QUÉBEC, QC – If Mayor Labeaume had any doubts as to the involvement of Québec City’s municipal workers in the movement against Bill 3, he now knows the truth. Nearly 2,000 unionized employees of Québec City, including white and blue-collar workers, firefighters and police officers, recently gathered for a demonstration outside of their city hall.
Anger among the city’s workers has continued to build as they took to the streets once again to express their frustration at Bill 3’s breach of people’s fundamental rights. Although members representing the union coalition against Bill 3 were quick to come support their brothers and sisters in Québec City, the majority of participants were from the local area. This demonstration by Québec City workers was also an expression of resounding support for the Coalition syndicale pour la libre négociation [Union Coalition for Free Negotiation], of which all four unions are members.
Many retired former municipal employees also took part in the event.
The demonstration was organized jointly by the Syndicat des employés(es) manuels de la Ville de Québec (CUPE 1638), the Syndicat des fonctionnaires municipaux de Québec (SFMQ) (FISA), the Fraternité des policiers et policières de la Ville de Québec (FPPVQ) and the Association des pompiers professionnels de Québec (APPQ). The unions chartered 32 buses to transport their members to the event at the end of their work shifts along with retired members of the city’s pension plans.
The presidents of all four union organizations – Daniel Simard, Jean Gagnon, Marc Richard and Éric Gosselin – were unanimous in their criticism of the harm Bill 3 will cause to their members as well as its long-term negative impact on labour relations.
“Bill 3 is abusive and arbitrary!” was the message delivered to the crowd by the four union presidents. “This bill undermines the very basis of the bargaining process between workers and employers. It breaks signed contracts and breaches the right to negotiation protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Bill 3 is an underhanded blow to workers! The message we are here to deliver to city officials is, the next time you sit down at the bargaining table, who is going to trust you?”
It is worth noting that the demonstration by municipal workers in Québec City took place at the same time as a meeting of Québec City Council.
Carl Langelier, 418-802-5669, for Jean Gagnon, President, SFMQ (FISA)
Éric Gosselin, President, APPQ, 418-573-3235
Daniel Simard, President, CUPE 1638, 418-933-1943
Marc Richard, President, FPPVQ, 418-683-8558