The Quebec Federation of Labour (FTQ) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) today launched a radio campaign to raise public awareness about the injustice that the Couillard government is about to commit in the municipal arena. In September 2015, at the signing of the partnership agreement with municipalities for 2016-2019 – a.k.a. the fiscal pact–, this government announced its intention to introduce a bill, during the parliamentary session that starts today, that would give municipalities the right to set the working conditions of their employees.

“We believe that the public has a right to be informed about the intentions of the Couillard government, because if the National Assembly passes this bill, it will set a precedent that will endanger the entire edifice of Quebec and Canadian labour law. Everyone will be potentially affected by this breach that would make pressure tactics, the exercise of the right to strike, and even negotiation per se ineffectual. Granting the right to impose working conditions is like determining the results of a hockey game in advance,” explained FTQ president, Daniel Boyer.

The radio campaign starts today and will run for several weeks. In the first radio ad, the hockey game metaphor is used to explain that true negotiation requires a balance of forces and good faith. A second ad will remind listeners that it is precisely the possibility of negotiating as equals that has led to a significant improvement in working conditions for the entire population.

“All the unions affiliated with the FTQ support us in reminding the public that negotiating as equals is fundamental. That balance is the vary basis of our Labour Code and has made possible major achievements, such as the 8-hour day, parental leave, and health and safety standards,” noted the Quebec director of CUPE, Marc Ranger. “This publicity campaign is one of the tactics we’ll be using to ask the Couillard government to reconsider its plans,” he added.

The FTQ, the largest central labour body in Quebec, represents over 600,000 workers. CUPE is the largest Union affiliated with the FTQ, with more than 110,000 members in Quebec, including 70% of the workers in Quebec’s municipal sector.


Atïm León (FTQ), 514 891-2846
Lisa Djevahirdjian (CUPE), 514 831-3815