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Fire in the Olympic Stadium  Contract workers in sports centers were laid off before the agreed date

Fire in the Olympic Stadium Contract workers in sports centers were laid off before the agreed date

About twenty employees at the Olympic Stadium Sports Center were laid off without pay after the fire that led to the closure of part of the building at the end of March, although their contracts continued until the end of March in late spring.

“We know that this is a case of force majeure, but it is being abused,” laments the vice president of their union, Emil Dorigo.

He explains that these employees – pool, spinning, rehabilitation, boxing or yoga instructors – signed contracts last January for a period of several months.

For about fifteen of them, these contracts expired on May 5, while for the remaining five, they were scheduled to run until June 23.

However, on the night of March 20 to 21, a fire broke out outside the southeast side of the stadium tower.

The damage caused by soot that infiltrated the ventilation system led to the closure of the National Sports Institute (INS) of Quebec, the rental floors of the Montreal Tower and the Sports Center of the Olympic Stadium, for a period of four to six months. Months.

The situation is frustrating

Therefore, all employees of the sports center were dismissed and invited to resort to unemployment, even if the contracts were still valid, as Emil Dorigo confirms.

For its part, the Olympic Park indicates that although its facilities were closed on March 21, it continued to pay the salaries of its employees until April 6 inclusive.

“Unfortunately, the Sports Center has to stop all its operations, compensate its members and is therefore no longer able to offer opening hours,” points out Olympic Park Public Relations Advisor, Cédric Issimeni.

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Mr. Isimeni adds that the Olympic Park nevertheless wishes to “maintain the working relationship with employees affected by the closure and pledges to recall them as a priority when the facilities are operational again.”

Emile Dorigo confirms that the situation is very frustrating because the Olympic Park has already received the necessary amounts from Quebec to pay the salaries of these employees.

“It's not as if it's a private company that doesn't have the money to pay it. There, the money is already there, it's already been planned. “What we're asking for is that contracts that are coming to an end are respected. »

For precedent

The Olympic Park employees' union recognizes that their collective agreement leaves discretion to the employer in cases of force majeure, but there is a precedent where their wages have been paid despite facilities being closed, notes Emil Dorigo.

“We went through the same situation during the coronavirus period where they tried not to pay their employees, and it took pressure for them to finally decide to pay their wages,” he said.

For its part, the Olympic Park claims that it pays its employees “from its operational and working income, which comes in particular from subscriptions, registrations and rentals as well as the events it hosts.”

“With the huge loss of our traffic and the cancellation of various events that were planned on the calendar, we are no longer able to maintain the schedules associated with the regular event programming at the Sports Center,” continues the Public Relations Advisor of the Olympic Committee. Park, Cedric Isimene.

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