The Montreal branch of SITT-IWW has, for a few years now, a campaign of its own and unique, launched on 8 mars 2018 on the International Day of Women's Rights.
Its title is : ‘Claim Your Respect’.
on the idea of de-macho-izing the trade union environment and reclaiming the struggles
union, some union members decided to mount a campaign
who looks like him : end oppressions in the workplace, than
it's sexism, harassment, homophobia, racism or even
Claim Your Respect, How's it going ?
begins with an employee who contacts SITT-IWW to help them with a
problematic in his workplace. Then a switch-on is triggered
either meet the person (s), discuss and make a game plan. This
campaign aims to collectivize a problem because the victims are
often isolated and in distress (while, most of the time, many
other, on the same work floor, live the same reality).
campaign and every reality is different.
A campaign story
will talk here about my experience of a campaign, as
as an external organizer of this campaign. SITT-IWW is not a union of
service but a solidarity union : empowerer the workers
and workers under our mantra : every worker is a
have been approached by employees, Max * and Camille *, because they and
some of their colleagues were living under harassment, bullying, you
racism, homophobia and so many other horrors, And this, by their
boss. It had to stop !
of our first meeting, Max and Camille had already succeeded in bringing together the 3/4
of their colleagues around a table.
It was unreal for me to talk about how we unite our
Wow, the work was already done ! What a great meeting but at the same time with
a bittersweet taste, everyone was united because everyone had
been abused by the same boss, some men present, had not lived
the thing but were in solidarity with their colleagues.
we are stronger, exactly !
these people were talking about the horrors done by their boss and had already
decided to send a letter to their Board of Directors (C.A.), And this, in
bypassing their problematic boss / manager. The hierarchy is sometimes in
itself problematic, their boss being their only link with the C.A.
We had to find the email addresses of the C.A., make a clear list of requests while enumerating the charges, keep logbooks for evidence, plan future meetings but above all, plan what we were going to do following the various possible responses of the C.A..
was our real lever ? Here it was to achieve the public image of
started with this so-called letter, signed by the 3/4 from the shop, all in
keeping in mind that ultimately, publicly, the problem could
come out, our only real lever before collective resignations by
example. The idea being to have the big end of the stick and be able to claim a
healthy work environment ! Le strict minimum !
healthy work environment ... of course it is legitimate ! It's a right that is so
not easily accessible and the advice of Éducaloi, for example, are
ridiculous when you live in a problematic situation. Direct action and
solidarity are the key to rapid and efficient gains.
letter was sent, without forgetting to give a response time so that it does not
do not fall into the cracks of the floor. The letter was received and the boss
problematic was banned from the board meeting. next. It was a small
victory already in itself !
after ? The C.A. asked to meet people 1-to-1 and sign a
confidentiality letter. The 2 requests were refused by the group. Our
strength is solidarity and we learned from the gang that this same boss had
already fired for the same issues elsewhere ... and under cover of
confidentiality, so no one could really know ! It's indecent
to put problematic people back in a position of power again and
again and this, under the hat of the confidential shutter and therefore in all connivance ...
ark ! Rather than change and educate, that's it, shovel the problem in the
neighbor's yard putting on blinders ! Neunon !
meetings were made, in Group, applications have been accepted including :
fire the boss and have a voice, an employee representative, on the
so, it seems easy ... it wasn't. It was quite a challenge
emotional, quite a challenge to keep, During months, supportive people
between them and them without dismantling despite the strategies put in place by the
patronage. But what a great victory to get rid of an oppressor (who
despite education efforts did not change) and to be able to finally have the
chance to express workers' point of view to the most
high authority of the company !
succeeded despite the ups and downs, reluctance, errors and
learning, through all these little cumulative victories !
Boss viré, healthy workplace !
culture of silence must end.
Claim Your Respect this is the reappropriation of his environment
work and one more step towards fairness and respect, finally, around the
In January 2019, the SITT-Montreal has adopted a new women's committee : the Committee for Gender Equity. Operating in single-sex, the committee is open to all those members of the union, except cis men. Members have answered some questions for us to present their operation, their single-sex and goals! Here are their collective responses.
First of all, What is the Committee for Gender Equity?
C'est un comité Inside SITT-du Montréal here s'assure tout.e.s que les membres du syndicat font face here in des oppressions basées sur le genre ont des Opportunités égales access and a distinction in intestine. The Committee for Montreal kinds of fairness hope comrades gather around common values to work on these issues within the union and in our workplaces and our communities environments.
