400k Public Sector Workers & Teachers Strike in Québec

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Photo: la_FAE

Photo: la_FAE

Canadian media is reporting that over 400,000 public sector workers and teachers from the common front of unions are on strike, while tens of thousands have hit the streets of Quebec today, in their largest public strike day since 1972.

Workers have taken over Victoria’s Square, and the streets of Quebec today, during ongoing contract disputes with the government. Various public sector employees are involved with the strike, such as bureaucrats and caretakers, some who have lacked a collective agreement since April.

About 1/3rd of the teachers in Quebec are on strike today, with thousands of parents and their children protesting with them. Radical Unions (IWW) have joined in as well:

The IWW also took part in the blocking of Dawson College in Montreal:

The government wants to increase class sizes, and no longer wants to consider whether a child has a learning disability when determining class sizes. Quebec’s government also wants to increase the work week for teachers from 32-35 hours, and has proposed a 3% wage increase over 5 years.

This is one of many upcoming demonstrations, and on Thursday teachers will create human chains around 100 Montreal schools. Teachers in Montreal have set up a camp until Friday in front of Education Minister François Blais apartment, where workers are walking off of the job from 1 until 6 today.

Montreal’s Mayor Denis Coderre is threatening retaliation and “zero tolerance” for hundreds of workers who attended a General Assembly on Tuesday. He called the strike illegal and threatened fines for teachers from $25-$100, and $10,000-$50,000 a day.  

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