Steelworkers union call for clean-up in traffic sign industry

By Lia Lévesque, The Canadian Press

The united steelworkers union is calling for a major clean-up of the industry because they are tired of seeing road signalers injured or killed on the job.

It says it wants to improve safety, training and information and launch a new whistleblower hotline.

The road signage industry is now governed by a joint employer-worker committee, following the adoption of a decree by the Quebec government.

The steelworkers union, which is affiliated with the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), is calling for a group to better supervise the industry, ensure that road signalling agencies are certified, verify that equipment complies with standards, inspect signalling work to ensure that it complies with standards, and to introduce comprehensive training to receive competency cards.

The union reports that the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST) recorded 215 work-related injuries among road signalers in 2022.

The steelworkers are planning to launch a “whistleblower hotline” in May, so that anyone who notices a non-compliance, or a problem can report it.

“We hope that the government will listen to our demands to regularise the situation on construction sites and ensure the safety of our workers,” said president of the steelworkers’ union’s local Nathalie Perron. “It can’t go on like this. Everything really needs to be tightened up in terms of safety, competency cards, (and there needs to be) more presence on the road too.”

This report by La Presse Canadienne was translated by CityNews.

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