Montreal's Mayor Jean Drapeau attended the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Lausanne personally, to assure members that the site for next year's Olympics in Montreal will be ready on time.
CU Signs in hall (2 shots)
Background: Montreal's Mayor Jean Drapeau attended the International Olympic Committee (IOC) meeting in Lausanne personally, to assure members that the site for next year's Olympics in Montreal will be ready on time.
A strike by members of Quebec's building trades unions had halted work on Olympic construction sites; but workers today (22 May) decided to defy militant union leaders and return to work.
On arrival in Lausanne M. Drapeau told newsmen: "It is important for Montreal, the Province of Quebec and the world that the games go right on as planned. We won't let anything interfere with that."
But despite M. Drapeau's confidence, there are still fears that the industrial peace now in force in Quebec will bot be permanent, and the work on the complex is already running perilously close to deadlines.
In Lausanne, Switzerland, the International Olympic Committee began work on its seventy-sixth session, with serious problems to tackle on Wednesday.
Its greatest concern was the building unions' strike which severely set back construction work on the Montreal site for next year's games.
But the Canadian organisers tried hard to set the IOC at session, Montreal's Mayor arrived in Lausanne, just as news came through that the strike had ended. Mayor Drapeau, accompanied by the President of the Canadian Organising Committee Roger Rousseau, told reporters: "The installations for the games will be there". He had just heard that Quebec's building workers had defied militant union leaders in ending the two-week-old strike.
IOC President Lord Killanin and the other delegates earlier suggested the Canadian organising committee produce plans for an alternative athletics stadium ... an idea which Monsieur Drapeau rejected as a waste of energies.
Monsieur Drapeau is confident the site will be ready in good time for the games, but others are not so confident.
Although the workers are back on the job, deadlines for completion of the project are perilously close, and present industrial peace may not be lasting.
The strike, over a Quebec Government move to place building unions under trusteeship, is a long-standing dispute, which could erupt again. And with only fourteen months before the Games are due to start, the project could barely survive another setback.