Outside workers employed in City of Laval arenas will be staging a three day strike from December 15-17, 2023, which is a direct consequence of the unsettling work atmosphere in several sectors of the City.

A 24-hour general strike took place last November 7 to denounce the contempt and lack of transparency by representatives of the labour relations department at the bargaining table, actions which the union described as befitting another time.

“Even though the Mayor of Laval Stéphane Boyer is young, some people in his administration are still mired in management practices that harken back to another century. Coercive personnel management focusses on penalties rather than discussions. This has resulted in a considerable number of grievances being sent to arbitration, and some of the costs of going this route is paid by Laval taxpayers,” said Louis-Pierre Plourde, president of CUPE 4545 representing Laval outside workers.

The union also deplores the fact that the City attaches little importance to the well-being of its outside workers. In fact, the City has unilaterally changed the approach of the social delegate program implemented more than 25 years ago, which has been a source of great support to workers going through tough times in their lives.

The employer also replaced the employee assistance program, which had proven itself over the years, with a structure that does not meet their expectations without the presence of outside worker representatives at meetings of the assistance program coordinating committee.

“I’d like to remind Mayor Boyer that we’re in the 21st century and are grappling with labour shortages at this time. Senior managers in other cities are striving to come up with increasingly more employee-sensitive approaches to personnel management. The time has come in Laval to modernize our labour relations practices,” said Martin Boyer, the vice-president of CUPE 4545.

The issue of labour relations is pivotal in these negotiations. People have been clamoring for a culture change in the labour relations department for years now. This time, it seems as though employees collectively have become totally fed up.

“These are the reasons why the Executive Committee decided to trigger this strike that will affect all Laval arenas. The strike notice was sent to the Tribunal administrative du travail on Monday, December 4,” said
Marc-André Patenaude, secretary-treasurer of CUPE 4545.

The 850 blue collar workers with the City of Laval have been without a contract since December 31, 2021, On April 26, 2023, members voted 96% in favour of a mandate involving pressure tactics up to and including strike action.