Public sector: thousands workers protest in Montreal

marche-commence-12-h-30Tens of thousands of public sector workers protest Saturday in Montreal in order to put pressure on the government as part of negotiations for the renewal of their collective agreements. And they still denounce once budget cuts that affect all services.

The march began at 12 h 30 at the foot of Mount Royal and walkers head to the offices of Prime Minister Philippe Couillard downtown.

No fewer than 225 buses were chartered from all regions of Quebec, and that’s not counting the demonstrators come from the greater Montreal area.

From walking, president of the CSN, Jacques Létourneau, promised that the mobilization would intensify if the government stayed his ground.

This offers to all state employees two years gel followed by three years with increases of 1% per year. The common front of public and parapublic sectors rather demanding 4.5% increase per year for three years, or 13.5% increase.

“We believed in the negotiation. We think we are able to reach a negotiated settlement, but it is clear that if the government does not move, as it does in a year, the mobilization will intensify. It is clear that the anger of the workers is being felt more and more, “reported the president of the CSN, which represents the largest contingent of public sector employees. Some 170 000 of its members are involved in this negotiation.

As many bargaining sessions that have taken place to date have not been successful, the president of the FTQ, Daniel Boyer, warned that the common front would cross some do not.

“Time is running five of them. One enters another phase of our pressure means. This is a demo today. It will also appeal to all of our members in all regions, to undertake socio-economic disruption of activities in the coming days, “warned Mr. Boyer.

In recent days, the CSN – which represents thousands of union members in the health sector and social services, including – announced that his union had received strike mandates 85%. At the Centrale des syndicats du Québec – representing particular two-thirds of teachers in primary and secondary – mandates reach 82%.

“To date the strike mandates are very strong; crowded assemblies. We do not talk of strike mandates 51% or two-thirds. The strike mandates to 85, 90, 95%. The goal is not to strike, it is not to pressure tactics; is to negotiate. We asked Mr. [Martin] Coiteux [President of the Treasury Board] to give mandates to negotiators, because it is finished fooling around. It’s over, otherwise the mandates we are going to exercise, “thundered Mr. Boyer.

The strike mandate of coalition of public and parapublic sector consists of six days of rotating strike, on a regional or national basis, to be observed when deemed appropriate. This is the common front which will eventually decide the date of these walkouts, if any.

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