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Immigration Series, chapter 1 : Rise and Misery of Roxham Road

I admit it, I have a passion for extreme sports. I love whitewater kayaking, I had a blast when I tried kitesurfing and I'm just waiting to finish my studies to have enough time to devote myself to roller derby. But decidedly, the extreme sport that makes me experience the most strong emotions, it’s the absolutely endless race to find your way through the ever-rebuilding maze that is our immigration system. You probably won't believe me, but I swear it's really exciting!

Since Canadian immigration policies are a headache for absolutely everyone, including myself, I decided to make a series of articles aimed at popularizing all this. If all goes as planned – but please, don’t expect too much – I hope to finish a text on temporary immigration status and human trafficking and to lay another on the history of racist immigration policies since confederation. I am also open to suggestions. I like challenges and I am a bit proud, bring it your trick question!

Short, we are going strong with a topic that is far too hot for my text to remain up to date for a very long time, and I named: Safe Third Country Agreement and Roxham Road.

Hope this helps you understand the issues better.!

A few basic notions by way of introduction

  1. No one is illegal. Never.

People are sometimes without status or papers. Sometimes they don't have the right papers, but they are never “illegal”, because not being in an irregular situation with regard to one's immigration status is an administrative offense, not criminal. Exactly like a parking ticket. On the other hand, it is a criminal offense to hire people who do not have a work permit. It can sometimes even be seen from the angle of human trafficking in certain circumstances.. We will see this in more detail in the next edition.!

  1. Extremely few people arrive in Canada undocumented.

This is partly due to the geographical location of the country.. Indeed, unless you go through the United States, only land border with Canada, it is absolutely necessary to take a boat or a plane to come to the country. Or, unless you come in a container on board a cargo ship – we are talking about twenty people a year over the last few years. 5 last years1 – you will need at least a passport and a visa (working, study or tourism)2 to be able to board these transports and finally enter the country.

People who are without status in Canada have to very, vast majority already had legal authorization to be here and lost it along the way. This also applies to people crossing the border on foot from the United States.. This is my next point.

Roxham Road, a specter that haunts conservatives

The Roxham Road which, in another life, dreamed of being recognized across the country for being the gateway to the incomparable Parc Safari, is now rather famous for being the main gateway to Canada or the United States – depending on which way you take it3 – for migrants in search of a more stable life.

Indeed, passing said park, Roxham Road narrows into a kind of country road surrounded by houses far apart from each other separated by fields and patches of forest. The path continues in the same way on the American side before becoming a busier road again a few kilometers further on.. On the border between Canada and the United States: nothing. No official border post, only an RCMP command post and a mound that appears to be artificially constructed to mark the border.

Source RCMP Post : Google Map, 26 January 2023

End of Roxham Road on the Canadian side. Source : Google Map, 26 January 2023

This crossing point is by far the most popular among migrants., first and foremost for practical considerations. Indeed, rare are the border areas not controlled by customs officers that are crossed by an almost complete road. To cross elsewhere without facing a customs officer, you have to walk several kilometers without landmarks in the forest, which increases the risk of getting lost along the way.

Now, why people want to avoid going through customs? Contrary to messages bombarded by the anti-immigration right, it's not because these people have more "things to hide" than others.

To fully understand the origin of the popularity of Roxham Road, we have to go back to the very troublesome era of the War on terror decreed by the United States in the aftermath of the attacks on 11 September 2001. Thumbing up on the rumor that the attackers of the twin towers had joined the United States through the Canadian border – a myth that will later be dismantled – the Republicans of George W. Bush campaign for increased border control. It was felt that the Canadian border was a sieve for foreign nationals looking for work in the United States..

In this context, Canada and the United States signed theAgreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation in Determining Refugee Status Claims by Third-Country Nationals4 often referred to simply as the “safe third country agreement”.

Don't be surprised, this agreement, among other things, on the principle already well known at that time in Europe of… “safe third country”. Basically, this principle establishes the responsibility for the processing of asylum applications for the first State deemed safe which would have been crossed by foreign nationals during their migratory journey.

for example, a person from Latin America who would have visited the United States, then crossed to Canada before seeking asylum, would be automatically refused and sent back to the United States to process their application.

At the twist, is that the agreement provides an exception to this obligation for people who cross the border on foot without crossing a border crossing. So if we take the previous example, the person from Latin America could have their asylum file processed in Canada if they go through… Roxham Road!

Passing by this road, migrants know that they will not encounter customs officers, but they also know that RCMP officers will be on the other side to accommodate their asylum application from the first minutes of their stay in Canada.. Reason why people who cross there should not be qualified as "undocumented".

They are asylum seekers.

Until the March Biden-Trudeau deal 2023, the RCMP officers who were sent to this area did not have the mandate to determine whether the persons crossing had valid grounds for seeking the protection of Canada. They also had no right to send people back to the United States.. They therefore had to transport the migrants to what they call the “Immigration Monitoring Center” in Laval., read: a newly expanded prison. But do not worry, on the site of theCanada Border Services Agency we are assured that the dining rooms of the Laval prison are spaces with natural light5. #Canada, #PaysDesDroitsHumains, #Monk.

from jail, the identity of applicants will be verified. If they are not notorious criminals in their countries of origin, they will be released after some time with a temporary status until their request for protection is analyzed on the merits one to two years later, in front, there Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

[I had written a very long piece on the course of these kinds of hearings, but I realize that it probably does not interest anyone but me, so I'll spare you all that. To get a better idea of ​​what these audiences look like, I invite you to read the excellent novel Boat people by Sharon Bala, translated into French under the same title. It's describing! For the others, just know that the process is terribly painful and traumatic for victims of violence. You should also know that the procedures are very expensive and that on average 30% files are rejected and therefore go to appeal6.]

