Skip to main content

Westmount city workers on strike for a week starting Thursday

A sign for the city of Westmount is shown in Westmount on the island of Montreal, Friday, August 5, 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes. A sign for the city of Westmount is shown in Westmount on the island of Montreal, Friday, August 5, 2022.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes.

Blue-collar workers in the City of Westmount plan to strike for a week starting Thursday.

The 124 members of the Syndicat des cols bleus regroupes de Montreal -- a local of the FTQ-affiliated Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) -- already walked off the job for two days, then three, in recent months.

Clearly dissatisfied with the outcome of negotiations to renew their collective agreement with the city, they have decided to strike on June 1, coinciding with the first hot days of the season.

The strike mandate, approved by union members last November, is one of the pressure tactics that could lead to an indefinite strike.

The collective agreement expired on Dec. 31, 2019.

The main points of contention concern wages and working hours. The parties have already entered a mediation phase.

"The citizens of Westmount need to know that if we don't pay our workers properly, our services will suffer. And with the arrival of the summer season, it would be a shame not to be able to enjoy all the city's beauty," said union president Jean-Pierre Lauzon.

"The city tells us it's in good financial health, so why not share a little with the men and women who proudly serve the City of Westmount?"

Westmount Mayor Christina M. Smith has already said she respected city employees' right to strike during a previous blue-collar walkout.

"My wish is that discussions and negotiations take place around the bargaining table, not in the public arena or the media and that they are based on facts," she said at the time. She also denied she was against changing working hours to facilitate work-life balance.

As for wages, she noted, "The union believes that the current offer is below its expectations, but it must take into account the current market in these sectors."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 30, 2023. Top Stories


BREAKING Murder charge laid in killing of B.C. Mountie

The day after an RCMP officer was killed and two others were injured while executing a search warrant in Coquitlam, B.C., charges of murder and attempted murder have been laid.

Ford offers Unifor wage increases up to 25 per cent

Ford Motor has offered Canadian union Unifor wage increases of up to 25 per cent in its tentative agreement, the union said on Saturday. The agreement provides a 10 per cent wage increase for the first year followed by increases of two per cent and three per cent through the second and third year and a $10,000 productivity and quality bonus to all employees on the active roll of the company, Unifor said.

Stay Connected