Unions stage pension protests despite heavy downpour

Union stickers decorate the entrance to premier Couillard's Montreal office.
Patrick Lejtenyi/CJAD

A little rain doesn't appear to be containing union anger over the Couillard government's proposed pension reforms.

There are a number of protest actions taking place across the province today; the largest of which was a noon-hour demonstration outside premier Philippe Couillard's downtown Montreal office.

The rain did have an effect on the crowd numbers — just a few dozen people showed up — but they were nonetheless vocal, chanting and plastering the walls with their now-familiar red stickers.

The Couillard government's Bill 3 would force union workers to renegotiate their pension plans. Couillard says the change is necessary if the government is to meet its stated intention to balance the province's books by 2015-2016.

Union anger was stoked when the premier himself declared over the weekend he plans to stand firm on the bill, even in the face of some very public protest actions — most notably the red sticker campaign, visible on just about every police cruiser in town.

Police officers have also ditched their regular uniforms for red baseball caps and camouflage pants.

A large-scale demonstration in planned for Aug. 20 — the same day public hearings are set to being on Bill 3.

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