The Biden-Trudeau agreement, a shit show populist flavor

First thing to know: the entire safe third country agreement is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court. This saga began in the first year of Trump's tenure in the United States. With its migration policies cowboy, Canadian advocacy groups stopped viewing the United States as a safe country for migrants and questioned the constitutionality of the deal that no longer respected, in their eyes, the charter of rights and freedoms. Hearings are over, a decision should be made shortly.

So do a hill on the side it is not particularly necessary since everything could be redone in a few months.

That said, the Biden-Trudeau agreement that came into effect on 25 mars 2023 confirms the rigorous application of the agreement on safe third countries. So, it closes the loophole that allowed asylum seekers to circumvent the agreement. For simplicity: Yes, the side deal technically closes Roxham Road with a few exceptions, especially for unaccompanied minors (on average 4 per day), people with family in Canada or people facing the death penalty in the United States (no joke!)7. Other applicants will no longer be able to, until further notice, enter Canada through this crossing point to seek asylum.

But hey… immigration is never that simple.

The Biden-Trudeau agreement provides for a new exception: if people cross from the United States and manage to avoid being caught by the authorities in the 14 early days, they will be able to seek asylum in Canada. How will they be able to prove the exact time of their crossing to have access to this measurement? It remains a mystery! I am so looking forward to the case law that will analyze evidence based on the veracity of the plaintiffs' Tim Horton receipts... Big legal candy!

Finally, the new agreement provides that Canada will accept 15,000 more migrants this year from the “western hemisphere”. What does all this mean? What status will these people have?? Will they be here temporarily or permanently?? They will be asylum seekers or refugees? Honestly, it's really confusing! Even Minister Fraser refused to elaborate on this…

Refugee or asylum seeker?

Finally, the distinction between the status of refugee and that of asylum seeker is often the subject of confusion.

You should know that you cannot apply for asylum from abroad. As we have just seen, people seeking asylum in Canada must do so once inside its borders. So, contrary to the media discourse presenting asylum seekers as “irregular migrants”, know that there is no “right” or “regular” way to claim asylum. When your life is threatened… well you go crazy! No matter how and usually without much thought or planning. Many asylum seekers are fleeing individual persecution, such as violence by armed groups (gang, drug traffickers, to be threatened for being on the wrong political side, etc.), gender-based violence (domestic violence, forced marriages, sexual mutilation, honor killings, etc.) or homophobic violence (death threats, torture, conversion therapies, etc.).

In the reverse, refugees are people who have taken all the legal steps to obtain the protection of a State before traveling to it. These people therefore arrive in the country with all the right papers to rebuild their lives here.. Refugee status is usually granted to people who are collectively threatened, by a war, for example. All refugees are sponsored, either by the government, either by community groups. They are responsible for financially supporting refugees during their first year and must provide them with the necessary to meet their basic needs.. In doing, the number of refugees accepted per year is limited.

Interesting fact, the choice of files accepted by Canada is eminently political. During the war in Syria, practically only people of the Christian faith have been able to settle here. In this context, no wonder the Ukrainians had priority over the Afghans…

Persistent myths about asylum seekers

  1. They get paid for the all-inclusive hotel

Once they get out of the detention center, asylum seekers can be supported by organizations that offer temporary accommodation. We are talking about stays of a maximum of 3 weeks, the time that migrants find accommodation. I don't know who finds accommodation in 3 weeks in Montreal… Got there, it's a miracle! Hosting resources are indeed overwhelmed, but not because we are invaded, only because all the governments of the last decades underfund social services. Short, there is no space, which forced institutions to requisition hotels to temporarily house migrants. We are not talking here about luxury hotels offering room service. We are talking more about large families in one room, no kitchen or any cooking facilities. Short, nothing adapted to the needs of newcomers.

  1. They are “job thieves” and “BS” at the same time!

Once released from detention, asylum seekers can apply for a permit to have the right to work. Currently, this permit takes approximately 9 months to arrive. Waiting for the precious document, migrants cannot work, but they are allowed to apply for social assistance benefits. The vast majority of them would prefer to work as soon as they arrive, but they and they just can't do it.

Furthermore, let us recall, that the needs of asylum seekers upon arrival are important. They and they literally start from scratch with only a few clothes in their backpack. So you have to buy furniture, appliances, winter clothes for kids, kitchen items or any other necessities in addition to food and accommodation. It is certainly not with 923$ per month for a single person or 1431$ for a couple that we manage to do all that.

Many people will therefore be tempted to work “under the table” to meet all the needs. Or, without a work permit, migrants often inherit the most arduous and dangerous jobs, generally for ridiculous wages, in addition to risking getting caught by the authorities8.

Nevertheless, these people are often perceived by local workers as a threat to their own working conditions. Before talk of the supposed “labour shortage” took up so much space, these workers were often referred to as “job thieves”. Now we say rather that these last eras are putting downward pressure on wages because they are ready to accept anything.

The solution here the gang, it is solidarity between workers against the bosses. Nothing else!

  1. Everyone doesn't even speak French

Yes, asylum seekers have the right to francization and yes, during the months following their arrival, I can guarantee you that everyone goes to class because as long as they don't have the right to work, as well get a few extra pennies with the services for learning the language in addition to acquiring skills that allow you to find a better job afterwards.

