Community worker : Why I manifest May 1

I work as involved in the community for several years. Before that, I had a lot of different jobs in several industries. Diver, telephone pollster, cashier, assistant cook, warehouseman, House painter, concierge, clerk, attendant customer service, name it.

Evil may have changed places, but the situation changed so much : I always have an employer who takes advantage of me. Except that this time, the employer, it has a "humanist" mission behind which hide. And if that is not the employer who directly want more of me for as little as possible, these are the donor, private or state.

I'm not alone. Women workers (and workers) Community do not have easy. Reasons to demonstrate and be disgusted es, it does us no shortage.

Conditions do not improve. Our wages are stagnating. Many are in survival mode for a paycheque to paycheque. and yet, we asked more. The State deresponsibilises : public services and the social safety net eat the fly, the people with whom we also work thereby, so we have to compensate with the means at hand.

The organizations financed keeps us always in precarious. Our posts are subsidized to "project", often for a year, with no guarantee of renewal. Thus humpback connect with people you help and accompany (because we work with human beings, often maganés), not knowing if in six months, and, we can continue. It is also disturbing to us as unhealthy for the relationship we are trying to keep up with the people who attend our resources.

It burns. As in the health system, cases of burnout are rampant. In almost all organizations I work with in my work, there is at least one person had been on sick off work in the last year. And when a person leaves, our workloads that increase, there are other workers or workers who shop burnout. This is the burnout musical ...

Fortunately, we are not alone-e-s. There is something to inspire the movement of nurses and employee-s health. There are voices. It is organized gradually. It's up to us to mobilize. Our best weapon is our solidarity, no matter where we work. Community organization, intervention, animation, everyone working together and we're in the same boat (He was ...). That is why, you work in the community, in health, restoration, in construction, etc., le 1er mai, I walk with you.



A member of the Community Committee of the Union of Industrial Workers and Workers (SITT-IWW Montreal)

Do treeplanters suffer from Stockholm syndrome?

A portrait of the industry of treeplanting

While it used to be a dignified and respectable way to earn your life, treeplanting is now nothing but a way to live counter-culture for wanderers and students who seek an alternative to the minimum wage. Nowadays, the possibility of escaping the threshold of poverty is only attainable for the best of us, who endure a very long season from west to east of the country. There is no mistaken it, wages have not risen for a long time. When we ask why, we are always met with the same answer: there is not enough money, or we are told to shut up.

The ultra-competitive practices of the industry are to blame. For all these years, companies have ferociously maintained their market share, at the expense of our wages. They often leave thousands of dollars to win their submission. This represents the amount of money that separates the lowest submission of their closest competitor. And if the other companies that pay up to the standard of the industry find themselves incapable of offering lower costs, then where did they cut? In our safety? In our kitchen budget? In our wages?

In all of this, we don’t have a word to say. Of course we musn’t voice our opinions on the practices of the industry or on those of our company. Production must continue, but production for whom? “If you’re not happy, find yourself another job”… A reality that manifests itself through the figure of the foreman, who systematically demands job candidates with a “good attitude”.

The bosses really don’t want to hear us complaining about our extraordinarily low wages for an extraordinarily difficult job. They don’t want to hear our complaints, but they do nothing for us. And will do nothing! And yet, who will pay the price of their irresponsibility and their endless greed? It’s us, because our wages are their biggest exploitation cost. Lower wages mean more contracts and more money for them. Although, more insecurity for us; more injuries because we always feel the pressure to out-perform if we want to be able to pay our rent, our food, our tuition, our leisure… Whose prices keep climbing year after year! But it doesn’t stop there. They sometimes “forget” to include our transportation hours in our total working time, intimidate us when we want to get our WCB (CSST), make us work for free when it’s time to dismantle and reassemble the camp, abandon the maintenance of the showers, provide insufficient funds for food… On top of all this, we also have to pay 25$ to shit in the shitters that we dug ourselves.

