PSAC strike "political theatre" for politicians
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April 22, 2023
Hey Shift Workers,

What a week!

When 100,000 federal public sector workers walked off the job this week, PressProgress partnered with Quebec news outlet Pivot to send reporters to picket lines across the country to talk to workers about their experiences.

Here's what striking Winnipeg worker Rob McGregor told us:
A worker pushes a stroller on Parliament Hill with a sign saying "fair wages." Photo by Luke LeBrun/PressProgress.
"I do want to retire eventually and putting money away in savings is essential to be able to do that. I can’t really do that if I’m spending almost every penny I earn on groceries and home repair, because that stuff is just crazy expensive now.”

“That’s what they’re fighting against and that’s what we’re fighting for is to have at least a living wage where you can afford the basic necessities of life, where you can give your kids a better future than you had. That’s it, that’s all it is. All they have to do is sign a piece of paper to let us do that.”

Read the rest of what workers had to say across Canada here.
'It’s Been a Rough Couple of Years’: Striking Federal Workers Speak Out from Picket Lines Across Canada
‘We are here to remind the public that what we get, they will reap the benefit of it. I guarantee it.’
PSAC workers on strike. Photo via Linda Silas.
Pivot also translated a French version of the article here and created a video of their visit to a Montreal picket line.
Federal Public Sector Workers’ Wages No Better Now Than in 2007, New Report Shows
PSAC strike has turned into "political theatre" for politicians, experts say
Today, the CCPA published a report highlighting the impacts of inflation on federal sector wages over the years.

"The average federal public sector worker’s wages only buy the same today as they did in October 2007,” the CCPA report states. “No other industry—none—has seen average inflation adjusted wages pushed back as far as federal public sector workers.”

That's a huge statement.

Centre for Future Work Executive Director and Economist Jim Stanford explained to PressProgress why the strike has become so politically charged.

“It’s politically advantageous to look like you’re being tough on “fat cat” public servants,” Stanford said.

"A lot of the politicians pose using their own workforce as a kind of a prop, as a way of trying to demonstrate that they’re very prudent and tight fisted. It’s really political theatre in some ways.”

Read the full article here.
Over 100,000 Canadian Government Workers Are Now On Strike. Here’s What You Need To Know.
We've also posted some infographics and videos on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok so be sure to follow us there for more updates.

There will be no pickets over the weekend. If there is no deal by Monday, picket lines will be back up across the country. You can find your closest picket line

We're digging into the data to bring you more strike details next week. Thanks for following along through this newsletter, I'm really thankful to be able to do this kind of labour journalism.

If you want to support our work, you can always pitch in with a donation here.


Emily Leedham
Shift Work Editor

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