Pis, all asylum-seeking children go to school in French, it's only been a few months, they become the interpreters of their parents, when they have. You will try to teach your mother yourself that she has cancer when you have 12 years. It's rough in ostia!

What do we get out of all this??

First, whatever the situation at the border, when people feel in danger, they will find a way to pass. No matter how high the walls, the length of the desert or the depth of the sea. It's no use trying to stop them. Worse honestly, you would probably do the same if you were in their shoes.

The advantage we had before the Biden-Trudeau agreement, it was that we could know more or less exactly the number of people who entered the country without going through a border post. Now, we can expect that the number of people who settle in Canada without papers without taking steps to regularize their immigration situation will jump. If all this fine anti-immigration world had the impression that we had lost control of our borders, they are not ready for what is to come.

Finally, seek asylum, it is a difficult process, often humiliating, always precarious. Asylum seekers too often end up in the worst, but oh so essential, jobs. The best we can do is stick together.


1 Government of Canada, Asylum 2018, On line, https://www.canada.ca/fr/immigration-refugies-citoyennete/services/refugies/demandes-asile/demandes-asile-2018.html (28 mars 2023) I advise you to take a look at all of this., It's really interesting!

2 Generally, people who come from “global north” countries do not need to apply for a tourist visa before traveling. The stamp affixed in the passport by a customs officer on arrival acts as a visitor's visa.

3 For reasons of efficiency and clarity, this text will focus only on migrants who transact from the United States to Canada. Be aware, however, that the migratory flow is important in both directions.

4 Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America for Cooperation in Determining Refugee Status Claims by Third-Country Nationals, 5 December 2002, on line : https://www.canada.ca/fr/immigration-refugies-citoyennete/organisation/mandat/politiques-directives-operationnelles-ententes-accords/ententes/entente-tiers-pays-surs/version-finale.html

5 Canada Border Services Agency, Immigration Holding Centers, On line, https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/security-securite/ihc-csi-fra.html (12 January 2023)

6 Immigration and Refugee Protection Board, Refugee Protection Division Statistics (SPR), On line, https://irb.gc.ca/fr/transparence/cartable-ccp-nov-2020/Pages/pac10.aspx?=undefined&wbdisable=false#:~:text=La SPR a réglé un,rapport à l'exercice précédent (28 mars 2023)

7 Government of Canada, Agreement between Canada and the StatesUnited on third countriesandrs, On line, https://www.canada.ca/fr/immigration-refugies-citoyennete/organisation/mandat/politiques-directives-operationnelles-ententes-accords/ententes/entente-tiers-pays-surs.html (28 mars 2023)

8 On this subject, I invite you to watch the documentary “Essentiels”. It gives a good idea of ​​the conditions in which these people can work. https://www.telequebec.tv/documentaire/essentiels

On the road with the Union Thugs

Health, I introduce myself, I'm a singer in the Union Thugs music group and a member of the IWW-Montreal since 2013. It has been now 2 years that we decided to launch a project that would fill both our union thirst for social justice and passion for music. Thus was born the project group Union Thugs, a music group lobbying for the end of social inequality and revolutionary syndicalism. In two years, we have about 80 concerts all over Ontario and Quebec, in both acoustic or electric formula, on picketing, in industrial action, the shows whose proceeds are intended for judiciarisé.e.s comrades, children's parties, the festival punks, wild concerts on wasteland, etc.

Of 11 the 15 January, we were on the road in Ontario for what we have dubbed the "Back to Work Tour" in reference to the special law imposed by Trudeau and his government to workers and postal workers began a series of pressure tactics, including rotating strikes. It is with a maximum of 14, and a minimum of 9 wobblies[1] we scoured the roads of Ontario between Ottawa, Sudbury, Hamilton et Toronto. Here is a short story of this little tour.


It's a Friday afternoon rather chilly we take towards the Ottawa en route to the first concert of the tour. Some of us decided to make a detour on the road to stop the picket line of workers of Baxtrom's Your Independent Grocer in Cornwall. On the spot, fifteen affiliated strikers we meet there at UFCW Canada Local 1006A[2] which picketed the supermarket with a temperature of more inhospitable. their boss, a franchisee of the company Loblaws (Quebec has the Maxi and Provigo stores), wanted to impose a lengthy contract with in terms of salary conditions peanuts. This is why the employee-s supermarket have mis.es on strike 23 Last November and are on the sidewalk since.

We drive to Ottawa where we tread the stage of the Cafe Dekcuf in which a small concert in union folk fashion was organized by our comrades of the branch of the IWW Ottawa-Outaouais. For the occasion, we accompagné.e.s by artists and unionists The Ashton Starr, Meredith Moon and the band The apparatchiks. We spend a great evening during which we also meet several members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (STTP-CUPW). One evening as we like where unionism and worker folklore mingle so well. Thank Aalya and Mike for accommodation and the beautiful late-night discussions.


On the morning of 12 January, after a good breakfast, we hit the road, this time, North-west direction, as we head to Sudbury. The Northern Ontario has many workers bastions where the Wobblies had a great influence on the trade union tradition of their presence between the years 1910 and 1940. Sudbury is part of lot, the city is known for its nickel deposits is also for its Franco-Ontarian community and its combative trade union movement in the foreground, les United Steelworkers (ETC)[3]. It is an honor for us to play in one of the bastions of workers Province.

