Montreal official warns workers may be fired for pension protest
Blue-collar workers' union president says threat of job losses has not been confirmed by city
Comments made by a high-ranking Montreal official are fuelling tensions between the city and municipal workers over Quebec's controversial pension reforms.
The comments were in response to last week's protest over proposed pension reforms at Montreal City Hall, when hundreds of frustrated workers stormed council chambers, throwing papers and overturning chairs.
- 'Savage' pension protest at Montreal city hall condemned by mayor
Attacking members without a real reason, without a valid reason, it's clear that there will be a reaction from our membership- Michel Parent, Montreal blue-collar workers' union president
"There are people who have lost their jobs, and who don't yet know it," Samson stated in an article in La Presse.
Chris Ross, the head of the Montreal firefighters association said Samson's comments "have done little other than to poison an already unstable relationship."
The president of Montreal's blue-collar workers union, Michel Parent, said he's heard nothing from the city about people being fired or facing charges.
In an interview with Radio-Canada's Marie-France Bazzo, he said throwing around unfounded accusations would have consequences on union members' work performance.
"Attacking members without a real reason, without a valid reason, it's clear that there will be a reaction from our membership," he said.
"That's not a threat, it's an observation. It's like if I told you if it rains I will get wet."
Parent said he doesn't know where Samson is getting her information, although he said it's possible she has access to information that he does not.
Samson refused requests to comment on the matter further.
A spokesman for the mayor's office said Samson was only re-iterating what Mayor Denis Coderre had said earlier.
The province's proposed pension reform legislation — Bill 3 — would force Quebec municipal workers to pay a greater share of their pensions in order to make up for a $4 billion deficit.