Montreal, Quebec – A new complaint filed by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) reports five new cases of replacement workers at a Montreal-area Petro-Canada refinery currently under strike.
“This once again demonstrates that Petro-Canada does not abide by the law,” said Daniel Cloutier, CEP National Representative. “It is really unacceptable that a company of this size violates our laws.”
The investigation was carried out after new complaints were filed by the union on the use of replacement workers by Petro-Canada. Last February, at least 26 workers were identified in an investigation report.
“We find it shameful, but management at the Eastern Montreal refinery has been bent on breaking the union since the start of the conflict,” Cloutier said. “To that end, it is willing to go to great lengths and even to break the Quebec law and jeopardize the safety of the refinery workers and of the population. Those presently replacing the unionized staff do not have the same knowledge or expertise. You cannot ask someone to learn in a few weeks what we sometimes spent many years learning. And that is not taking into account the fatigue factor that contributes to weaken one’s judgment.”
Following a serious explosion at a BP refinery in Texas in 2005, public authorities found that fatigue was a determining factor in the accident. “Presently, the managers and other persons running the refinery are working very long hours and many days in a row,” Cloutier said. “We do not want to be alarmists, but we are seriously concerned.”