World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 26 Mar, 2021 03:00 am

Manitoba Hydro workers stage two-day strike after rejecting contract offer

The strike by workers at the Manitoba government-owned utility heralds growing unrest among tens of thousands of public sector workers who are opposing the provincial government’s wage-cutting “wage restraint” program.

Two thousand three hundred Manitoba Hydro workers, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2034, went out on strike Tuesday afternoon after rejecting a miserable contract offer in a vote held this past Sunday.Hydro workers have been without a contract since the expiration of a previous agreement in 2018.Such is the arrogance exhibited by Premier Brian Pallister that after opposition NDP leader Wab Kinew voiced his “support” for the Hydro workers, Pallister denounced him for “reckless” interference in the dispute.The dispute with the hydro workers heralds growing unrest among thousands of public sector workers in the province who are moving into negotiations for their own contracts.

As rotating strikes by hydro workers were underway, the government tabled a new piece of legislation that seeks to outlaw protests at sites of “critical infrastructure.Manitoba Hydro workers can place no faith in the IBEW to confront the vicious anti-worker policies of the Pallister Conservative government.

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