Politics
Bill to send Quebec construction workers back to work being debated

Yves Oullet and other representatives of the Quebec construction industry address contract talks June 13, 2013.

Credits: JEAN-FRANÇOIS DEGAGNES/QMI AGENCY

QMI AGENCY

MONTREAL - Quebec legislators debated on Sunday a back-to-work bill seeking to end the two-week construction strike that has paralyzed much of the province's construction industry.

Quebec Premier Pauline Marois recalled MNAs from vacation on Sunday and her government threatened to cancel the bill entirely if opposition parties continued to demand significant amendments.

MNAs were still debating Sunday evening.

The minority Parti Quebecois' bill would extend the 2010 collective agreement between the two sides to April 2017. The bill also includes salary increases for construction workers of about 2% per year.

The opposition Quebec Liberal Party and the Coalition Avenir Quebec demanded that the collective agreement be extended by one year only.

The Liberals on Sunday evening dropped their demand that salary increases be pegged to the Consumer Price Index.

About 80,000 construction workers - many of whom work on Quebec's major infrastructure projects - went on strike after their negotiating team could not reach an agreement with the L'association de la construction du Québec (ACQ), the management association representing construction companies.


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