This time, an introductory lecture to unionism IWW version is scheduled (thank you to the Canadian regional organization IWW Committee (CANROC) for support). We take this opportunity to meet some new union members in Sudbury who are currently working to create a branch in their region. Thereafter, we are the only group in the evening the menu bar The Asylum. If this is not the most populous of the tour, Needless to say, we take the opportunity to party and most of our songs in straight sets.


We leave Sudbury towards another worker stronghold of Ontario, Hamilton also we nicknamed it "The Hammer". If it was our first concert life in Sudbury, We are however of Hamilton habitué.e.s. Indeed, it's the city, outside Montreal where Union Thugs played most often. This Sunday 13 January, this will be our fourth concert in this municipality of just over 500 000 habitant.e.s known for its heavy industry on the edge of Lake Ontario. The "Hammer", it's a little home. It's that there are many links between Montreal and Hamilton, and not just because the Bulldogs, former farm team of the Montreal Canadiens. Indeed, either via the music scene in which the two cities regularly exchange bands or via unionism, Montreal branch of the IWW much helped launch the Hamilton branch.

This is also the IWW-Hamilton, in the news with regular blockades in solidarity with the postal workers, which organizes the concert that night. For the occasion, we are accompanied Lee Reed local rapper to set fire to the Tower, anarchist social space of the city. We had played a concert at the emergency Tower, but the space has since moved. Always clean (it's pretty impressive), space welcomes the opportunity for a good sixty spectators concert. We spend a great evening again and local Wobblies tell us that many new faces were on hand for the concert. A beautiful signed IWW-Hamilton success. We take this opportunity to especially thank the fellow workers Erin, Dan and Lee Reed on this evening.


We end our visit to Hamilton by some tourism (non-militant) visiting the first Tim Horton's. We take along the road to Toronto, located about 1 hour drive, if we exclude traffic jams (On the other hand, traffic jams, them, have not we exclu.e.s). This is the last town on our itinerary, where we will be producing in the next two evenings. We begin with a small folk concert held at The Arcade, an apartment block inhabited by musicians who have decided to make their living room a small concert hall. This is the second time we spend there and as usual, we comblé.e.s by the welcome. A meal is prepared and everyone can use, which brings a nice touch to community concerts in this place. For the occasion, we are accompanied by artist Meredith Moon (we are well heureux.ses to recover following the concert Ottawa), indie-folk group and Terrastray course, our ami.e.s bon.ne.s folk-punk band Stinkbox, one of the groups that could be called "brother" Union Thugs. Another beautiful evening in the Queen City, courtesy of Meredith, Cat, Beej and people who live in The Arcade.

The next day, mardi 15 January, it is already time of the last concert of the tour. We take this opportunity to organize a small group dinner, During a review of the week, with the people who made the road with us (we are at the moment 9, either 6 Union members and Thugs 3 people who accompany us). We perform that night at Bovine Sex Club, who, as its name does not indicate, East bar-punk specatcle. For the occasion, we accompagné.e.s Morel (folk-punk) et des Wretched Fools (punk). We take this opportunity to give a big concert in electric mode (the only tour) and the atmosphere quickly turns to the party in the room is busy. Another beautiful evening cursed!

For the occasion, and such throughout the tour, Vanessa, who accompanies us, the opportunity to install a table is offered from harm reduction equipment with sterile equipment, condoms, and equipment to safely consume. We take this opportunity to thank AQPSUD well as allowing us to turn with material like this, material that ultimately, used to save lives.


The next morning, we leave the Queen City in the direction of our dear city of Montreal. This is an opportunity to take the time to stop a little on the road. We take this opportunity to return to the picket line supermarket's Baxtrom, this time, with a few more people than at the first stop. That we retain, it's more that people who want to fight against exploitation and to survive at work or in neighborhoods, It's everywhere. We need to increase exchanges and solidarity at meetings over. Thugs Union just want a way to increase contacts between people who want to fight. Do not hesitate to Contact us if you want to organize a group concert in your corner, we are always partant.e.s for evenings where we exchange on unionism and social struggles, all with a little music.

Eric Sedition

[1] Members of the Industrial Union of Workers and Workers (SITT-IWW). The origin of the nickname "wobbly" remains unclear.
[2] United Food and Commercial Workers, better known in Quebec under the name United Workers of Food and Trade (TUAC).
[3] Better known in Quebec under the name Union of Steelworkers.

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Panorama of past struggles and future Gaspésie

1909- Everywhere in Gaspésie, fishing is conducted by foreign companies of & rsquo; Jersey, with the head Charles Robin, Collas and Co. Charles Robin is by far, the worst employers ; Indeed it puts up the "Robin system" : it ensures loyalty forced the fisherman to the retailer. To do this , s & rsquo; he wants to pay his debt accumulated during the & rsquo; winter in the general store run by the same trader, the fisherman can not see a solution : increase the amount of cod caught the next season. However, as is Robin decides the price of products and sockets, repayment is, every season, far from complete.

September 1909, fishermen learn that merchants set the price of cod quintal 3,50$ so that & rsquo; they expected 5 piastres. The situation is clear : we must act collectively in & rsquo; interest of everyone. It is with in fear, but raised fist, fishermen begin their claims on the fourth day of September. Starting from small villages near Rivière-au-Renard, the population began a march that leads the up & rsquo; the place where traders located ,with the intention of ending more & rsquo; d & rsquo a century; operating.

