Air cut off to underwater divers during dispute, Que. hearing told

Posted: 10/31/2011 in all marine news

Marianne White – 

Scuba divers who refused to leave a Quebec dock during a labour dispute had their air compressors shut off while they were underwater, a hearing was told Thursday.

The hearings into a controversial bill to overhaul job placement in the Quebec construction industry wrapped up Thursday the way they started — with allegations of intimidation on work sites.

A small union rival of the province’s largest union, the Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL), reported the lives of some of its members were put in danger this week when people showed up at the Trois-Rivieres, Que., dock Monday to close the work site as part of a wave of wildcat strikes to protest against the government bill.

The men argued with the scuba divers who refused to leave and retaliated by shutting down the air compressors of other divers who were underwater, the hearing was told.

“This is totally disgusting,” Patrick Daigneault, president of the CSD-Construction told members of the legislature studying Bill 33.

The bill would see unions lose power over who may work on construction sites in the province. The two major construction unions — QFL and the Conseil provincial du Quebec des metiers de la construction, known as l’International — are adamantly opposed to the changes.

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