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Vol. 78/No. 46      December 22, 2014

Quebec marches protest cuts in
gov’t services, attacks on labor
(front page)
MONTREAL — More than 100,000 people marched here Nov. 29 and 25,000 in Quebec City to protest the Quebec Liberal Party government’s drive to cut $4 billion from health, education, child care and other public services.

The protests were organized by Réfusons L’Austérité (We Reject Austerity), a coalition of more than 30 groups, including Quebec’s three main union federations — the FTQ (Quebec Workers Federation), CSN (National Union Confederation) and CSQ (Central Organization of Quebec Unions).

“We are facing a lot of cuts and our wages have been frozen,” Aline McGrath, a child care worker from Malartic, told the Militant at the march here. “I hope this demonstration will push the government to move.” She joined fellow workers on a seven-hour CSN bus trip to participate.

“The government is withholding funds for people who need it and for those who need accommodation because they aren’t able to work, like me,” said Anthony Rivet, a 52-year-old injured worker from Hull.

“Our social programs are too precious to put in more peril than they already are,” Louise Gordon, another child care worker and member of CSQ, told the Militant.

Fifty workers came to the Quebec City protest by bus from Matane in the Gaspé Peninsula, 250 miles to the northeast, where the proposed cuts will close the local college. Hundreds of Unifor union members from the Outardes sawmill on the North Coast, 10 hours away, and elsewhere in Quebec participated.

Anthony Bossé, a member of the Quebec Federation of Nurses at Laval Hospital in Quebec City, told the Militant that the government’s move to combine hospitals, closing some, “will take medical services away from patients.”

Three days earlier some 5,000 city workers in 25 municipalities carried out a one-day strike to protest Bill 3, the Quebec government’s plan to rip up current municipal union contracts and force workers to pay more and receive less in retirement benefits.
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