Following the & rsquo; history is predictable, Merchant appeal to the armed forces to ensure their safety, Punishment is implemented, there will be death, wounded, imprisonment among fishermen and claims will be rejected. However, several years later, fishermen will be organized into cooperatives to break the monopoly in place and will become available as the direct influence of traders. The revolt of the fishermen was the first step towards their emancipation from unscrupulous employers. Through this collective movement, fishermen n & rsquo; not learned that & rsquo; to demand better terms from their bosses, but especially, they understood that & rsquo; they had s & rsquo; organize to be able to pass d & rsquo; them.

1957- Best known recently highlighted due to its 60th anniversary : the strike of miners in Gaspésie Murdochville . The main cause of the strike was the refusal of employers & rsquo; affiliation of workers and ourières a more combative union versus the company union and Catholic whom he was affiliated-the-art. The strike was also heavily repressed and no direct gain was obtained by strikers. Two d & rsquo; them died during the conflict, about 500 were dismissed and replaced by scabs. However, recognizes aujourd & rsquo; hui this uprising, in the reign of Duplessis, was the trigger many other social movements. He forced the implementation of some reforms towards the & rsquo; partial improvement of working conditions and above, to the right of workers to choose the union of their choice instead of & rsquo; a system of representation of men and women workers. This system of representation, often set up by employers, indeed favored a permanent peace between the two parties. Despite this victory, this union culture inherited from the Catholic unions still persists.

So, behind a holiday destination image, Gaspésie, through its history since colonization, is d & rsquo theater; major battles between productive forces vs. the owners of capital and means of production. Of course, this relationship of domination of the latter on the first is always d & rsquo; news.

Speaking holiday destination, seasonal work related to the & rsquo; tourism industry here is a prime economic sector. Small traders, in the field of food e.g., must enjoy the summer windfall to accumulate the necessary capital to keep afloat their business and their rate of consumption in the & rsquo; year, while the employee hopes to accumulate enough & rsquo; hours to collect his unemployment to his layoff once the season or, if he or she is a student-e, to try & rsquo; accumulate the necessary to survive a school year. So, the seasonal-eras employees must produce intensively during the summer and it, despite the weak received salary. The shopkeeper will say then have to offer small salaries during the & rsquo; was to garner sufficient economies and low wages remains the & rsquo; year, to take up & rsquo; in the next season.

This is what m & rsquo; leads to speak of & rsquo; first difficulty in the field of & rsquo; organization and claim. C & rsquo; is that & rsquo; it seems difficult, in this context, to demand better working conditions without being accused of s & rsquo; take "small businesses that sustain the & rsquo; local economy". The pretext of "economic insecurity" of small businesses seems to justify Gaspé, the eyes of many, precarious workers, workers and students with Gaspésie-nes. So, people working d & rsquo; hard in the kitchen, dining rooms, cafes, various shops for tourists to feel es received as king and queen, forever play the role of disposable economic support and cheap serving patrons and tourists.

Another difficulty d & rsquo; here in the same field towards the fact that in this environment where everyone knows, conflict situations seem to be avoided at all costs, for fear that & rsquo; they affect social relationships outside work and that the names of the persons concerned do not become synonymous with "trouble maker" and so they lead to some exclusion from the labor market, problem less present in the & rsquo; anonymity of large urban centers.

A third difficulty is the short-term nature of the season in which these jobs abound. Cultural change is long to perform and requires constant involvement of many people. Many of these workers n & rsquo; is that passage, they and they leave behind them and the same working conditions that & rsquo; they arrive, thinking that anyway it n & rsquo; is only temporary. The winter season would be a good time to s & rsquo; organize those who inherit this precarious situation in & rsquo; year.

Besides this, sing here often promise better days thanks to the & rsquo; arrival of big industry : Pulp (Gaspésia), cement (McInnis cement in Port-Daniel), oil (Pétrolia), the industry & rsquo; wind (LM windpower)etc. These industrial giants, in collaboration with the & rsquo; State finance, are as the safeguard for the region. "They would bring jobs and prosperity", so that & rsquo; many times, this type of economic model that generates unemployment and devitalized. Indeed, except in the case of LmWindpower that engages hundreds of workers and workers, these industries advocate the & rsquo; purchase & rsquo; automated equipment and n & rsquo; brings and some jobs that will disappear as soon as the & rsquo; business will suffer the jolts d & rsquo; any economic crisis on Wall Street or d & rsquo; administrative decisions taken far d & rsquo; here. So, they will leave behind people without income and polluting ruins. Short, it seems to me that & rsquo; work organization by and for workers in the & rsquo; optical d & rsquo; an improvement of all the quality of life and all would probably be greater than a distribution of work by d & rsquo leaders, businesses and d & rsquo; state, deciding to produce any and n & rsquo; anything, provided that & rsquo; there is a profit to be drawn for each other and for their campaign promises to create jobs seem to be held, the risk of & rsquo; d & rsquo add, other social and environmental scars in the region.

To conclude, throughout their history, people d & rsquo; here have endured d & rsquo; intolerable treatment by d & rsquo; economic and political elites, as the sea that & rsquo; at the bottom of the mine through the & rsquo; factory. On the other hand, l & rsquo; popular history also shows us that when it's time to stick together among peers to improve our conditions, passion, l & rsquo; organization and & rsquo; action are waiting for you. A long work remains to deconstruct the prejudices that divide the working population, especially for those without jobs, or between permanent es and seasonal workers (unemployed and seasonal es chômeuseuses). Also, with a new "chapter" of the d & rsquo group The Pack extreme right in Gaspésie, the issue of racism and fascism becomes a priority, without forgetting the struggles against sexism, l & rsquo; homophobia, Aboriginal struggles etc.. The SITT-IWW account here very few members currently, but its development in the area seems to me very relevant and even urgent. So, s & rsquo; there are people interested to come "salter" in the corner, embarrass you not!


