Montreal, July 6th, 2023
Over the past few weeks, several striking employees and union members have demonstrated many times, often noisily and for several hours at a time, in front of and near the private homes of volunteer Fabrique administrators. This behaviour constitutes an intrusion into a person's home, violating their right to privacy and property, and causing unacceptable harm to the person concerned, their family and the families living in the neighbourhood. These intentional acts of intimidation go beyond what is acceptable as a pressure tactic.
Moreover, on July 5, a group of about forty members of the two unions entered the Notre-Dame Basilica illegally and without authorization, just as a Mass was about to begin in the presence of a number of parishioners. Two Fabrique representatives asked the strikers to leave the premises to respect the faithful and their right to attend Mass under normal conditions. Several members of the operations union refused to acquiesce to this request and even surrounded and pushed roughly the Fabrique representatives when they invited and guided the parishioners towards the sacristy to attend Mass. The strikers finally stormed out of the chapel, blowing whistles and throwing confetti into the Basilica to disturb and disrupt visitors and worshippers.
This violent behaviour, which disrespects fundamental rights, is completely unacceptable. These intentional and malicious acts not only put people's safety at risk, but they also undermine their personal integrity and have prevented several churchgoers from exercising their faith, a right protected under the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms. These actions are plainly unacceptable in our society.
“By their deliberate actions, several strikers have contravened the February 8, 2023, interlocutory injunction. As long as the CSN and the unions encourage and incite their members to undertake such actions and as long as secondary picketing continues, no negotiations can take place. We regret that the families of the bereaved and the deceased are being held hostage by such actions. We have mandated our legal counsels to initiate legal proceedings without delay to put an end to these malicious, offensive and dangerous actions," says Michel St-Amour, volunteer administrator for the Fabrique.