Government Services are Essential Services

A CPQ government will declare that government services, when they …

Resolution #79: Government Services are Essential Services (Official French version)

A CPQ government will declare that government services, when they are provided exclusively by the public sector, are essential services for the population.

The right to strike of public employees who provide these services will be removed. Why? A strike in the public sector monopoly has negative consequences for the entire population. Not only does it deprive citizens of its essential services, but it's the whole population who, through additional taxation, will pay for the eventual outcome. For their part, the strikers are unlikely to put their employer in any financial difficulties since their strike reduces its spending. This will also apply to the part of the public sector that provides commercial services such as the production of electricity or the sale of alcohol, if the province has a monopoly of this service.

In contrast, in the private sector, the shareholders and the strikers take significant risks. The first, by having their company's competitiveness weakened through the strike and the latter because the strike endangers their long-term job security. These two opposing forces are thus brought together to quickly force an acceptable compromise. This balance of power is not available in the public sector.

Strikes in the public sector often have adverse effects on the poor, since they can't afford the existing available alternatives in the private sector. For example, the harm of transit strike is felt greater by the poor who rely on public transportation to commute than wealthier citizens who own their own cars. A minimum wage worker can lose half a day's salary if they needs to take a taxi during a transit strike. This same worker may lose their entire day's wage if they can't find someone to watch their children if there is a CPE strike.