WATCH: Municipal workers burn garbage outside Montreal city hall

Municipal workers burning garbage outside Montreal city hall
PHOTO: PATRICK LEJTENYI

Municipal workers across the province protested Tuesday against the government's pension plan legislation outside their city halls.

Outside Montreal city hall, municipal employees built a bonfire out of their union caps and garbage.

Amid a deafening blast of car honks, police and fire truck sirens and whistles and cheers, city workers added cut branches and twigs as well as garbage and recycling bags to the fire.

The fire department eventually put the small blaze out but did manage to send a jet of water from a hose onto City's Hall balcony and front steps.

At one point hundreds of employees were gathered on Notre-Dame E. protesting the province's new bill on municipal employee pensions.

The demonstration dispersed peacefully a half-hour after it began.

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  1. John posted on 06/17/2014 02:40 PM
    Here is one for you to report . Two fire trucks blocked traffic on Sherbrooke east at Beaugrand , sirens blaring for over 15 minutes . NO fire seen.

    It kills me that this station used city equipment plus fuel to protest . What if there was a REAL emergency ????
  2. Paul posted on 06/17/2014 04:05 PM
    The municipal workers are upset that their pensions plan was mismanaged. And who mismanaged it? Other municipal workers perhaps?
    And they want the one group that did not mismanage anything to pay: the taxpayer, many of whom don't get any pension. No sympathy here.
  3. Tony posted on 06/17/2014 05:43 PM
    Totally despicable and un-acceptable, we expect to see this type of actions in third world countries, not here in a democratic country!!!
    On top of that it is actual firemen, and policemen causing this stuff, setting fire and hosing the Hotel du Ville, REALLY!!
    The same people who are supposed to uphold peace and save people.
    On top of this, the union rep is actually going around using the term "act of war", now this is really instigating all the union members to commit such acts. They are using string arm tactics to get what they want, instead requesting negotiations with the other parties.
    And of course we the citizens and tax payers are going to PAY, whichever way this goes!!!
  4. Richard posted on 06/17/2014 08:26 PM
    I don't condone the protest but I am on their side 100%

    You don't have people work 30plus years of their lives working towards a goal and snatch it away just before you reach it,,,,
    Its not the workers fault the city and province is so corrupt....and I doubt that Denis is going to cut his own pension
    1. Paul posted on 06/18/2014 06:32 AM
      @Richard The workers are still getting their pensions, yet you claim the pensions are being snatched away..
      How is the taxpayer responsible for the corruption and mismanagement in Montreal?
      I recall municipal workers being named at the Charbonneau commission, but never the taxpayer.
    2. Marguerite posted on 06/18/2014 09:10 AM
      @Richard Sorry I have no sympathy for these people. They should consider themselves lucky that the government pays a good portion of their pension. Most people do not have benifits nor pension plans in the companies they work for. I consider them spoiled brats.
  5. Tony posted on 06/18/2014 07:36 AM
    Good point made by others!!
    I have been working for 34+ years, there was no pension plan in my line of work, had to save every little penny to get where I want to be.
    With municipal and government workers, seems the norm that once you are in, your are in for life, no matter what wrong you do. The unions will back you up as a group and do whatever to get you back in.
    As well try to find a job nowadays that offers the benefits and pensions that they are getting, it is very rare to find. We hear it all the time, they are in a class of their own, when they get in at a young age, they can work 25 years and already retire with a great pensions paid (as early as 50)!! When the majority of the population has to keep working and are even now being asked to work until 67. And then only rely on there own savings and the government pensions..
    1. Richard posted on 06/18/2014 06:16 PM
      @Tony Yes it is rare to find a job today with pensions but companies are not taking your money promising you a pension in 30 years

      Yes you may have had to save for your pension but here is the thing

      34 years ago I stared working with a company who gave me no choice...I have to take the pension plan. While you had to save up.
      But, The money you put into the company plan is reduced from the total amount I can put into an RRSP.

      So Lets say each year I put 5000 into my RRSP and you put 2500 into the company plan and 2500 into RRSP. 35 years later I will get 30K from the rrsp and you will get 15K from the company plan and 15K from my RRSP


      But wait...Now the city is saying no sorry you are only going to get 9k!!!!!! Plus you have to give them a few extra thousand dollars o get that 9K!!!

      But I would managed my own pension will get that 30k each and every year.

      Are you OK with that?
  6. Cate posted on 06/18/2014 09:37 AM
    I have ZERO sympathy for these workers, absolutely zero, they have been fortunate to have their jobs for so long, steady, uninterrupted work with great pay and good pensions. There have been many regular workers affected by companies suddenly closing up, downsizing, or sold to the US and they were left with nothing. This display at City Hall did not get my support at all. So professional! It just shows me how disconnected they are from the real economic situation in Quebec and how they feel they should be above it all.
    1. Richard posted on 06/18/2014 06:45 PM
      @Cate So....did you quit your job in solidarity for all those workers who lost theirs?
      No! Why not?
      But you expect the city worker should have to give up or reduce their pension?
  7. Brad Cole posted on 06/18/2014 03:39 PM
    People are entitled to protest as it is a fundamental right, however, if you break the law you should incur the legislated penalty; a bonfire on public property is not acceptable. Smacks of the labour dispute whereby the firefighters vandalized public property by painting firetrucks green.

    As a person without a pension it is hard to be sympathetic, but I think that reality is the well is dry. The agreement to a defined pension was predicated on a series of assumptions such as: average person living to 72 years of age, average person working until 65, inflation of 2-3 %, and medications costing 5% of GDP and a market return of 8% (all examples). Once these assumptions change the deal changes people living to 80, people retiring at 55, medications cost 11% of GDP, and market returns of <4%.

    Able people need to take responsibility for there own welfare. Unions have driven costs through the roof and do so as this represents the Union's revenue line. They are detrimental to modern society and shoudl have their power lessoned
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