100 Montreal firefighters retire overnight to avoid new pension penalty

A fire truck is pictured in Montreal in this file photo. (ERIK PETERS/QMI Agency)

A fire truck is pictured in Montreal in this file photo. (ERIK PETERS/QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:04 PM ET

MONTREAL — Nearly 100 Montreal firefighters retired en masse Thursday evening to avoid being penalized by new pension provisions.

The veteran firefighters made the decision following a recommendation from their union.

All of the retirees are at least 50 years old, with 25 years of service.

This wave of resignations could have a significant impact on Canada's second-largest fire department.

The new pension law, passed Thursday in the legislature, is aimed at reeling in municipal pension throughout Quebec.

The pension deficit for Montreal employees alone stands at $1.6 billion.

The new law gives Quebec unions and municipalities 18 months to negotiate new deals that force workers to pay a larger share of the total pension deficit, which stands at $3.9 billion.

Quebec would also be allowed to suspend indexation of the pensions.

The law has been very poorly received by the unions, with one labour official calling it a "declaration of war."


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