Photo credit: Camping Québec.
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Wobbly Lifes: From Toronto to Montreal

statistically, women adopt the interests and hobbies of their male partners. So when I started dating a new male-identifying, human, I was determined not to allow his interests to become my interests. Sure, it was cute how excited he was when first signed his Red Card, And I appreciated how he would come back from meetings filled with energy and new ideas.. I was determined not to join the IWW, just because of my new relationship. Beside, it was good for us to maintain our autonomy and have separate interests..


But my tough exterior, impenetrable to his anarchist ways, was destroyed when I was invited to a party, and was introduced a passionate (not to mention incredibly cool!). young female organizer. She was full of excitement about how the branch had just helped an immigrant worker win a wage theft campaign.. The worker had been fired without cause from his job, and the worker was owed two weeks of wages that the employer was refusing to pay. Several members of the Solidarity Committee accompanied the worker to his (now former) workplace to support his demands that the employer pay the lost wages., .. When the employer called the cops to ask them to remove the group from the premises,, the cops asked him “why are they there? what are they asking you to do?When the employer explained the situation,, the cops simply replied that he should pay the worker. A short time later, the worker and the Solidarity Committee left the workplace with cash in the pocket of the worker..


Now, that, was cool. In fact, it was totaly fucking cool. And I could no longer deny to myself that the IWW was a radical group who performed (and yet accomplishes!) concrete changes in the lives of working people.. I’ll admit that it still took me a few months to tell to my partner that he was right, and a few more weeks for us to agree that we would like to share this organizing space. and, and a few more weeks, for us to agree that we would like to share this organizing space. but in August 2014 I officially signed my card. Since that time, I have organized in several committees including with the Toronto Branch in the Fundraising and Education Committee,, and the Women's Committee, as Toronto branch Secretary, and with the Montreal Branch, on the Events and Merchandise Committee, and the Women’s Committee.. I am currently a Branch delegate, and am organizing with the Organizing and Solidarity Committees.. For me, organizing with the IWW, is a rewarding space to make tangible changes in our communities,, to support workers in their class struggle against their employers, and to work towards achieving a more radical and just world.. Together, we can make changes!



For the One Big Union,


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Near a thousand protesters for the International Workers Day


For May Day 2017, while the unions sent their permanent es-es and employee distribute leaflets, the IWW as well as numerous groups mobilized for a day of struggle, of working class solidarity and combative unionism. In the program; office occupancy placement agencies, popular meals and demonstration Southern center to Downtown o? ù the police waiting at a halt!

Occupancy of Thompson Tremblay's offices and ManPower Recruitment Solutions

This year the start of the International day of workers has been given at noon for members of the Industrial Workers Union and Workers (SITT-IWW) Montreal and the Workers Association of Temporary Workers of Employment Agencies (ATTAP) who went occupy Thompson Tremblay offices and ManPower Recruitment Solutions, two placement agencies.

Temporary employment agencies specialize in ofoffering a flexible workforce to companies. Essentially, it transforms the boss-employee relationship in a triangular relationship of employer-employee-agency. The agencies allow companies to reduce their production costs by reducing the accounting staff and evasion of payment of benefits and protections of minimum labor standards such as cotisations with EI, insurance in case of work accidents, parental leave, as well as for caregivers, pensions, holidays, etc. They also limit the right to unionize, the right to direct negotiations with the boss to have a collective agreement and the right to strike as a defense mechanism. Victims workers of this process do not accumulate seniority, have no minimum hours of guaranteed work or job security and receive no annual salary increase. Since the disruption of the conference of the ACSESS 5 april 2017, our working conditions have not improved. Our demands remain the same so:

The immediate increase of the minimum wage to $ 15 / hour, obligation to hire the workers by the client company after three months of service, joint responsibility of employment agencies and client companies regarding labor standards and health and safety, the same wage for agency workers and those who are hired by the client company.

popular meal in the Center-Sud neighborhood
Despite the rain, near 200 people who are grouped Médéric Martin Park in the early afternoon. Housed-e-s by the tents of SOS Roaming and warmed-e-s by the food provided by the Coop Café Touski, the members of our dedicated union, but also those of the Mouvement Action Unemployment, Plateau Mont-Royal Housing Committee, the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality, the Association for Student Solidarity Trade Union (ASSÉ), Student Union of Workers of UQÀM, Solidarity Without Borders, Faculty Student Association Sciences Humaines of UQÀM, and various Antifascist group present in the area such as RASH, the Montreal Sisterhood and the Young Guard benefited from this community gathering.

The theme of the day? Enough is enough! While the cost of living is rising constantly, utilities are cutting. Welfare recipients suffer savage attacks. There is the threat of a reform of labor standards who would benefit the employers that awaits us, and to add insult to injury, while unions and community groups are calling for a minimum wage 15$ /h, the bosses and the state answer us : you're onlyUERE more than $ 11.25 / hour.

As if that was not enough, the social climate deteriorates. Racist discourse have vast grandstands. They mistreat the difference. Hate crimes against women, the muslims and LGBTQIA community * multiply. We do not tolerate the spread of hate speech in the medias, workplaces and communities.

