Ronald Martin, firefighters' union head, suspended over Bill 3 protest
'It's deplorable,' Martin tells reporters after being sanctioned
Ronald Martin, the head of the union representing Montreal firefighters, has been suspended for his role in the violent Aug. 18 protest at Montreal City Hall.
"It's deplorable," a visibly angry Martin told reporters after he was notified of the sanctions.
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He said nothing would stop him from acting as the president of the Montreal firefighters' union, despite the six-month suspension without pay ordered Tuesday by the city.
"It’s the first time a union president, in his work as a union president, is suspended," Martin said.
Martin has been an outspoken opponent of Bill 3, the province's proposed municipal pension reform bill.
As union president, Martin's salary is paid by the city, which is then reimbursed by the union.
6 firefighters fired
Hundreds of municipal workers stormed city hall on Aug. 18, trashing council chambers and interrupting a meeting to protest Bill 3.
On Oct. 2, the city’s executive committee chair Pierre Desrochers announced six firefighters had been fired for their role in the protest, and 57 other municipal employees — most of them firefighters — were suspended without pay.
The suspensions handed out on Oct. 2 ranged from one week to six months.
On Tuesday, Martin said firefighters felt abandoned by their employer.
He said his suspension would only serve to unite municipal unions in their fight against Bill 3.
He said he was proud of the firefighters for their continued work.