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Strikes: Nurses' union ready to negotiate over the holidays, Metallos donates $100,000

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The Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec (FIQ), which begins another strike sequence on Monday, says it still believes it can reach an agreement with the Quebec government by the end of the year.

It says it is ready to negotiate over the holiday period if necessary.

At a press briefing on Monday morning, FIQ President Julie Bouchard maintained she thinks it's possible to reach an agreement by Dec. 31, despite the fact that "there are still a lot of pitfalls."

She cited issues like the arrangement of working hours and overtime.

However, for the FIQ to reach an agreement with the Quebec government by the end of the year, "we don't just have to negotiate intensively, we have to blitz," the union leader insisted.

The FIQ represents 80,000 nurses, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists and clinical perfusionists in most Quebec health care establishments.

Its strike sequence runs from Dec. 11 to 14.

The FIQ picketers join the Common Front and the Fédération Autonome de l'Enseignement (FAE).

The Common Front, representing 420,000 public sector workers, is on strike from Dec. 8 to 14.

The 66,000 members of FAE, a teachers' union, have been on an unlimited strike since Nov. 23.

100,000 FROM MÉTALLOS

Meanwhile, Méttalos, a major private sector trade union affiliated with the Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec (FTQ), announced on Monday morning that it would make a donation of $100,000 to help workers with the Common Front and the FAE.

The donation will be made in the form of grocery gift cards "to support families most affected by the approaching holiday season," the union said.

The FTQ is part of the inter-union Common Front.

Last month, several private-sector unions affiliated with the FTQ, including Méttalos, publicly supported public sector workers.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Dec. 11, 2023.

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