Laval, October 19, 2017 – Thirteen workers at Kingsway, a subsidiary of Transforce, lost their jobs in Côte-Nord in the past few weeks. It seems the cause was an insufficient volume of merchandise for delivery.
The Teamsters Union, which represents a total of 5,500 truckers in Québec – including these 13 workers –, is currently examining its legal options to challenge these job losses.
“We believe that some jobs could have been saved and that’s why we’re now studying the possibility of filing grievances in this case,” explained Michel Héroux, President of Teamsters Local Union 1999. “As far as I’m concerned, these are ten jobs too many lost in a region that’s struggling to keep its workers and its industries.”
Last August, Kingsway sent the Teamsters two letters to announce its intention to close two terminals in October, one in Sept-Îles and the other in Baie-Comeau.
Up until a few months ago, TST Overland, another Transforce subsidiary, handled the merchandise deliveries, before it transferred the contracts to Kingsway. A few weeks ago, TST Overland decided to take the contracts back, and then it transferred them again, this time to a non-unionized trucking company.
As a general rule, non-unionized companies offer working conditions that are inferior to those enjoyed by unionized truck drivers.
“In theory, a non-unionized trucking company charges less for its deliveries because it pays its workers less,” said the union leader. “Subcontracting is great for a company’s employers and shareholders. Workers, however, lose their jobs, which has an impact on their communities and families.”
The Teamsters union represents close to 125,000 workers across Canada, including 5,500 truck drivers in Québec. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters has 1.4 million members in North America.
Stéphane Lacroix, Director of Communications and Public Affairs