Stockholm syndrome

But we are also to blame. Because, with each passing day, we continue to dance without ever setting our foot down. We prefer to stay silent as we watch our comrades plant trees with tendinitis in their wrist. Sometimes, at the point where it’s in both wrists. We don’t want to see them as our reflection, but rather as competitors. When someone is forced to work with an injury, because they are intimidated or because they are denied any form of compensation, it’s all of us who pay the price. Have you ever gotten through a season without at least one case of tendinitis in your camp? It will be your turn soon and you most likely won’t have access to any aid or compensation. If it hasn’t already been the case. It is the most frequent injury, but there are also infections due to the showers not being functional. There’s the lumbar sprains and the sprained ankle. Finally, when it is time to take a bow and retire, there’s the chronic tendinitis and the damaged knee. Sometimes even, it’s a case of pneumonia that spreads, or who knows what kind of viruses and food poisoning. That’s without mentioning the harassment and the assaults, done by the bosses as well as amongst ourselves, of which we never talk about but that nevertheless happen every summer.

In spite of all that, we are not even content with merely observing our collective agony with indifference. We have completely assimilated our bosses’ line of thought, convincing us to always work harder. We compete with each other. We put pressure on each other. No more need for policing on the camp, we are our own police. This reality finds itself best represented through the emblematic figure of the highballer. The one who attains the highest degree of accomplishment in social scale of treeplanting. Sometimes, legends even form around these figures. And yet, the value of these people is only measured through their production, never through their individuality. Antagonistically towards ourselves, we only perceive ourselves through the prism of productivity. Such a reality can only favor our bosses.

All this, and we have nor problem drinking with our bosses. We assure them they are our friends. That the experience of treeplanting would not be the same without them. Indeed, it would be far better! I cannot help but feel the bitterness of it all… friends? How can we reconcile friendship and abuse, unless we have no respect for ourselves? We who share the same conditions, the same problems. Our bosses are hypocrites. The love-hate relationship that we develop towards our job, it isn’t hard to understand. We love the camp life, the unforgettable evenings, the friendships we nurture, the stars in the sky, the afternoons by the beach… We hate the unpaid labor, the insults, the injuries, the psychological problems, the pressure, the days and the weeks without ends… It is not them that make the seasons unforgettable, but us. How many of you have already daydreamed, for hours, a thousand and one ways to torture your foreman? They do nothing but force us to experience pain and indignity. Experiences that help us workers bond, but that aren’t a pleasure by any measure.

Foremen are not our allies. They are agents at the service of the companies. The wage system based on the treeplanters’ production and the necessity of meeting production quotas only act as an incentive for our exploitation. The widespread myth that the foremen take better care of us when they are paid more is one that is constantly repeated to us. But, is it really how that works? The unfair distribution of lands, the abusive warnings when production is too low, the pressure to go beyond our mental and physical limits, all seem to indicate the contrary. If it isn’t a downright botched job, while we work to pay their salaries. Let’s not forget that the foremen don’t work for us, but it is us who work them.

Now what?

We must stop complaining all on our own. That only serves to comfort each other as we constantly descend further into hell.

The two solutions most often mentioned will lead us nowhere. The first would have the companies meet at a negotiation table to agree to a minimal price for the industry, under which they would not compete with each other. In that case, we might as well do nothing and wait for money to grow on our trees. The other solution would be to form a cooperative. With this model, we would effectively have control over our working conditions, but we would still have to submit to the law of the market. The cost of the tree would have to remain competitive in order to have contracts. These cooperatives would remain very small since they could not carve a bigger spot in the market. What would become then of the vast majority of the workers, still trapped in the rookie mills?

Organization is key

There is only one solution: solidarity unionism. The only way to improve our working conditions is to shape the balance of power in our favor. To do this, we have to stand in solidarity in the face of exploitation. The major objection to signing on with a union is that they do not understand the reality of our work and our needs. We would only be paying dues to a union that doesn’t really represent us. Our relationship with unionism has been corrupted by the trade unions that today seem to be more of a weapon for the owning class than a weapon for the working class. And yet, unionism is a way of struggling for better. A struggle that can be horizontal and with no other representation than ourselves. We can lead this fight and make gains that we will collectively choose: the IWW is the union for that. Workers that have chosen to join forces, no matter their trade, to organize their workplace with union model that would not escape their control. We will be the union, and no one else.

