Some blue-collar workers in Montreal North face racial discrimination: reports

Some blue-collar workers in Montreal North are alleging discrimination and unfair treatment by the city after two reports were issued on the working conditions in the borough.

The reports found a toxic work environment in the borough where visible minorities are discriminated against.

"You’re more likely to be subjected to jobs that are less safe for you," said Will Prosper from the  Hoodstock community group. "You might be doing more garbage work, you’re going to be working evening shifts."

One of the report says, "Blue-collar workers from under-represented groups are more likely to find themselves in more demanding, non-permanent evening shifts."

The SCFP301 union says it will do everything it can to be sure the city and borough assume their responsibilities and the city says it's working with the borough to implement an action plan to ensure fair and respectful treatment of employees.

Hoodstock said there needs to be real change, such as a hotline for blue-collar workers.

"That they have a place that they can call to say that they are facing discrimination and it’s not going to be the elected official that takes into charge," said Prosper. "It has to be an independent line that you can phone."

Angelo Soares wrote one of the reports and the results are damning.

"There is a systemic racism in the organization but not only this, we also see direct forms of racism," said Soares.

Soares said the report stems from a Facebook page where employees alleged discrimination in the workplace.

He said there's a lack of transparency in the employee complaint process, which often makes it difficult for them.

"This is not the way that you’re going to prevent the problem," he said. "This is the way that you’re going to put people to go into public, into social media and denounce because they are hopeless."

Hoodstock wants to see another report issued because the community group believes discrimination in the borough goes far beyond just blue-collar workers. 

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