Lisa Djevahirdjian | CUPE Communications

In May, Quebec municipal officials received quite the welcome at the opening of the meeting of the Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ). Thousands of demonstrators gathered outside the Quebec City Convention Centre to remind officials and Premier Philippe Couillard, who was opening the meeting, that disrupting the balance of power at the negotiating table is a direct attack on a fundamental right and an unacceptable affront to all Quebec workers.

Rally in Quebec City

Many in the labour movement joined the municipal workers in warning the government against a bill that would restrict the right of workers to bargain freely.  CUPE National President Mark Hancock and National Secretary-Treasurer Charles Fleury were in attendance.

“It is unprecedented in the history of labour relations in Quebec!  Elected officials are trying to shirt their financial problems onto the backs of their employees.  It’s despicable,” said Denis Bolduc, president of CUPE Quebec.

“The politicians need to sit down and negotiate!  We have shown that negotiation works: 95 per cent of collective agreements are settled respectfully.”

The campaign Négocier d’égal à égal c’est fondamental! [Bargaining as Equals: A Basic Right] was launched earlier this year and is continuing across the province.