BTI and Drivers Conciliating Essential Services

The Capitale Transportation Network (CTC) and its bus drivers do not agree on the essential services to be maintained if the strike announced for next Monday is indeed triggered. Both parties are currently conciliation before the Administrative Labor Court (TAT).

The Union of Metropolitan Public Transport Employees of Metropolitan Quebec (SETPQM), affiliated with the CSN, unveiled Thursday its proposal for essential services, which was summarized at peak hours, between 6:15 am and 9:15 am and between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, Afternoon, Monday to Friday.

In an Info-Negoti trade union leaflet released Monday, it is now a question of an “amended list” taking into account a decision of the Council of essential services published in 2004, the year of the last strike of the SETPQM. The government agency then forced the takeover of the express at peak hours.

However, drivers do not want to work weekends. A decision was issued in 2004, but it was never enforced as the conflict resolved in one week.

The employers did not advertise their requests. RTC President Remy Normand argued Friday that the public carrier does not want to negotiate in the public square or create expectations with customers.

It is not surprising, however, that the RTC considers the service at peak hours on Saturdays and Sundays as a minimum.

In conciliation

There is clearly no agreement at hand on essential services since the parties were called before a conciliator on Monday. Johanne Roy, spokesperson for the Labor Court, the body that swallowed the Essential Services Board, confirmed that the RTC and the drivers’ union were in reconciliation all day.

If an agreement occurs at this stage of the process, the decision will be ratified by a TAT judge and then publicized. Otherwise, a public hearing will be held later this week. Employers and employees will meet before a judge and interested parties will be able to intervene. Essential services will be taxed and the public will be informed.

The representatives of the RTC also presented on Friday evening a “comprehensive, but not final” offer to the drivers. The union replied on Saturday that “their deposit was disappointing and that it could not constitute a basis of settlement”, as reported in Info-Nego. The employer “went a little way on our demands, but it is clearly insufficient to think that we are close to an agreement in principle”, reads.

The trade unionists are also informed that “it is not impossible that we should make the means of pressure before the strike begins”. Drivers have already switched off the GPS to track buses in real time. In a press conference on Thursday, the president of the SEPTQM, Ghislain Dolbec, had not hidden that other gestures could follow this week.

Four trading meetings are still scheduled for Friday.

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