The Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal (CUPE 301), whose membership includes the blue-collar workers in the borough of Montreal-Nord, wishes to respond to the press release issued yesterday by the Centre de recherche-action sur les relations raciales (Centre of research-action on race relations) about the union’s follow-up to the two reports issued last May.

In early 2020, allegations of racism targeting the racialized employees in the borough of Montreal-Nord made headlines. In April 2020, CUPE 301 and the City of Montreal implemented a parallel and collaborative investigative mechanism to review the claims raised by these employees.

The union selected Angelo Soares, a reputed professor at the École des sciences de la gestion de l’UQAM, as the independent investigator. The city, meanwhile, assigned its investigation to its general comptroller.

In May 2021, the two reports were submitted, and both confirmed that discrimination and systemic racism had indeed taken place in the borough of Montreal-Nord.

Professor Soares’ report shed light on numerous irregularities in the borough’s procedures and contained eleven recommendations, three of which were directed to the union. The latter noted that some of the improper practices in the borough of Montreal-Nord which surfaced in the report were also going on in other boroughs.

Since that time, the union has been actively working on rectifying the shortcomings uncovered by Soares.

“Since the report was submitted, we have met with the members concerned in the borough of Montreal-Nord. We have also been working quite intensively with external specialists to implement a broad-based awareness and training campaign dealing with the adverse effects of racism and discrimination in all of our working environments. All stewards and committee members will receive training on how to identify and combat racist or discriminatory actions,” said Luc Bisson, president of the Syndicat des cols bleus regroupés de Montréal.

“As for discussions that have already begun on the resolution of racism-related grievances, several other dates have already been indicated in the agenda. With the participation of the local representatives concerned, all resolution proposals will be submitted to the persons affected for approval,” added Frantz Élie, a CUPE union representative.