Frontenac Metro Protest in Downtown

Eventually joined by pink bloc and anti-gentrification groups of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, is the theme of anti-fascism and the opening of borders rather than inward-be that the event is finally set in motion at 17:40. Fanfare, flags, smoke and fireworks brightened Ontario Street subway Frontenac to the Great Library at Berri-UQAM metro or demonstrators took the streets of downtown in order to join the great event organized by the Convergence anticapitalist struggles (CLAC). If the participants of the latter already had to defend themselves from a first police charge at Place Ville Marie, the arrival of the fascist contingent and syndicalist gave new life to the demonstration continued until past 20 hours in the evening in the streets of downtown.

At the time of publication, there was only one arrest. Our thanks to lawyer's team Desmarais & Desvignes and Ouellet Nadon and associates that united for the legal monitoring of our members.




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Dual Carding. Questions and answers

Below are some notes on the dry run of an experimental dual carding workshop (Ndtr : le dual carding, soit l’adhésion à l’IWW et à un autre syndicat). I'm posting the questions and my answers below for discussion. I'm thinking this may be the first of a few notes on "the IWW and other unions" trying to outline some perspectives on this stuff perspectives on the subject.

Where I say "we" I am making an assertion about classical IWW positions, where I say "I", I'm saying I think this is my opinion. . I do my best to keep those separate , though of course like everyone, I fail at this a lot. .

*What is our relationship to the decertification or désafiliation? It seems that People Work College 2012 several people brought the idea that we should put our focus on the decertification business unions to replace by a new accreditation, that of the IWW-SITT. I'm not sure whether it is a strategy that has been used, if anyone has heard of such an experience I would be curious to learn more.

I can only speak from our experience in Edmonton where we were a few approché.es opportunity by Workers, eager and willing to decertify their union. Generally, we have always recommended. The problem is that the ISTC-IWW does not occupy the same space as other union, therefore it is illogical to substitute one for the other. Beside, usually, when workers or workers seeking to withdraw the accreditation of their union in their workplace, and it is because they are not satisfait.es the services they and they receive it. With a skeletal budget, minimum contributions and aucun.es employé.es, we will not do much better in terms of services. This is not what we do.

In the local of the Union of Workers and Workers Post (sttp) where I am, the average grievance, after clearing all stages will cost beyond 10 000$. This is several hundred dollars just for the early stages. With our voluntary contributions and low-cost, finance such level bureaucracy through fund raising, is not an option either.

* What is the role of the Left caucus? Throughout the conversation Work College People, the general feeling was that the left caucus are inevitable and may even be helpful. Or, the fact is that tou.tes the pre Fellow workerssent.es impliqué.es were in places that, more or less, used the left caucus. The first in an emerging solidarity networks among OPSEU (Public Service Union Employé.es of Ontario) and others in an Alliance of Local Public Service of Canada (AFPC), which serves some out of headquarters formilitant.es.

I agree that the left caucus are inevitable and I participated personally in one of them in CUPW, but I never do not report my activities SITT-IWW, nor the IWW SITT-one seems to be concerned. All that is politically significant in this world does not need to be under the banner of the IWW-SITT. I am also interested in reforming the trade unions and a good representation of members than anyone else. Or, it is not a revolutionary commitment and to be frank, I do not think it has anything to do with the IWW-SITT.

Regarding the sanctuaries of militants and mainly militant.es union, simply note that the militant.es do not always make the best recruitment pools to find good Wobblies. Many of them have careerist ambitions even within their union and if this is not a problem either, it will not advance the SITT-IWW either. Of Workers angry and respected by their peers are far more important, and if by chance, they are also militant.es, it's better this way, but it is not the most important.

*What about elections? Here again, the shared feeling was that at times it could be useful.

To begin, it must be remembered that in the regulations of the ISTC-IWW much is mentioned about the position of Officer or an Officer to another union, It's not about saying you can not be, but we place rather severe limitations on the subject. Of course, it is always possible to bring the appeal regulations to evade restrictions, but it is important to understand why we have these rules in the first place. This is because our understanding of revolutionary syndicalism is not limited to being a "very progressive union". Just as we recommend the establishment of the organizing committees on the floor and exceeding the delegate system; a revolutionary position exceeding the électoralisme and avoiding contractualism, our structure and function is embodied in a commitment to a different kind of policy. In the IWW-SITT, unions are not politically neutral organizations, on the contrary, their structures and commitments reflect the political perspectives of their architects.

All this was more clear at a time when the labor movement was marked by more ideological diversity, but since the 60 there is a hegemony of social democracy and that is what the standard structure reflects. Grab these structures without calling the serious question can only lead to an appointment, a receivership or both.


*Still on the issue of being un.e union délégué.e, the question came on the floor : If no one else is present, Is it not desirable that one of our activists to make the, at least, the job done? Do this does not in addition to having a legitimate reason to talk about work with colleagues without this having weird?

I'm not against people who decide to become steward, but these people should be keeping the eyes wide open. What the job involves? If the priority is to build a committee that handles requests from the floor and helps people develop a strategy to collectively pressure on the boss, I'm all for it. If the job is simply to do what any other delegate will do, it is not either an error, but it should be clear to those concerned that they and they do so for personal reasons and not as a member of the IWW-SITT. That said, note that the ISTC-IWW has no clear position on the subject.


*How the dual membership works in a multi-union environment? How can we actually bring the Union for All and for All to help the organization in the days days?

