Quebec workers stage general strike

first_imgSome 400,000 Quebec public service workers struck for one day on Dec. 9 to show the provincial government of Premier Philippe Couillard that they are indeed angry: their salaries have been frozen and they are getting paid below the going rate for public sector workers.The one-day strike was organized by the Common Front, a coalition between the large National Confederation of Unions (CSN) and a federation of teachers’ unions (FAE) and community groups.Quebec is the largest province in Canada and about 400,000 of its 540,000 public workers are organized. Its current government is trying to drive the budget deficit to zero on the backs of the workers, even though the deficit comes to only about half a percent of its gross domestic product.The minister of government administration, Martin Coiteux, one of the leaders of the government’s negotiating team, told the Montreal newspaper Le Devoir that the strike was “irrelevant,” since the government has no intention of budging. Its offer is a wage increase of 3 percent over five years, with a freeze for the first two years. The unions are looking for an increase of 13.5 percent over three years, or 4.5 percent per year.Some unions struck for more than one day. The FAE held a three-day walkout, starting on Dec. 9. Some of its members camped for a few days outside the Minister of Education’s office in Montreal, with the slogan “Save public schools.” (rabble.ca, Dec. 10) Blue-collar workers in Montreal held a mass meeting on Dec. 8, the day before their walkout.Tens of thousands of workers, angry and needing a raise, walked out all over this vast province, from Purnivituq on Hudson Bay, a town off the province’s road network, to Gaspesie in the east, Sept-Iles on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River, Gatineau in the west, and the large urban centers of Montreal and Quebec City.Workers in Quebec have the second-highest unionization rate in Canada, after the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. They got where they are today by fighting the bosses and showing solidarity. The public service workers have popular opinion on their side and are going to keep on fighting for decent raises.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

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RWB supports independent probe into brutal attack on reporter

first_img News Reporters Without Borders condemns the brutal attack on Tetyana Chornovil, an outspoken journalist with the Ukrainskaya Pravda daily newspaper, who was dragged from her car and badly beaten in Kiev on the night of 24 December.“We support the decision by the Institute for Mass Information, a Reporters Without Borders partner, to conduct an independent investigation to ensure that those responsible for this act of barbarity are brought to justice,” Reporters Without Borders said.“We are appalled by this violent attack, the gravest of all the many abuses against journalists in Ukraine in recent months. Such violations of the Ukrainian media’s safety and freedom of expression are intolerable.”Reporters Without Borders added: “Journalists must be able to work freely. We urge the Ukrainian authorities to guarantee respect for justice, freedom of information and fundamental rights.”A journalist who has become well known for her investigative reporting about senior government officials and politicians, Chornovil is also a leading activist in the “Euromaidan” protests in Kiev’s Independence Square against President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to back out of a partnership agreement with the European Union.She was driving in her car in a Kiev suburb on the night of 24 December when three unidentified men in an SUV forced her to stop, gave her a severe beating and left her at the side of road. Rushed to hospital with concussion and multiple facial fractures, she has undergone several operations and is still in intensive care.Chornovil attributes the attack to her latest article, posted on her blog on 24 December, in she wrote about a luxury villa owned by interior minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko.The attack has triggered a wave of outrage in Ukrainian civil society. Several demonstrations have been held supporting Chornovil and calling for the interior minister’s resignation, and many opposition leaders, including Yulia Tymoshenko, have condemned the attack.The police say they are investigating it as a case of “hooliganism” under article 296-2 of the Criminal Code and have arrested three suspects.There has been a sharp increase in violations of freedom of information since the start of the Euromaidan movement. At least 50 journalists have been physically attacked during demonstrations since the start of December and three opposition media were stormed on 9 December.According to the Institute for Mass Information, journalists have been the victims of a total of 101 physical attacks in 2013.Ukraine is ranked 126th out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. RSF_en Receive email alerts UkraineEurope – Central Asia March 26, 2021 Find out more UkraineEurope – Central Asia (Photo : Institute for Mass Information)(Slideshow: ABC) Crimean journalist “confesses” to spying for Ukraine on Russian TV News December 27, 2013 – Updated on January 20, 2016 RWB supports independent probe into brutal attack on reporter to go further Organisation February 26, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News Ukraine escalates “information war” by banning three pro-Kremlin media Follow the news on Ukraine News Ukrainian media group harassed by broadcasting authority September 7, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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