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For the second time in less than two weeks, a CUPE member has lost his life on the job.

Claude Picard, a linesman for Hydro Quebec and member of CUPE 1500, was installing power lines in a new residential development in Saint-Félix-de-Valois when the pole he was working on collapsed. Picard fell 13 metres. He was rushed to hospital, but did not survive his injuries.

He was 48, and leaves behind a wife and daughter.

CUPE National President Paul Moist offered condolences on behalf of CUPE members.

I’m shocked and saddened to learn that another of our members has died this year,” said Moist. “Our condolences go out to Claude’s family and friends, and to his colleagues at CUPE 1500. This is a difficult time for our union.”

The incident took place Wednesday, January 16. The Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (Quebec’s workplace health and safety commission) is investigating the incident. CUPE will monitor the investigation.

CUPE National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury also sent condolences, and promised follow-up.

This is a tragedy, and to see it happen twice in two weeks is appalling. We will be following both of these CSST investigations closely. Our members are counting on it. Every worker should come home safe at the end of the day.”

On Jan. 7, longshoreman and CUPE member Normand Gauthier was killed during loading operations at the Port of Matane in Quebec.