The 162 layoffs issued by Quebec City last week have been deemed illegal by the Commission des relations du travail du Québec (CRT).
The city must end its illegal lockout and compensate the employees for the pay they’ve missed out on since being let go, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) — the union representing the workers — said in a press release.
CUPE first learned of the impending layoffs when it obtained an internal memo from the city on April 12. The two parties were in the midst of negotiating a new contract, but the union broke off talks when it received the document.
The city let the workers go on April 17, but the union quickly filed a motion with the CRT asking for the layoffs to be deemed illegal.
The city’s 1,350 blue-collar employees have been without a contract since December 2010. The two parties have met 13 times over the past year, including four times with a provincial mediator, according to the union.
CUPE says it has a strike date in mind, but must give seven days’ notice before any job action takes place.
The key issues in the dispute are wages and workload.
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