The leadership of the FTQ and the Canadian Labor Congress have agreed to limit the solidarity of Canadian unions towards the Quebec student movement to the only channels they are able to control, with the aim of preventing as much as possible “potential illegal actions that would violate the law 78 to support the student movement“.
An exchange between the president of the FTQ, Michel Arsenault, and the president of the Canadian Labor Congress Ken Georgetti tells us that the leadership of the FTQ is worried that the solidarity between Canadian workers and the Quebec student movement does not go through their organization. Some rumors that unions affiliated with the CLC are planning to help the Quebec student movement confront the law 78 would be at the origin of this exchange.
Michel Arsenault describes the situation in Quebec as “very volatile” and is worried that a “radical wing calls for social strike“, adding that “we do not believe that this is THE strategy to promote at the moment“. Arsenault prefers “facilitate an agreement rather than fuel fires.” The FTQ justifies its request by brandishing the specter of hypothetical fines that could “put pressure on union resources and weaken our capacity for action“.
Even though he claims “not wanting to be excessively procedural“, Michel Arsenault takes refuge behind an agreement between the FTQ and the CTC that recognizes the Quebec central authority total jurisdiction over its territory and makes it the only authorized union representative. In return, Ken Georgetti reminds his affiliated organizations that the CLC is in regular contact with the FTQ and wishes to be the channel through which the solidarity of Canadian workers with the student movement passes..