Québec City, June 20, 2017. – Dominique Vien, the Minister responsible for Labour, Minister responsible for the Chaudière-Appalaches region and MNA for Bellechasse, emphasizes that in recent years the Government of Quebec’s actions on labour have helped respond not only to the concrete needs of workers and employers in Quebec, but also to the concerns of citizens.
With the increase in the minimum wage, the tangible measures to help victims of spring flooding, flexibility for volunteer workers in construction, the special act to ensure the resumption of work in the construction industry and the announcement of the targeted review of the Act respecting labour standards, the Minister of Labour has been very active.
We have listened to Quebecers on their concerns about labour. We have taken a significant step regarding minimum wage with an increase over four years to reach 50% of the average hourly salary, a first in the history of Quebec, with an increase of $0.50/hr this year, the highest since 2010. We are also on our way to loosening the regulations around volunteer work in construction. To preserve Quebec’s economic activity and promote the resumption of negotiations, we introduced a special act to put an end to the strike in the construction industry. During the recent floods, I asked the organizations under my responsibility to take every step necessary to support the victims who now have to remake a home. Throughout the coming year, we will maintain this momentum by undertaking a targeted review of the Act respecting labour standards.
– Dominique Vien, Minister responsible for Labour, Minister responsible for the Chaudière-Appalaches region and MNA for Bellechasse
- A $0.50 increase—the greatest since 2010—in the general minimum wage rate, which reached $11.25 an hour on May 1, benefiting 350,600 workers. The minister also announced a progressive increase over four years, a first in the history of Quebec. This will allow minimum wage, in 2020, to reach 50% of the average hourly salary, without exceeding it.
- The forthcoming entry into effect of the rules on volunteer construction work. This will give more flexibility to the execution of work while ensuring the safety of volunteers and premises.
- Adoption by the National Assembly of Québec of Bill n°142, An Act to ensure the resumption of work in the construction industry and the settlement of disputes for the renewal of the collective agreements. For the good of the population as a whole, the Act limited the major economic impacts of an unlimited general strike in the construction industry.
- During the spring flooding, the Minister of Labour asked the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ), the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) as well as the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) to take every step necessary to facilitate the reconstruction process as well as a rapid return to normality for the families affected by the floods. Thanks to an information kit, public information sessions, the establishment of phone lines reserved for flood victims and the compilation of a list of contractors who have committed to respecting a fair and equitable price, we were able to equip and support those who now have to rebuild their homes.
- Announcement of the targeted review of the Act respecting labour standards in keeping with the commitment taken during the Rendez-vous national sur la main-d’œuvre in February 2017. This will better reflect changes in the workplace, with particular attention paid to work-family balance and quality of life at work for employees, while increasing the gains in productivity for businesses.