December 7, 2016
Our government must act!
Montreal December 7, 2016- The FTQ and its affiliates unanimously adopted two resolutions proposed by the IAMAW to combat relocation and abusive subcontracting. (content of the two resolutions at the end of this letter) The goal is to bring both levels of government into concrete action to protect jobs and defend the manufacturing sector.
Savage closures, offshoring and outsourcing show to the lack of political will on the part of our governments to refuse to protect citizens and to promote a more just and fair national economy. Certain elements in the various free trade agreements and the absence of legislative measures that protect our jobs have a significant impact on working conditions and job stability of Canadian workers. Every day we have examples of this imbalance in the management of our economy.
Statement by David Chartrand Vice-President of the FTQ and IAMAW Quebec Coordinator:
"It is very hard to analyse. When you look at the phenomenon from the point of view of the company, you realize that demanding flexibility from workers, subcontracting, relocating or closures, makes the business more productive, more competitive, and raises its returns. In certain perspectives, growing the economy as a whole.
Except that most of the time our governments do not look at the other side of the coin when they put in place the conditions that facilitate this kind of operation. They do not look at the impacts of their economic policy on workers, on people who earn their lives one pay at a time, those who are in the real economy and who physically create wealth and consume it day after day. The latter see their job safety eliminated, their working conditions becoming precarious, their pension funds vanish, their plans for the future diminished. These workers lose rights and freedoms in the name of economic growth that is benefiting them less and less.
I am not against the idea of facilitating trade, but it is ridiculous to see governments implement free trade agreements that diminish the autonomy of their citizens. These policies compromise their health, access to quality education, right to enjoy a healthy environment and earn a decent living.
In the name of the liberalization of markets, a handful of politicians and people from the 1% are telling the vast majority of the population, sorry, but in the name of economic growth we regret to tell you that you will have to give up a bright future. Multinational companies have no social responsibility for the country in which they are located. The ability of states to create an environment conducive to happiness, freedom and security of every citizen is compromised by the economic policies that prioritizes business growth and puts it up against hyper competitiveness among workers all over the world.
To restore balance
The IAMAW will promote 6 propositions that will address both levels of government in an attempt to restore balance and further humanize the economic development of Quebec and Canada.
1. We demand our governments obtain employment guarantees when they give tax breaks, loans or subsidies to a multinational company.
2. We demand that laws be put in place for companies to assume social and economic responsibilities in the event of savage closures, relocation or abusive subcontracting.
3. We call for the introduction of measures requiring an employer to disclose all information relevant to all workers and their representatives and/or grant them time to bargain packages, training, etc...in the event of a closure, relocation or subcontracting of production is planned.
4. We hope that organizations such as the Quebec Institute of Statistics and Statistics Canada will have the mandate to research and publish clear and complete data on the phenomena of relocation, subcontracting and real impact on workers and the national economy.
5. We believe that public contracts should be used to promote quality jobs. Employers who do not respect their commitments and relocate or subcontract to escape labor laws should be excluded from public contracts.
6. We call on our governments to actively promote, internationally, the respect for fundamental social and human rights, and disregard, even sanction multinational corporations that relocate their activities to places where human rights not respected.
Content of resolutions
Act against abusive subcontracting
CONSIDERING THAT subcontracting is a strategy frequently used by companies when it comes to saving on wages and benefits provided to workers.
CONSIDERING THAT more and more employers are using outsourcing primarily to try to reduce their spending and to have less responsibility for a particular group of workers.
CONSIDERING THAT this behavior directly limits the bargaining power of workers by reducing the number of unionized employees within the same workplace or by dividing their solidarity.
CONSIDERING that it also promotes random dismissals and job insecurity.
CONSIDERING THAT this practice contributes to the deterioration of working conditions, lower wages and, more generally, to the deterioration of Québec's economic and social climate.
CONSIDERING THAT the abusive and unjustified use of subcontracting contributes to the financial insecurity of many Quebec families and that it must not be tolerated by anyone who has the well being of its fellow citizens at heart.
IT IS PROPOSED THAT the FTQ put pressure on the Government of Quebec to legislate against abusive subcontracting practices.
Relocation of work
CONSIDERING that offshoring poses a danger to both workers and the national economy;
CONSIDERING THAT offshoring is first and foremost a management strategy aimed at maximizing profits and has a negative impact on the working conditions, wages and employment stability of workers in industrialized countries;
CONSIDERING that it is not normal economic practice, but rather a strategy elaborated by certain individuals and governments wishing to satisfy the interests of investors and multinational companies on the backs of workers;
CONSIDERING THAT facilitating the use of offshoring reduces the control that the citizens and the government have on the economy and the creation of jobs in Quebec;
CONSIDERING that it creates a considerable tax loss for our governments, which contributes to austerity policies that are harming the well-being of Quebecers;
CONSIDERING that companies must assume the social costs of their decisions when undertaking a process of relocation of their activities, especially if they receive any government assistance and do not currently have any requirements regarding the volume of work to be maintained in Québec.
CONSIDERING THAT the process of relocation ensures that companies using this strategy reduce their production costs, while choosing countires where human, environmental, and labor rights are generally not respected and that it is unworthy of a government to be complicit in this kind of practice;
IT IS PROPOSED that FTQ and its affiliated unions join forces to demand from the Québec government, legislative measures that will promote the creation and protection of jobs in Quebec and that will oversee the relocation of work and the employers who do so.
For more information:
Office: (514) -332-1912
Cell: (514) -966-0915