Our insecurity grows each year, we have to act now! This text will not invoke unanimous approval, like all the posts on the group King Kong Re-forestation that denounce our working conditions. Some would like to regurgitate their cult of the highballer. But isn’t that the sign of a deep discomfort and uneasiness? Let’s join forces now to organize our fight back! Those of you who wish to organize, contact us!


In solidarity,



In French.


Cover photo credit:

source image 1 : = graphic # p86600

source image 2 :

Do planters and tree planters have Stockholm syndrome?

Portrait of Treeplanting industry

Formerly a way to live a respectable and dignified life, the Treeplanting is more than a place to live a lifestyle against-cultural and vagrants wandering between and among students seeking an alternative to the minimum wage. Today, the possibility of exceeding the threshold of poverty is reserved only best-es of us who make a very long season in west of the country. There is no confusion. Salaries have not increased for a long time. When asked why, the answer is always the same : there is not enough money, or it is simply saying to close.

The ultras competitive industry practices are to blame. All these years, companies have fiercely maintained their market share at the expense of our salaries. They often leave on the table several thousand dollars to make a submission. That is to say, the amount of money that separates the low bid of its nearest competitor. And if other companies that pay at the industry standard has not found it possible to bid as low, so where did they cut? In our security? In the kitchen budget? In our salaries?

In all of this, we do not have our say. It is important not to give our opinion on the practices of the industry or our company that. Production must continue, but production for which? "If you're not happy, if you're not happy, find another job "… A reality that is crystallized in the figure of the foreman who consistently called for nominations having "good attitude".

They and they especially want to hear more we complain of excessively low wages for a disproportionately work difficult. They and they do not want to listen to our complaints, and while they do nothing for us. And do nothing! However, paying the price for their irresponsibility and their endless greed? It's us, because our salaries are the biggest operating costs. Lower wages that results in more business and more money for them and they. More, also by more precarious for us; more injuries because we always feel more pressure to perform to make sure we pay our rent, our food, our school, our leisure ... Whose prices are increasing every year! But the ball does not stop there. They and they "forget" to put our sometimes hours of transport in our total hours worked, intimidate us when we want to take our CSST (WCB), we are working for free when it apart and reassemble camp, let the showers abandoned, do not provide a sufficient budget to the kitchen ... and the height, we have to pay 25$ day to shit in the toilet that we, ourselves, excavated.

Le syndrome de Stockholm

More, we are also to blame. Car, each passing day, we continue to dance but were afraid to put our foot terr. We prefer to look at all day our comrades when they plant trees and have tendinitis. Sometimes even to the point of having both wrists. We do not want to see ourselves reflected in them and they, but rather the contestants. When a person is forced to work injured, because intimidated or because they have been denied a form of compensation, it's all of us who pay the price. Have you ever survived a season without tendonitis in your camp? It will be your turn soon and you will likely have no help or compensation. If it has not already happened. This is the most common injury, but there are also infections unhygienic because the showers do not work. There lumbar sprains and sprained ankles. then finally, when it comes time to pull our reverence, there are chronic tendonitis and knee smashed. Sometimes, it is also pneumonia that spread or some unknown virus and food poisoning. Besides harassment and assault, us and by employers, which is never discussed and yet each was rampant.

Despite all this, we are not content to observe indifferently our collective agony. We have completely adopted the discourse of our bosses who tell us to always work harder. There is competition between us. We put pressure us. More police needs in the camp, we are our own police. this reality, it is found in the emblematic figure of highballer. Whoever represents the highest degree of achievement of the social ladder in Treeplanting. Sometimes, same legends are formed around these figures. and yet, the value of these people did as ever in their production and in their individuality. For antagonistic effect, we do we perceive only through the prism of production. A reality that employers are glad.

All this and we toast no problem with our boss. We assure them that and they're our friends. That experience Treeplanting might not be the same without them and they. Effectively, it would be much better! More, I can not help but feel a bitter taste ... friend-es? How can we reconcile friendship and abuse, except that we have no respect for ourselves? We who share the same conditions, the same problems. Our bosses are hypocrites. This love-hate relationship that we develop with our employment, it is not difficult to understand. We like camp life, unforgettable evenings, woven friendships, the stars in the sky, afternoon on the beach ... We hate free work, insults, the wounds, psychological crises, pressure, the days and weeks will end more ... It's not them and they which our unforgettable seasons, but you. How many of you have ever fantasized, several hours, thousand and one ways to torture your foreman? They and they do nothing but force us to experience the suffering and indignity. Things that help to knit us more, but that is not our pleasure in itself.

