Operations & Services Continue | Notre-Dame-des-Neiges
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The Cemetery Remains Operational and Services Continue Despite the Labour Dispute with Adminstrative Personnel

La Fabrique, the non-profit organization in charge of managing the historical site of the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, wishes to once again state that services considered essential, such as burials, are still taking place despite the labour dispute with administrative personnel.

Montreal, September 21, 2023

Over the last year, labour disputes considerably delayed site maintenance and burial services, thereby affecting numerous families as well as members of the general population wishing to pay their respects on the Cemetery’s grounds. Following several negotiation periods, La Fabrique jointly settled a number of matters, including the maintenance personnel’s collective agreement, which recently allowed the Cemetery to be reopened to the general public. The priority of the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery remains to serve bereaved families with the utmost respect, so that their loved one’s burials may take place at the earliest opportunity.

Gradual Return to Normal

As indicated when the site reopened to the public on September 11th, La Fabrique is proactively working with families in order to organize the burial calendar and eliminate the backlog, which accumulated over recent months, by December. The order of priority of the burials is respected as much as possible, although certain logistical considerations raised by families may bring about changes to the calendar. Overall, the situation is progressing well.

La Fabrique wishes to thank the employees assigned to the maintenance of the premises, as their dedicated work enabled the reopening of the site to the general public, allowed families to resume long-awaited burials, and made it possible to welcome the deceased and their loved ones with dignity.

“The respect and serenity of the grounds is of the utmost importance, and we are pleased that the Cemetery is once again open to the public”, stated Michel Issa, the new Chief Executive Officer of La Fabrique. “We would like to remind the public that services are maintained at the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, although certain administrative delays may occur due to current circumstances. Our objective is to serve families with all the dignity they deserve.”

La Fabrique offers its thanks to the public for their generous patience.

“The respect and serenity of the grounds is of the utmost importance, and we are pleased that the Cemetery is once again open to the public. [...] Our objective is to serve families with all the dignity they deserve.”

— Michel Issa, General Director of La Fabrique

Administrative Personnel Labour Dispute

The labour dispute with administrative personnel is ongoing. A negotiation process was launched several months ago. La Fabrique remains available to discuss reasonable union demands with the unionized personnel and reiterates its interest in a mutually productive resolution to this labour dispute.

However, yesterday the administrative personnel’s union organized a noisy demonstration at the Cemetery’s entrance points. This demonstration disrupted the peacefulness of the site. Several people, including a pastoral team member who came to offer final prayers, were temporarily prevented from accessing the site. Some demonstrators noisily approached the administrative offices and attempted to enter the premises.

“A large number of issues were settled over the past months, always with the objective of reopening the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery in the best possible conditions for all concerned parties, including the public”, added Michel St-Amour, volunteer administrator of La Fabrique. “However, we deplore any noisy demonstration and any disruptive behaviour during burials. Certain events were worrisome to visitors during their moments of contemplation. La Fabrique remains open to dispute arbitration and invites the administrative personnel’s union to continue the negotiation process in collaboration with the mediation services of the Ministry of Labour.” 

About the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery

Founded in 1854, the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery is the largest in Canada. Open to all faiths, it ensures that nearly one million deceased persons rest in respect and dignity, and provides comfort and serenity to their loved ones. It offers a range of goods and services to help bereaved families pay a fitting tribute to their dear ones. Its staff provides compassionate and professional welcome and support. Located in an incomparable natural environment within the Mount Royal heritage site, recognized by its status as a National Historic Site of Canada, the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery has over 13,500 trees, is a unique place of contemplation in Montréal, and acts as an essential witness to our society’s history.

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