Last year, the STTIC-CSN and La Riposte syndicale launched the initiative of organizing an anti-capitalist union demonstration on Labour Day to revive the fighting traditions of the Quebec labour movement. More than 20 unions and organizations endorsed the event and participated. This year, some 30 organizations and unions will march on September 6!
A year and a half of the pandemic has revealed the hypocrisy of the CAQ government. Those it called “guardian angels” were given only crumbs when their collective agreement was renewed. While the Olymel workers were recently on strike, the CAQ gave their bosses $150 million. After only one week on strike, the dockers at the Port of Montreal had back-to-work legislation imposed on them, supported by all levels of government. In this context, when governments and employers are on the offensive against the working class, we must work to unite all workers behind a militant program.
The demonstration will take place under the following slogans, chosen democratically by the organizing groups:
FOR CLASS STRUGGLE UNIONISM, AGAINST BACK-TO-WORK LEGISLATION!
BLOCK THE CAQ’S BILL 59!
This last slogan deals with one of the CAQ’s most recent attacks. Under the guise of modernizing the health and safety regime, Bill 59 will make work more dangerous. It will give more power to the bosses over OHS and make it more difficult for workers to get compensation for workplace accidents. The bosses were complaining about the costs of the current regime, and the CAQ responded to their call. Loyal to the bosses, the CAQ is sacrificing workers on the altar of profit. Let’s mobilize to block PL59 and fight for workers’ control over corporations!
It is not insignificant that the demonstration calls for a fight against back-to-work legislation in particular. For a long time, these laws have hung over the labor movement like a sword of Damocles. As soon as a strike gets too successful, governments intervene by passing or threatening to pass back-to-work legislation. The mere threat of such legislation is often enough to discourage union leadership from striking. This phenomenon is a key factor behind the decline in working conditions and purchasing power of the working class in recent decades. The right to strike was won through hard struggle, by standing up to the state. If class-struggle unionism is to be more than just words, sooner or later it will be necessary to defy back-to-work legislation to defend this right. In order to prepare for this struggle, we believe that this issue should be discussed in all unions and that a concrete plan should be adopted in order to be ready to defy back-to-work legislation in the future.
Again this year, the demonstration calls for a fight against capitalism. Quebec has a rich tradition of militant and anti-capitalist unionism that must be revived. With business unionism, the bosses don’t take us seriously. With revolutionary unionism, where we fight openly to overthrow the capitalist system, the bosses will make concessions for fear of losing everything. At a time when the capitalist system is becoming more and more discredited, we must work to bring a socialist perspective back to the labor movement.
Comrades of La Riposte syndicale will be present in large numbers to defend this socialist and revolutionary perspective. We invite you to join our contingent and contact us to defend these ideas in your union!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/328407562237244
Organizations endorsing the event:
Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux (APTS)
Association of McGill University Support Employees/Le Syndicat des employé.e.s occassionel.le.s de l’Université McGill (AMUSE)
Association québécoise des infirmières et infirmiers (AQII)
ASSS Maintenant ou jamais
Au bas de l’échelle
Comité Chômage de l’Est de Montréal
Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain – CSN
Conseil régional FTQ Montréal métropolitain
Game Workers Unite Montréal
Mouvement Action-Chômage Montréal
Mob Pour les services publics
Mouvement autonome et solidaire des sans-emploi (MASSE)
La Riposte syndicale
SEMB-SAQ – CSN
STT d’Oasis Animation – CSN
STTIC – CSN
STTP – Section locale de Montréal
Syndicat TRAC Union
Union des travailleuses et travailleurs accidentés ou malades (UTTAM)