Unfair competition, tax losses of tens of millions of dollars, reduced working conditions … trucks denounced the arrival of new “disguised employees”, popular in Ontario.
“A Driver inc. It costs 30% to 40% less than an employee, ”sighed Stéphane Lebrun, truck driver at Transport Robert for 24 years.
“We don’t blame the immigrants, who are doing this work because they come here and don’t know the social benefits. They are being exploited a lot,” he said.
Over the past ten years, new types of trucks have crossed our roads: “les Chauffeurs inc. “.
More popular than ever in Ontario, these truck-less incorporated truckers make no deductions at origin.
“It is difficult to pinpoint the performance of Chauffeurs inc., But it is estimated that annually, tens of millions of dollars are not collected in Quebec, if we consider the missing contributions to the Canada Revenue Agency, Revenue Quebec and Commission for Standards., Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST), ”said Marc Cadieux, CEO of the Quebec Trucking Association (ACQ).
“We have a pilot project with CNESST, which has started training in-company inspectors. Ontario has had pilot projects. They have been allowed to recover money,” he added.
“We are amazing, everyone. We cannot be competitive with a company that uses Chauffeurs Inc. “, denounced Jean-Claude Fortin, president of the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
“State tax haven”
For Pascal Gaudet, vice president of truck management at Trans-West, this plague has become a real “state tax haven within the province and the country, supported by the government”.
He said he tried to open a branch in Toronto, but his fifty drivers quickly left him, afraid of deductions.
“When they saw their salary, they were amazed. I told them: ‘It’s unemployment, group insurance, pensions’ ”, he described.
With Teamsters, we’ve seen some companies turn a blind eye, such as Transport Robert, where negotiations have gone out of hand due to clauses about Chauffeurs inc.
“We know that these workers are undermining the jobs and wages of our members and the industry as a whole,” stressed Jean Chartrand, president of Teamsters Local 106.
Groupe Robert did not respond to our interview requests.
” Not a problem “
At the Association of Professional Drivers of Quebec (ARPQ), the general manager, Francis Rouleau, does not see Chauffeurs inc. with both eyes.
“It’s not a problem. An employee, as opposed to a Driver inc., Men get the same salary,” explains one who has already worked as a truck driver.
According to him, all you have to do is file your tax returns in order.
“More and more small companies that hire Chauffeurs inc. For them, it just removes the declarations of origin and all government papers, ”he shared.
In 2019, the Minister of Transport, François Bonnardel, told the magazine Truck transportation “that some companies require their employees to include to reduce tax burdens”.
Asked by The journall, his cabinet returned the ball to the Ministry of Labor, stating that “insufficient claims to be self-employed are not included in the Law relating to labor standards. Instead it is necessary to study the concrete situation of this person to determine his status ”.
In Employment and Social Development Canada, it is argued that a new provision prohibits “an employer from treating its employees as if they were not its employees”, Saskia Rodenburg assured in media relations.
At the Canada Revenue Agency, it recalls “it is not illegal to run a personal service business”, but “the parties must ensure that the actual facts of the employment relationship respect the agreement they have chosen”, underlined by Etienne Biram in communications.
Anonymous tip lines are at Revenu Québec and at CNESST. Companies are starting to exclude their contract carriers that do business with Chauffeurs inc.