Home and apartment builders are already struggling with price increases and hard-to-obtain materials.

The Association of Professional Construction and Housing of Quebec (APCHQ) fears that a strike will add on Friday to the headache that home and apartment builders are already experiencing, struggling with price increases. price and materials difficult to obtain.

July 1 is approaching, and residential contractors must deliver houses and apartments on time. “We have a lot of worries already. We shouldn’t add a strike to that, ”says François Bernier, vice-president of public affairs at APCHQ, in an interview. He qualifies this year as “catastrophic”, highlighting “all the situations of delays” and the materials “terribly difficult to obtain”.

“For sure every day counts. July 1 is tomorrow morning. Already, it takes all the energy in the world to get to do what we have to do. We don’t need a strike. Like any hazard, we could always survive a short break, but we certainly could not tolerate a long work stoppage, “he adds.

Negotiations are still ongoing between the employers’ associations – APCHQ is one of the four – and the Union Alliance, whose five unions represent the 190,000 workers in the industry. But the threat of a strike starting on May 21 is looming large, unless the negotiations bear fruit by then.

Mobile applications

Agreements expired April 30, and construction workers do not receive retroactive pay increases to the expiration date of collective agreements, unlike other sectors of the economy.

The issue is not salary. It deals with the use of mobile applications to be downloaded to the worker’s personal smartphone.

These applications allow you to record the arrival and departure times of the site, as well as overtime. The Union Alliance says it fears for workers’ privacy because of geolocation and access to data on the worker’s home phone.

François Bernier accuses the unions of “disinformation” and assures that the fears of the Union Alliance are “unfounded”. He assures that entrepreneurs have no intention of tracking their employees with geolocation or worrying about their personal data.

“It’s unlikely that we get into a conflict over a simple question of electronic tallying, on an unreal basis. This is a false argument, a false fear of invading privacy, ”said Bernier.