We have some experience on the subject in Edmonton and the most important is to start communicating with people working together. Not only between unions, but between syndiqué.es workers and workers and non-workers syndiqué.es. The benefits that direct action on the official channels is that attacking a unified management structure, it is possible to put more pressure. Prioritize applications that affect everyone (as issues relating to human rights, to parking spaces, health and safety) allows an expansion of the fields of action, while contractual disputes types are obviously narrower and less useful. Joint meetings (in our case meetings during coffee breaks) bring together everyone on the floor.


*If Wobblies can do things like take control of the union newsletter or bulletin, get hold of contact lists, etc. How should we, and we must, put its possibilities to use?

Of course you should. You should do everything like in the Training Organization 101 (FO101 or OT101 English), to-one meetings, identify leaders and cheerleaders, get them to do actions in the workplace, then include them in your committee. The newsletters and newsletters can be a good way to share the gains that have been won on the floor.


*How can we avoid being co-opt the union? That is, to see the legalistic incumbent union claim that the victories of the committee are hers?

Most important is that workers themselves and themselves appropriated victory, no more the case the incumbent union IWW-SITT. If the role of ISTC-IWW was decisive, then it must be stressed that the organization has, but we can not just take all the credit. for example, we have already set up an education program, promotes tactics March on the Boss and work on an independent blog. But he is not here to be that so typical left which again and again repeating the same slogans proclaiming himself an enlightened vanguard, but earlier use by the methods of workers who make common sense.


*What kind of backlash can we expect when the double membership will be discovered by the highest levels of the hierarchy? What type of inoculation is required before the country becomes public? More stories and anecdotes may be useful here ...

CUPW we just set the record straight. We had no interest in becoming the bargaining unit certified for post offices and we consider ourselves as loyal members of CUPW . Yet we insisted that no worker, and no worker has to ask permission to carry out actions on the floor, and the officers and Officers were asked their members and not the other. That being said, I think there are too many differences from one union to another to be able to give some kind of prescription boilerplate more accurate than to be clear about the fact that what we mean by union is very different from that the PSAC, for example, means union.


*What is it that he differs AEIOU in the context of an already unionized environment?

It does not differ.


*What is the ultimate goal of the organization in double membership? In FO101 several sections begin by asking participants , "Why do we do this? », as in "Why are we shaken? », "Why do we ask our colleagues to join the union? », "Why follow up on tasks? », etc. I wonder if, perhaps, keep this format might be a good way to introduce this module. and, as in the FO101, this could include a series of responses. Yet I feel a little silly saying this, but after sitting down to think about, I could not articulate a clear answer to "why" we do this.

I think the ultimate goal of the organization in double membership is the same as in FO101, build a functional organization committee can mobilize workers on the floor to make direct action to assert their own interests.

I will try and work with Rhiannon to answer any practical questions regarding the workshop, I think many of them are valid, and the lack of precision or clarity of our answers will matter not a problem with your questions, but soon the level of thinking we are made. However, one of the points which I can already answer about this module is that it is deliberately a supplement to FO101 because we believe that this training covers the basic work organization. To which I would add that in my opinion, not only, organizational work by double membership is not so different from the organizational work in non-unionized environment, particularly with the necessary skills to relate, but the bulk of the material is actually oriented towards an understanding of what the IWW-SITT. That being said, I also think that we need to work the issue in more detail, since the phenomenon of business unions bearing the red flag is increasingly common.


Written by Nick Walter, Edmonton IWW, the 17 October 2014
Translated by the SLI Communication Committee of Montreal, the 16 mars 2017

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Agreement at Frite Alors! Rachel

Friday 15 December 2016, the employees of Frite Alors! Rachel finally venu.es an agreement with the employer. A major shift for the Wobblies who take openly storefront in Montreal and a first for the labor movement that saw the birth of new ways to operate outside of the legal framework limitations.

We remember that the Press release send it 27 August to announce their affiliation to the Industrial Union of Workers and Workers - Industrial Workers of the World (SITT-IWW), included a list of items they wanted to see and they change their workplace. It talked among other kitchen salary increases and service, annual increases, standardization of training, a priority internally when opening new positions, a guaranteed floor of hours, of compensation for shifts in stand-by and sick leave.


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wage theft thwarted in Ahuntsic

A few weeks ago, a restoration employee, assistant cook, contacted us because he had problems (sic) pay with his employer. His boss demanded him an amount she had paid him too much by mistake, and rather than show him and make an agreement with him, she went directly to dip into its next payroll without telling. And not a little, more than three quarters of his pay.

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Action Directe: Open Letter to Members of Radio Centre-VIlle

At the end of the summer with the team’Action Direct, we decided to take a break from a session only to come back on the air in the winter 2017. Despite this withdrawal we continued to follow the news of Radio Centre-Ville and this news is more than worrying!

Radio Centre-Ville in crisis, as well as economic policy. We share here a statement, signed by several volunteers.

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Back to the Training Organization 101

The 8 and 9 October last, the SITT-IWW Montreal took advantage of the long weekend of Thanksgiving to give a dozen of its members an OT-101 training (organizer training / organizer 101) English to his local on Brébeuf Street, to Montreal.

The formation of a two-day was given by a US organizer and an organizer of Ontario, selected-e-s branches from outside Quebec and, for their experience. This choice allowed the few 12 attendees to benefit not only training that has long existed and whose effectiveness is well established, but also the experience of the trainer and the trainer who was very popular with participants and participants.
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