New scabs at the Petro-Canada refinery
Published: March 31, 2008
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-- Further to a new complaint filed by the Communications, Energy and
Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) about the presence of scabs at the
Petro-Canada refinery, a report shows five new cases of scabs at the
refinery. “This once again demonstrates that Petro-Canada does not abide
by the law. It is really unacceptable that a company of this size
violates our laws,” says Daniel Cloutier, CEP National Representative.
The investigation was carried out after new complaints were filed by the
union on the use of scabs by Petro-Canada. Last February, at least 26
scabs were identified in a first 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. To
that end, it is willing to go to great lengths and even to break the
Québec law and jeopardize the safety of the refinery workers and of the
population,” added Mr. Cloutier. “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. We do not want to be
alarmists but we are seriously concerned,” warned Mr. Cloutier.
Hearings will be held later this week
Further to the first report on the scabs, CEP had obtained an
interlocutory injunction to force Petro-Canada to stop hiring the
persons identified in the report. Later this week, hearings will be held
on a permanent injunction and merits of the case will be debated. “We
certainly intend to demonstrate our contentions and to get those scabs
out of the refinery once and for all,” he concluded.
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