The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has a zero tolerance policy regarding intimidation and verbal abuse of its employees. The Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety also requires that the STM take all the necessary measures to safeguard the health and ensure the safety and integrity of all workers.
Montréal, January 27, 2020 – The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has a zero tolerance policy regarding intimidation and verbal abuse of its employees. The Act Respecting Occupational Health and Safety also requires that the STM take all the necessary measures to safeguard the health and ensure the safety and integrity of all workers. This policy applies to all STM employees, including STM maintenance union president Gleason Frenette.
Further to Frenette receiving written warnings, the STM decided to suspend him, as it would have done with any other employee under such circumstances. It should be noted that this suspension is related to Frenette’s actions and not his union activities.
Moreover, it should be specified that, contrary to the remarks made by Frenette, the STM has no intention of privatizing a portion of its activities when it can count on competent, dedicated and experienced employees. The company has implemented a temporary action plan, which includes the use of private suppliers, to overcome accumulated bus maintenance delays. These measures are also necessary in a context where the STM is renovating or expanding several of its maintenance facilities to allow for greater capacity in the coming decades. Turning to the private sector for certain types of activities is in fact recognized as a sound practice in the industry.
Overall, the action plan has one objective: guarantee the availability of buses to deliver the service promised. There are no job cuts, and all maintenance employees are working their shifts and have access to overtime. In addition, the STM is currently hiring extensively. There has been a clear improvement in the number of buses available since the plan was first rolled out, with no notable additional costs for the STM.
The STM recognizes the maintenance union president’s right to exercise his union activities in accordance with the collective agreement in effect and the existing frameworks. He has recourse to means other than intimidation and verbal abuse to express his point of view. The STM proposed that the union consider expedited arbitration regarding the matter of turning to the private sector, which the union executive refused.
By renovating and expanding its facilities, receiving new buses and Azur trains and modernizing its maintenance practices, the STM is taking its network into the 21st century. It is a major challenge, and exceptional measures must be taken to make it a successful transition and deliver the service to which all citizens are entitled. The STM is taking every measure to ensure that it succeeds in doing this.