Quebec Unions Slam Charest's Politics

Quebec Unions Slam Charest's Politics

Quebec City - More than 20,000 people from several unions marched on the Quebec legislature Saturday to protest against proposed changes to the province's labour code.

Workers from as far away as Saguenay and James Bay walked to the sound of beating drums along the Plains of Abraham to the National Assembly during the province's heaviest snowfall of the year.

It was the biggest protest march in Quebec City since Jean Charest's Liberals were elected last April.

The unions are furious over several changes being proposed by the new provincial government – including a bill that would make it easier for employers to contract out work.

Gilles Taillon, president of the Conseil du patronat du Quebec employers group, told government hearings that "contracting out is the modern way to compete" in the business world.

"It's either we keep the jobs here in Quebec, or they'll be sent either to Ontario or the states," said Francoise Bertrand of the Quebec Federation of the Chambers of Commerce.

Demonstrators said the government is trying to destroy the province's social safety net. Some said they're also angry over changes to health care and the universal day-care system.

"Mr. Charest's looking definitely for a fight, and he will get it," warned one man in the crowd.

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See also:

"Union members hold rally in Quebec City to denounce Charest's policies"
http://www.canada.com/news/national/story.html?id=B90999D6-BFC4-4290-91D...