Montreal·Updated

McGill injunction limits striking staff pickets

Quebec Superior Court has granted an injunction to McGill University to limit where striking support staff can picket.
More than 1,800 support staff at McGill University have been on strike since Sept. 1. (Photo submitted by Sarah Howell)

Quebec Superior Court has granted an injunction to McGill University to limit where striking support staff can picket.

The injunction, granted Friday, prevents staff from picketing outside the homes of board members and senior administrators, or at any off-campus McGill events.

Striking workers say they're disappointed and "frustrated – quite frustrated," said Andrew Pearce, a laboratory technician and former McGill student.

"I've only been a worker here for three years, but there are people who've worked here for 15 to 30 years, and this hurts them a lot," he said Friday. "I can't imagine what they're gong through right now."

NDP leadership contender Brian Topp – a McGill alumni – visited the striking staff on Friday to show his support for their action.

Topp joined the pickets across the street from the university's main entrance.

"I'm here to stand in solidarity with some of the most important people who work there, and to send a message to the university that instead of spending all your energy in court, maybe you should spend it at the bargaining table to get a reasonable settlement," he said.

Earlier this week, demonstrators representing McGill University support staff set up picket lines around the entrances to the MUHC superhospital construction site, and blocked access to the Glen Yards.

Some construction workers at the hospital site refused to cross the picket line, and joined the pickets.

About 1,800 support staff at the university have been on strike since Sept. 1, after contract talks hit a stalemate.

The union representing staff is asking for wage parity with other universities in Canada.