Department of National Defense employees were in Esquimalt near Canteen Road this afternoon, protesting a deal the Liberal government made with a French company to maintain Arctic offshore patrol vessels and joint support ships.
Protesters stopped at the entrance to the military base on Esquimalt Road where they staged a demonstration around noon until 1:00 p.m. when the protesters boarded the coaches they arrived in. Military police were also on site to take care of traffic control.
“So too bad, so-so-so!” The crowd chanted, waving the same blue flags and wearing the same gray T-shirts for UNDE Victoria. They planted their flags in the ground near the door before leaving.
“This is the ‘garden of democracy’,” said one of the protesters. “Make sure you call it that.”
Workers were protesting not only against the deal with a French company, but also against the overburdened Pheonix pay system used for federal employees which, in June, had 345,000 overdue bills across the country.
– Scott Hodge (@UNDEScott) August 24, 2017
The Union of National Defense Employees argues that the deal could potentially endanger national security and lead to the loss of civilian jobs. Union members are in Victoria for their national convention.