Union members are finding it hard to stomach that former minister David Heurtel is bringing in workers from Slovenia instead of Quebecers to build Metro’s $420 million automated center in Terrebonne.
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“It doesn’t make, let’s say, an excellent corporate citizen when a metro in the world hires Europeans instead of Quebecers,” he denounces protocol Éric Ledoux, General Manager and Industrial Mechanic of Local 2182, Member of the Quebec Provincial Construction Council.
“Lack of respect,” “disempowerment,” “lack of ethics”… The union member has harsh words for Metro, a flagship store here that has 950 grocery stores, including those under his name, and the Super Cs.
“We have 30 mechanics in the area who are covered by employment insurance and they might also buy from Metro,” he says, disappointed with the company here, which has sales in excess of $18 billion.
In the past few days, former Liberal Minister David Heurtel, who advocates bringing these workers from Slovenia to the company MOS Servis doo, declined the interview request of the protocol through his law firm Fassen.
File photo, Simon Clark
David Todayl Former Liberal Minister and lobbyist
misers of comments
Neither MOS Servis doo nor Germany’s Witron behind the $420 million, 60,000 square meter technology center could answer our questions.
The Slovenian company MOS Servis doo, where the workers come from, is based in the town of Podplat, almost 6,500 kilometers from Terrebonne.
Mandate over $10,000
In his mandate, David Heurtel says he wants work permits “after applications for the temporary selection of technicians in specialized services”.
According to the register, he expects to pay between $10,000 and $50,000 for his lobbying work.
Two public offices are being targeted, namely Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, also a local MP, and Immigration Minister Jean Boulet.
However, according to Local 2182’s Éric Ledoux, it’s sad that workers outside of Quebec are being brought in when people from here want to do the work.
“There would be more than twenty foreign workers on the site, while we would have about thirty unemployed mechanics who could do it,” he says.
“We have the world to do it. We even have a dozen resumes from people willing to join a labor boom,” he adds.
According to him, for a few years now, certain Quebec companies Inc. no longer hesitate to resort to this type of outside workforce.
“We’ve seen Jean Coutu in Varennes or at the Simons in Quebec. They’re getting more and more. There are some who might be bothered by that,” he says.
Despite several attempts, Metro declined to comment.
►Nearly 90,000 people work for Metro, which also owns pharmacy brands Jean Coutu and Brunet across Quebec.