Common front announces 7 day strike: Dec. 8 to 14

"We have a window to finish everything before Christmas, we can't stop the pressure now," said the Common front inter-union group representing 420,000 Quebec public workers who are going back on strike Dec. 8 to 14. Tina Tenneriello reports.

The inter-union common front group representing some 420,000 public workers in health, education, and social services will be going on strike once again, this time for a week, from Dec. 8 to 14 – if an agreement isn’t reached before then. This would affect the English school boards in the Greater Montreal area.

The common front made the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday morning.

The group of unions has already gone on strike twice in November. Once for a day, and then for three consecutive days.

Members have also voted for an unlimited general strike, which they have no yet used. But the common front warned they will if the negotiations don’t resolved before 2024.

On Tuesday, they reiterated that they hope to reach an agreement before the holidays, and believe it’s possible.

“It’s possible but then again we’re ready if it goes after Christmas with a general strike but that’s not what we want,” said Éric Gingras, the President of the CSQ union.

The group says they have seen movement at the bargaining table since the appointment of a conciliator between the Quebec government and the public workers unions.

“We are feeling movement and that’s why we are choosing seven days instead of an unlimited general strike,” said Robert Comeau, President of the APTS union.

“It’s not perfect, it’s pretty slow but at least we have some movement. We have more movement in the past weeks than in the past year,” added Francois Enault, the first vice-president of the CSN.

The Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé (FIQ) union representing nurses and other healthcare professionals also held strike days at two different times in November.

And, the Fédération autonome de l’enseignement (FAE), which represents 66,000 elementary and high school teachers, are currently on an unlimited strike which began last Thursday.

Negotiations with the Quebec government have stalled over the issue of wages and working conditions.

“We still have an attack from the employer on the pension plan, they have to remove that, that’s for sure, and the salary 10.3 per cent over five years it makes no sense – so that’s the two big issues,” Enault added.

Recent surveys have shown Quebecers are behind public workers, the common front called on them to continue showing support.

“It’s hard for the population, it’s hard for our members, but they know what’s at stake. The population knows. Our members know. That’s why we have a strategy that puts pressure on the government but also says to the population that we know it’s hard but let’s get a deal done,” Gingras said.

On Tuesday the Quebec Liberal Party called for Quebec’s Tresory Board President, Sonia LeBel, who is negotiating, to resign.

Top Stories

Top Stories