Montreal workers dress down to protest pension bill
Bill 3 would put city employees and some retirees on the hook for $4B shortfall
Municipal workers in Montreal and across the province are adding some extra flair to their normal work clothes to show their opposition to the provincial government's pension bill.
On Friday, Montreal bus drivers were spotted wearing everything from straw hats to beach shorts.
Police officers were among those who led the movement, trading their regular slacks for jeans and camouflage pants. Blue collar and white collar workers are expected to join in starting next week.
Around noon, firefighters and police gathered to picket outside Montreal city hall, some of them throwing their work shirts onto the building's front steps.
The union coalition — Coalition syndicale pour la libre négociation — brought a birthday cake to the protest, as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Mayor Denis Coderre's birthday, which was Friday.
The pressure tactics are the latest technique being used by workers to protest Bill 3 — which proposes to alter municipal pension plans.
According to Marc Ranger, spokesman for the Coalition syndicale pour la librenégociation, the uniform changes are part of a summer-long campaign.
“We’re upping our pressure one notch against municipalities, without compromising the services offered to the public,” Ranger said.
The bill is aimed at reforming the province’s municipal pension plans to address a close to $4 billion deficit.
If passed, the legislation would put city employees and some retirees on the hook for pension shortfalls.