COOP says taxi strike won’t affect clients

Dispatchers, telephone operators, adapted transportation attendants take to the street

By Geneviève April

Although several of its employees have been on strike since Jan. 16, taxi service in Laval remains unaffected and clients do not see any difference in the quality of service, said CO-OP des propriétaires de taxi de Laval general manager Normand Cormier in an interview with The Suburban.

“All of our services are provided with the same efficiency and quality that clients are used to. Not only is regular service as well as the adapted transportation running as usual, I was told that the phone service was even faster, since [the management staff who are ensuring service during the strike] are not bound by collective agreements regarding breaks,” added Cormier. 

Cormier said he has no idea when the conflict will be resolved.

“We hear things from [union representatives] in the news media, but we are still waiting for them to return to the negotiation table. After all, they are the ones who requested a conciliator.”

Alleging that their employer acted in bad faith with the last offer that he presented during the long negotiation process, the 15-odd employees represented by the Steelworker’s union, Local 2008 voted in favour of an unlimited strike. The labour dispute involves employees who answer client’s calls, dispatch taxis and offer adapted transportation services to clients who request it. 

The Union complained that the employer wants wage cuts and is trying to impose a two-tier wage scale, which it said is unlawful under the Labour Act.

“The employer persists for pennies. It doesn’t make sense. We‘re simply asking for increases of two percent per year and a three-year contract. There is nothing extravagant here. Instead, the employer has the nerve to offer us illegal clauses, with a lower wage for new employees and wage cuts when adopting a new position. It‘s disgusting,” argued Steelworkers union representative Silvy Vaudry in a news release.

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