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2021 : No more surviving, let's fight to live!

C. Martin

As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, a bitter statement imposes itself : bosses, owners and politicians take the opportunity to crush a little more so-called essential workers, tenants and the working class in general. If measures have been put in place temporarily to avoid a catastrophic economic crisis,  with the huge budget deficits that are building, we bet that it is not to the big corporations and the rich that we go pass the bill. On the contrary, we risk seeing our social safety net cut like never.

It will be fine? Not sure, but for our union by against, no way to let it go. Do not let it go, because we are not alone. Number of community groups, of organizations feminists / anti-racists and trade unions are already fighting on several fronts to time. However, too often in silos and, especially at union level, of corporate way.

We therefore believe that while health measures are important, Above all, the time has come for collective anger, class solidarity and organization by and for the base. We think we must have a bigger project. The grumbling being palpable, it's time to reconnect strong and going to win better working and living conditions.

For that, we propose to work in view of May 1st 2021 on three claims linked to issues exacerbated by the crisis current. They are not new, but they are more urgent than never. We propose that these requests serve as benchmarks for autonomous and / or jointly organized direct actions between different organizations by International Women Workers' Day and workers.

Three claims to meet

Minimum wage at 21$ /h

For years and still today, inspired similar examples in the United States and other provinces, many community and union organizations, including us, claimed increasing the minimum wage to 15$ /h.

On the other hand, in the meantime, the cost of living continued to explode and the minimum wage increases decreed by the state Quebecers were as thin as they were insulting. In order to catch up not only lost time, but above all the loss of income caused by deaf ears of our neoliberal governments, the Industrial Union of Workers and Workers requires an increase in minimum hourly wage at 21$ /h, followed by an increase subsequent annual fixed at one dollar per hour.

Why 21$ /h? Because we don't want us content with the minimum to survive, we want to live well! Because in the end, this money is the result of our labor. While the workers and workers, suddenly declared essential, put themselves at risk by full pandemic, the bosses have made record profits on our backs, so nothing more normal that we were going to recover what is rightfully ours.

You have to remember that not everyone works 40 hours per week. We can think of women, to marginalized people or to students who have seen their work income in the last year lower even more than usual, so much to guarantee a capable salary to really provide for our needs.

Rent freeze

October 1 2020, the City of Montreal announces a freeze on property taxes. In ontario, the government has recently declared a rent freeze for the whole year 2021. When the announcement of a rent freeze in Quebec?

While tenants have been suffering for several months loss of income, most of the time they do not have the financial cushion of owners, no investments (home grabbing) which ones are leave to buy food. Adequate housing is a fundamental right. We shouldn't have to juggle feeding, to dress and find accommodation. However, according to the census of 2016, 36,5% tenant households Montrealers spent more than 30% of their income to rent. And the situation is not better in the rest of Quebec, with 33,7% tenants in the same situation.

Even the minimum wage of 21$ would not always be sufficient to offset the constant increase in rents. Proof, the average price of one 4 and a half for rent on Kijiji is now 1032$ per month. This is completely insane! Yes to a rent freeze!

A status for everyone world

Today, the pandemic makes visible to everyone the absurdity of the working conditions of immigrants. While the government publicly qualifies health care workers as the guardian angels of the people of Quebec, behind the behind the scenes he threatens these same people with deportation.

For too long, bosses took advantage of people without status to replace the local workforce better protected by standards of work by vulnerable workers who cannot to complain under penalty of deportation. That's enough!

Like many organizations with which we collaborate already, we require permanent residency status for all who want it, in order to prevent the business class from continuing to divide the working class to better dominate us. This measure is necessary for the rights workers and to promote solidarity with the fight against systemic racism. No to deportations! Yes to a status for everybody!

Why fight and unite now for May 1st 2021?

Because the next few years will not be more generous at the place of our class, unless we get started now. The future budgets will undoubtedly be marked by crass austerity. So we might as well prepare ourselves quickly to resist but also set the tone the most aggressively possible. It is the very foundation of our union thought : a well-organized social class is a dangerous class that can gain its struggles and dictate how to live better!

We are not proposing to create a coalition or an alliance formal, but a network of struggle where we can meet between organizations wanting to fight and help each other from time to time! It will make us pleasure to help you mobilize within your organizations and struggles!

It is on these bases that we jointly invite you to join us on May 1st, in order to shout our anger, to do hear our voices and demand what is rightfully ours. And let it be a springboard to sights, let us say, revolutionary!

To contact the union, here is our email address : [email protected]

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