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Canadian Owner-Operators Applaud Ruling

September 28, 2000

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Independent truckers in Canada hope a recent ruling by Quebec's labor commission will bring changes to the labor code that would allow them to unionize and negotiate industry-wide working conditions.

According to the Montreal Gazette, a decision issued last month by labor commissioner Andree St. Georges ruled that 50 truck owner-operators who work for Transport Huppe of Montreal, and who are seeking union certification, are employees as defined by Quebec's labor code.
At a press conference Sunday, the Confederation of National Trade Unions said the ruling is a “crucial victory for the unionization movement,” the Gazette said.
Independent truckers contend that a unionization would not only improve working conditions, but would also help them collectively fight the problem of increasing fuel prices and could lead to fewer truck accidents. There are about 6,000 owner-operators in Quebec.
Independent owner-operators at the U.S. ports have faced a similar problem in their attempts to push for higher pay and better working conditions. Port truckers will be protesting in 15 U.S. and one Canadian city tomorrow as part of an international trucker protest.

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