“We cannot continue to trust blindly in our municipal governments”
MONTREAL – CUPE is launching collector cards under the theme “Les pas fiables” (“The Untrustworthy Ones”) to highlight the absurd nature of the tax agreement as the government prepares to table a bill potentially handing over abusive powers to municipalities in bargaining with their workers.
The “Les pas fiables” postcards depict a number of municipal figures, some of them singled out for abusive or anti-union practices while others either face criminal charges or have been convicted of charges brought against them.
“Collect them all!” urged Denis Bolduc, secretary general of CUPE Quebec. “Only 12 are available at this time, but not for any lack of candidates. We wanted to take an original approach to showing that when it comes to negotiating working conditions, disrupting the balance of power is illegal and unfair. It’s a direct attack on our right to bargain collectively. Maintaining a balance between the parties is critical to prevent abuses, and the potential for abuse is very much present.”
“When you lay out the full set of ‘Les pas fiables’ cards, the question becomes, are these really the individuals the government wants to hand over abusive and antidemocratic powers to when some of them have already shown a flagrant lack of ethics and failure to obey the law and others have even been convicted of criminal offences?” asked Marc Ranger, director of CUPE Quebec. “The most recent examples have made it clear that we can no longer place our trust blindly in some of these municipal representatives. Bargaining as equals is a basic right. Quebec as we know it has been shaped by the balance between the parties.”
In late September 2015, the government signed a tax agreement with the province’s mayors with a view to empowering them to “decree” the working conditions of their employees. This would be a first in the history of labour relations in Quebec and across Canada. A bill is expected to be tabled shortly.
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