full mobility” of workers “in neighboring regions” for the residential sector.

“We need full mobility in neighboring regions. I remind you that 90% of workers in the residential sector work less than 100 kilometers from their place of residence, but that even today, for reasons of territorial division, a worker who is in Berthier cannot work in Trois-Rivières. Rivières, but could go to work in Brossard, for example,” illustrated Isabelle Demers, vice-president of strategic development, public affairs and innovation at APCHQ.

The APCHQ also required more versatility from workers in finishing trades in its residential sector.

The ACQ, for its part, considers that “the prudent definition” of the versatility of workers, in the bill, i.e. the criteria to allow greater versatility of workers, is too restrictive.

“By allowing all workers to be more versatile, we promote better fluidity in the execution of tasks on the site and we give more options to contractors in work management,” argued Pierre Hamel, director of public and government affairs at the ACQ.

Minister Boulet, however, insisted that he had to ensure a fair balance. “The versatility, I wanted to make sure it was still balanced. The health and safety of workers concerns me. We are concerned about the competence of the workers and also the quality of the construction work. This is why the definition is relatively cautious,” he explained.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116