Lisa Djevahirdjian | CUPE Communications

In September 2015, the Couillard Liberal government signed a “Partnership Agreement” with Quebec’s mayors that will last from 2016 to 2019. The agreement commonly known as the “tax deal,” would empower the province’s municipalities to dictate the working conditions of their employees. 

Giving municipalities the power to determine the outcome of bargaining is a direct infringement of the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike. According to the Supreme Court, these are fundamental rights that are protected by the Charter of Rights. Taking away workers’ right to strike is illegal in Canada. 

In conjunction with the Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL), CUPE has launched a campaign to alert Quebec workers of the dangers of the proposed legislation, which will be tabled this spring. The public campaign kicked off in February with radio ads. 

After three weeks of the radio campaign a poster campaign was initiated in workplaces and a website was launched. This site informs the public about what is at stake and provides the opportunity to send an email to Members of the National Assembly. 

The objective is to in.crease public awareness and encourage action against this ill-advised plan on the part of the Couillard government. The labour movement is troubled by the agreement, which would have the consequence of wiping out the right to collective bargaining and the right to strike. It would amount to a very serious attack on labour relations in Quebec and Canada.