Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Deadline set on Quebec construction strike

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QUEBEC -- Quebec Premier Pauline Marois is giving the province's striking construction workers and their bosses until the end of the week to come to an agreement.

If that doesn't happen, Marois says she'll introduce back-to-work legislation.

In the meantime, she appointed a new mediator on Monday to help the two sides reach a deal.

"It's always better for the two sides to reach an agreement rather than introduce back-to-work legislation," Marois told reporters in Quebec City.

"We want people to come back to work happy and be productive."

About 175,000 construction workers in the residential, commercial and industrial sector have been off the job since last Monday. Talks between the unions and an alliance of construction companies broke off past midnight on Sunday after a lengthy weekend negotiation session.

The main sticking points include wages, overtime and labour mobility.

But Marois said there's reason for optimism after an agreement in principle was reached Monday for the 41,000 people who work on the province's roads.

The construction strike has stalled work on Montreal's two megahospitals, which are among the biggest construction projects in Canada.

It's also causing concern for people waiting to move into new homes and condos. July 1 is Quebec's traditional moving day.

 

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 25, 2013 B8

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