Quebec’s most powerful labour union made good Monday on a promise to paralyze construction sites across the province.
The Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL) ordered thousands of workers to stage a wildcat strike to protest a provincial law aimed at cracking down on union intimidation tactics.
QFL officials blocked access to Quebec’s biggest construction sites, including the McGill superhospital site west of downtown Montreal.
In northern Quebec, workers refused to board buses for the Romaine River dam, the largest project in the province.
Construction giant SNC Lavalin called police after workers blocked access to the site of a major bridge linking Montreal with the sprawling northern suburb of Laval.
There was also a rally planned at the headquarters of Quebec’s construction commission.
The QFL is upset about Bill 33, which would give the commission more power to control union affiliation.
The proposed law is a response to reports that construction workers have been threatened if they don’t belong to the QFL.
Former labour minister Laurent Lessard received death threats when he began a union crackdown in 2005.
His successor, Lise Theriault, had a second bodyguard assigned to her this month but insists she’s “not afraid” for her safety.