On the Picket Line

Quebec senior residence workers strike for wages and more staff

By François Bradette
November 11, 2019

GATINEAU, Quebec — The 110 workers at Le Monastere d’Aylmer senior residence picketed here Oct. 14, chanting and carrying signs saying, “Take Care of the Seniors” and Solidarity.”

Members of Teamsters Local 106 have been on strike since Sept. 30. Their main demands are for more staff and higher wages.

The majority earns about 12.50 Canadian dollars an hour ($9.50) despite many years of service. They want wage parity with patient care attendants at the other residences that belong to Chartwell, the company that owns Le Monastere.

Strikers wore red T-shirts saying “We respect our seniors and those who look after them.” Several drivers going by honked to support the strikers.

The attendants “work like crazy. Sometimes one person is responsible for 20 rooms,” union representative Sylvie Souliere told the Militant.

In July, 950 workers in other senior residences in several towns in Quebec had struck for 10 days for a $15 an hour minimum wage. Their fight still continues.