FTQ delegates called upon to decide on the regulation of telework
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Delegates will also have to consider the possibility of compensating employees who cannot work from home, by offering them the week of four days, for example.
The delegates of the Quebec Federation of Labor (FTQ) will be called upon to decide on the regulation of teleworking and the obligation to negotiate the terms between employers and unions.
These ideas are part of a policy statement on the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be submitted to the 1,200 delegates attending the 33rd FTQ Convention . This one will take place next week in Montreal.
This declaration also evokes the principle that teleworking must be voluntary, reversible and that a right to disconnect must be provided for outside working hours.
It also includes compensating employees who cannot work from home, using means such as offering them the four-day week.
The COVID policy statement also calls for anti-scab provisions to be adapted to the telework context.
As written, indeed, these provisions of the Quebec Labor Code prohibit the use of replacement workers in the establishment affected by a labor dispute. But what is the establishment when employees are telecommuting?
As a lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement also asks the FTQ to claim a collective right of refusal when working conditions are no longer safe.
She reminds the lack of masks and personal protective equipment at the start of the pandemic, then the problem of ventilation in schools.
The right of refusal is currently enshrined in the Act respecting occupational health and safety. It allows a worker to refuse to perform certain tasks, respecting certain conditions and modalities, if he considers that this task is dangerous for him.
The declaration COVID asks the FTQ to demand that a collective right of refusal be added, as well as an increase in the number of inspectors and more rigorous application of the Act respecting occupational health and safety.
Many union members in the health sector have not digested having had working conditions imposed on them and having had clauses of their collective agreements circumvented during the pandemic.
Consequently, the COVID declaration submitted to the delegates asks the FTQ to demand that the right of association be respected and that the ;imposition of working conditions by decree.
It also asks the FTQ to demand amendments to the Public Health Act that, in order to better frame, by democratic means, the power of the government in the event of a health crisis and to hold it to account.