NEWS

Thousands of municipal workers hold 1-day strike to protest pension reforms

11/26/2014 05:00 EST | Updated 01/25/2015 05:59 EST
Thousands of unionized municipal workers across the province of Quebec are holding a coordinated one-day strike today to protest Bill 3 — the government’s proposed plan to reform pension plans.

The Coalition syndicale pour la librenégociation is calling the movement "Le Grand Dérangement," or The Great Disturbance.

About 5,500 municipal workers across Quebec will be on strike, and protest actions are expected to take place all day.

Marc Ranger, a spokesman for the coalition, said his group will hold a news conference at 8 a.m. in Old Montreal, followed by demonstrations likely taking place outside Montreal city hall.

Picket lines may form as early as 6 a.m.

Demonstrations are expected to take place outside the city hall buildings in municipalities across Quebec.

Ranger said he would not unveil any action plans organized by the coalition in order to maintain an element of surprise. He also refused to say whether the protests would affect traffic, public transit or other services.

Municipal workers are against the government’s proposed bill to modify their pension plans.

Bill 3, introduced in June, would bring employer and employee contributions to a 50/50 split. It could make city employees pay more, and some retirees might also be on the hook for pension shortfalls in order to make up for a province-wide pension plan deficit of $4 billion.

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