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More than 50,000 Quebec students to strike seeking pay for internships

The CEGEP du Vieux-Montreal is shown in a Facebook post from April, 2017. Credit - CEGEP du Vieux-Montreal Facebook

MONTREAL — Thousands of post-secondary students in Quebec are walking out of class this week to protest against unpaid internships.

More than 50,000 students are expected to take part in the action hitting junior colleges and universities across the province.

A Montreal junior college, the CEGEP du Vieux-Montreal, was among the first to cancel all classes today after striking students formed a picket line outside the school.

The striking university and college students want the provincial government to start ensuring student interns get paid for their work, much of which is in public-sector fields.

A student organization says it is unfair to require students to complete unpaid internships as a condition of graduating. It says the current system also means they are not protected by provincial labour standards.

Walkouts are planned in Gatineau, Rimouski, Sherbrooke and Quebec City as well as Montreal. Students are planning a protest Wednesday in Montreal.

The Canadian Press