The way forward in Québec

The IAM and five other unions have joined forces on a public awareness campaign to show their members (and voters) the way forward in the next Québec elections.

Approximately 1,600 placards were distributed in the Taschereau constituency in the Quebec City area, Pointe-aux-Trembles in the Montreal area, Roberval in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, and Saint-Jérôme in the Laurentians.

The union coalition installed large signs on utility poles with the message, “It’s the same thing” and “We deserve better” accompanied by a merged photo of the two leaders of the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) and the Québec Liberal Party (QLP).

IAM Québec Coordinator David Chartrand believes that significant failures in education, health and social services have tainted the Liberals government under Premier Philippe Couillard and the threats to workers presented by the CAQ leave them no choice but to engage with the public and their members in a broad-based campaign.

The City of Québec, although initially threatening lawsuits and fines, has recently softened its tone. Although they removed most of the signs, the city has left the door open to the unions making an official request to post the signs. While reserving the right to sue the city, the union coalition has undertaken the formal request process in a sign of good faith.

In addition to the IAM, the coalition of unions includes Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), the United Steelworkers (USW), the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union (COPE), the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Quebec Union of Service Employees (SQEES).

The six unions are advocating against voting for the CAQ or the Liberals as these two parties have not been helping workers. “Voting for the CAQ or the Liberals is really the same thing – and it doesn’t represent change,” said Chartrand.

The Québec elections take place on October 1, 2018