Canadian military bases’ Civilian workers in Ontario, Quebec strike over wages, job security

Strike. Image credit: X/@wearspanglish

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Ottawa/CMEDIA:  A strike reportedly over wages and job security began this morning by nearly 500 civilian workers on Canadian military bases in Ontario and Quebec.

The members hit the picket lines as of 6:30 a.m. Eastern time this morning, said the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Union of National Defence Employees said

Canadian Forces bases in Kingston, Ont., Montreal, Ottawa, and other cities will be affected by this strike.

Other employees whose jobs are in Ottawa, who deliver programs through Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) would also be affected.

According to the Union Of National Defence Employees, they offer numerous supportive roles for Canada’s military members, both on and off base.

They work in fields like food service and recreation, along with offering support services like financial planning and help with life and disability insurance.

“The military have their own family and their own way of life, really, on these bases. And without [those employees] there to help them with that, there is no way that they could actually function.” June Winger, national president for the union, a component of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) was reported saying.

In a press release, the union said it was pushing for an “equitable national pay scale,” noting there are large wage discrepancies for workers doing the same job across the country.

Chris Aylward, PSAC national president was reported saying that members are taking job action to get the collective agreement that they deserve.

Employees in the Non-Public Funds agency are paid significantly less than workers doing similar jobs in the core federal public service, said the union, and since 2022 have been without a contract.

The workers are responsible for delivering food, recreation, community and financial planning services to military members and veterans.