A massive protest against Quebec by public sector workers. (Image credit: Graham Hughes/CP)
Every Monday, I like to take a look at important stories which got gobbled up by the vicious ever-moving news cycle. Typically, these are one-off events, official announcements which get overlooked or trends which don’t get reported on.
But today, I’d like to look at a major, ongoing, and extremely newsworthy event which is barely making an impact in the national consciousness.
I follow Canadian politics and activism pretty darn closely, if I do say so myself. So I was shocked to discover a few days ago that there have been massive union-organized demonstrations and widespread strike actions against austerity in Quebec since mid-October without my hearing a single word about it.
It’s a story that’s been barely reported outside of Quebec, and yet it holds out promise and potential to the anti-austerity movement everywhere in Canada and across the globe.
Today, teachers across Montreal and Laval, along with other public sector workers, struck against government contract proposals that would cut pay for teachers, nurses, and other public sector workers while simultaneously raising the age of retirement and increasing the workload (by, for instance, increasing the number of students per classroom or nurses per patient), thus guaranteeing a decreased quality of service for every member of the public who accesses these services.
Today’s strike actions were the third such round of rotating strikes, which have affected multiple cities across the province.
The culmination of this agitation, failing an eleventh-hour agreement with an intransigent provincial government, will be a three-day general strike by nearly half a million workers on the first three days of December. Continue Reading