420,000 Quebec public workers strike
November 6, 2023 08:51 PM
Some 420,000 public sector workers seeking higher wages to keep pace with inflation in Canada's Quebec province walked off the job on Monday for the first of several one-day strikes.
Schools, health care facilities and social services were expected to be disrupted. Three more strike days are also planned for late November.
The coalition of major unions also threatened on Monday "an unlimited general strike" if the two sides in the mostly French-speaking province are unable to reach an agreement soon.
The Quebec government has offered a 10 percent salary increase over five years and a one-time payment of Can$1,000 for each worker, which the coalition described as "insulting, offensive and contemptuous."
Failing to keep up with soaring costs of living, it would effectively "make workers poorer," the unions said in a statement.
The so-called Common Front of unions are seeking raises for workers two to three points above inflation, which recently slowed to 3.8 percent from a June 2022 peak of 8.1 percent.