(Montreal) NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice wants to have the Canada Labor Code amended to ensure that wages and working conditions are maintained when there is a change of subcontractor at airports.

He tabled a private member’s bill to that effect on Thursday.

At present, when a contractor at an airport loses its contract to supply meals or fuel, for example, its workers lose their jobs. They must then apply to the new subcontractor who obtained the contract, to carry out the same tasks, in the same place, but with less advantageous conditions.

David Chartrand, from the machinists’ union, which is affiliated with the FTQ in Quebec, illustrates what its members experience in airports. “Imagine: from one day to the next, you can find yourself in a situation where you are applying for the new employer, you are doing the same job that you were doing the day before, with the same responsibilities, the same tools. Nothing changes, except you lose your benefits, you lose your salary, you lose your union representation. And you are caught trying to agree with the employer on a certain rate. »

This system is called contract flipping. And, according to MP Boulerice, the phenomenon is specific to airports.

“It is an anomaly of our Canada Labor Code, which means that, for these workers, for these employees, we go back to square one every time,” explained Mr. Boulerice.

He maintains that in Montreal alone, 600 workers would be affected by the phenomenon.

Two of them testified alongside MM. Boulerice and Chartrand and they have been in the business for about 20 years. One reported that he will soon lose his job and that with the future subcontractor, he may take a “$5 or $6 an hour pay cut and no benefits. “.

The bill tabled by MP Boulerice aims to “plug this breach” which forces workers to start from scratch each time the contract is lost by the subcontractor who employed them.

He reports that the Bloc Québécois is “very, very open” about it.

He says he also spoke to the Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan. “Hopefully they will listen; the dialogue is started. Today, we bring a concrete solution and we say to him: it is high time to act. »

Subcontracting companies, for their part, have already stated that they are caught in a highly competitive environment, where they must submit attractive bids to be chosen.