What are your goals at the local level?
The committee aims to ensure equal opportunities and dignity for tout.e.s our comrades who face oppression based on gender. At the local union level, Montreal branch has a history of transphobia and misogyny that we want to address. Although the branch is not explicitly or transphobic and misogynist that problems were generally supported internally, we feel the need to organize ourselves, taking the space back and we support each other in our struggles.
And the level of trade unionism in general ?
In a broader perspective unionist, the work of people oppressed by gender is often unrecognized, as is the case with the housework and family, Planning, care work, etc. Many workplaces are not or little boxes, such as sex work, which is mostly occupied by oppressed sector by gender living at the intersection of many inequalities. Sexism and transphobia endanger travailleuses.eurs with recognized jobs, whether unionized or not.
The world proletariat consists mainly of women and a large percentage of trans people live in total poverty even within the imperial powers. There is therefore a need to create a safer environment for tout.e.s our comrades who face oppression based on gender and fight in solidarity for their rights at work, whether at the local or international level.
In all cases, our ideas remain the same. Our goal is not to argue for liberal identity politics where individual identities are prioritized no class analysis. Our goal is to show that people facing oppression based on gender are the majority of the proletariat. Never mind the fact that we identify as women, trans people or non-binary people, together we must ensure not only that our voices are heard, but also that we are in the center struggles for the working class. If we do not recognize ourselves in the trade union movement and workers, if our work is not done, while the working class is doomed to failure.
Can you tell us a little about the campaign Reproclaims your respect?
Demands your respect, as the name implies allows people to get the respect their due in the workplace. Each situation is different and each person has different needs. When we contacté.e.s for these campaigns, we will work with the working person to find the best possible solution. The problems of hardworking person addressed by gradually the pressure on the boss until his demands are accepted. for example, Reclaim in your campaigns pay, this can be done by putting negative comments on social media companies, by monopolizing the telephone lines or by picket lines. The Reclaim your campaigns compliance function similarly. If un.e comrade faced harassment at work, the committee will hold the shares until the demands are met and that there were systemic changes in the workplace to meet the needs of those affected. Since the committee for the Montreal kinds of equity is still young, we have not yet made campaign Reclaim your respect, but many of our members have participated in campaigns Reclaim your pay.
A word about single-sex committee chosen?
Having access to a single-sex chosen space is something very important for us. We want to focus the committee on the needs and voices of people oppressed by gender. In this environment that is more secure, we can regain our autonomy and find solutions to our problems that reflect our experiences facing the gendered violence.
We do not exclude people because we are the oppressors, but because we tout.e.s faced oppression. Even if every person on this planet is facing systemic oppression and patriarchy that ultimately is harmful to tout.e.s, cis men benefit of patriarchy in a unique way that encourages them to continue their problematic behaviors.
We obviously expect cis men among our friends, our friends and our allies. While we trust them to fight in solidarity with us and we appreciate their work as allies, it is our, people who directly face the oppression based on gender, to take the initiative to clean our environments reactionary elements misogynistic and transphobic.
The 8 March, during the international day of struggle for women's rights, Industrial Union of Workers and Workers (SITT-IWW) was the demonstration against capitalism and patriarchy, organized by Women of Diverse Origins. Several hundred people gathered to protest against the impoverishment of women, against war and against sexual violence. On this occasion, the campaign "Reclaim your respect!"SITT-the IWW was launched!
During the event “Women standing against capitalism and patriarchy!” the 8 mars 2018. Photo credit : Cedric Martin
To make visible everyday sexism and report harassment at work, women were asked to share their experience on plates that formed a collective fleeting wall. The testimonies of abuse and sexism were many, to the point where a rope had to be added. We should not have to endure comments like " You smile not? You have your period or what? "In our workplaces or" I hope you're not planning to have children, I want me to have to dealer with maternity leave ' in job interview. The difficulty in denouncing abuses and violence experienced at work is even greater for women without status of their extremely precarious and invisible status, as evidenced by the one of the suspended plates.
Harassment in the Workplace, it is racist, sexist, homophobic or a combination of oppression, should not be tolerated whatever its form : degrading comments, abuse of power, blackmail, termination, touching, etc. The campaign "Reclaim your respect!"Is there to counter all these forms of direct action and organization in the workplace. In the wake of the wave of recent months #MoiAussi, this campaign is more than necessary!