Quebec City, QC – Quebec Member of the National Assembly (MNA) for Pontiac André Fortin is the new head of the department of transportation for the province, and the Teamsters are looking for a spot on his dance card.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard appointed Fortin to the post in Wednesday’s cabinet shuffle, making him the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports (Minister of transportation, sustainable movement and electric transportation).
The union representing some 5,500 truckers in Quebec called for a meeting as soon as possible with the new minister, who oversees what it calls the backbone of the province’s economy.
“The trucking industry is at a crossroads, and a meeting with the new Minister of Transport as soon as possible is imperative,” the union said in a release today.
The union’s leaders want to talk with the minister about issues that they say weaken the industry, including Hours of Service, improving highway infrastructure and highway safety statistics, and a proposed rush-hour ban on trucks on the island of Montréal.
“For truckers, the highway is the office,” said Jean Chartrand, president of Teamsters Local 106. “Every day, our members – and all truckers – deal with traffic jams and highway construction, in addition to being squeezed like lemons to deliver goods within deadlines that are often unreasonable. Their working conditions are very tough.”
Chartrand wished the minister success in his new portfolio, and said the cabinet shuffle opens the door to new approaches and solutions to the group’s issues.