City workers ‘ready for war’ over proposed pension reform bill
MONTREAL — City employees say they are hopping mad and frustrated with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.
On Wednesday, they expressed their anger by plastering the front entrance of the Premier’s Montreal office with a wall of red stickers.
They say they are ready for a war over Bill 3, a proposed piece of legislation which aims to modify retirement deals for city employees — including police officers and firefighters.
“Premier Couillard declared war,” union spokesperson Marc Ranger told Global News.
“He decided to go after us, he chose the path of war, if he wants to have war with us, fine, let’s have a war.”
Protests were held Wednesday in 10 cities across the province.
The Montreal office of Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand was also targeted. Workers blocked a part of Jean-Talon Street for about an hour.
For most of the summer, workers have been publicly denouncing Bill 3.
Police officers have been dressing down, wearing red caps and flashy pants.
On June 17, a bonfire was set in front of Montreal City Hall.
On August 1, protestors voiced their outrage at a youth sporting event: the Jeux du Quebec.
“Let’s say I take something from your pocket,” city worker Jean-Francois Martin told Global News.
“You’re going to defend yourself, right? Well, it’s the same thing for us.”
Next week, starting August 20, a parliamentiary hearing will be held on the issue in Quebec City.
Union officials are already saying it will be a big waste of time.
“We put a lot of confidence in the upcoming hearings,” says Chris Ross, vice-president of the Montreal Firefighters Union.
“The Premier has no plans on backing down which makes it seem like a farce.”
Union official Marc Ranger hints there will be more “intense” protests in the coming days and weeks.
“Nothing is excluded,” he says.
© Shaw Media, 2014