Supervisors are not our allies are. They and they are agents in the pay of companies. The compensation system based on the production of growers and compliance with production targets is only acting as an incentive to our operating. The widespread myth that the foremen take more care of us when they are paid and well-es is something that continues to repeat. More, is it really reality? The inequitable distribution of land, abusive warnings when production is too low, the pressure to exceed our physical and mental limits seem to show otherwise. If this is simply not a rush job while we pay their salaries. Do not forget that supervisors are not working for us, but it is we who work for them and they.

Now what?

We must stop complaining each one on our side. This allows us to comfort us as we always chutons to hell.

The two most often do we bring solutions lead nowhere. The first wants the companies to join a discussion table to agree on minimum prices for the industry, below which they would not compete. Both remain in passivity and pray that our money grows trees. The alternative would be to form a cooperative. In this model, We actually would have control of our working conditions, but we would still be subject to market dynamics. The price of the tree will remain competitive for us to obtain contracts. These cooperatives will remain very small, since they can not gain a foothold in the market. So what about the vast majority of the workforce that remains a prisoner of rookie mills?

The organization is the key

We still have a solution : the Solidarity unionism. The only way to improve our working conditions, it is by building a balance of power in our favor. For that, must be integral to abuse employer. The greatest objection to the arrival of a union is that it does not understand the reality of our work and our needs. We'd only pay dues to a union that does not represent us. Our report to unionism has been perverted by the trade union confederations, which now appear to act more as a weapon of employers that as the weapon of the working class. and yet, unionism is a form of control. A practice that can be horizontal and without representation other than ourselves. We can lead this struggle and make the gains we choose collectively: l'IWW, it is the union then. Workers who have chosen to come together, regardless of industry to organize their workplace with a model of unionism that would not escape their control. We will be our union and nobody else.

Our insecurity is greatest from season to season, we must act now! This text will not be unanimity in the community, as all publications on the King Kong Group Re-forestation denouncing our conditions. Some want to and some we regurgitate their worship highballer. But would it not the sign of a deep malaise? Let's get together now to arrange the response. Those who wish to organize, please contact with us!





In english.


cover photo credit:

source image 1 : = graphic # p86600

source image 2 :

Call for strike on May 1 2015

A specter is haunting Quebec. this spectrum, it is the general strike. Since that time 2012, our elites know that the working class, the students, and all those that injustice and repression are not indifferent yet, may take to the streets and impose their legitimacy facing the State. But despite this dread, the apostles of capitalism, and particularly his liberal vision, cannot help but wage an open war against everything that is not a commodity, against anything that is not financially valuable. From budget cuts to police over-arming, from our underpaid jobs to public insults against the poor and the exploited, everything leads us to believe that Quebec has been blighted by unbridled capitalism. This neo-liberal paradise, protected by the state and its henchmen, ruin our daily life and that of our loved ones, willfully tramples on the remnants of our freedom, spits in the faces of the most destitute and of a misery that he himself has engendered. We long ago stopped believing in the regulatory capacity of this system. By self-destructing, he will lead us all simultaneously in his wake. Every day we experience new reminders of this planned failure: environmental disasters, rising inequalities, deterioration of working conditions, institutional racism, systemic corruption of our political system, harassment of women in their workplaces or at university ... In general, these are all forms of dominations that are increasing dangerously, pushing the exploited and dominated of our society to their limits, to install our elites on a pedestal far too comfortable.

This is why we call the rebels to the insurgency. We hope this spring will see all the rabid ones, all those who dislike this system, in the streets and in action. Because apathy is not for us, we strongly believe in our common ability to create a better world. Beyond a simple one-off fight against austerity, we see in the distance the premises of a social war, including the strike of 2012 was just the beginning. Successive and repetitive governments, from right to left, have been trying for too long to impose on us their deadly conception of the economy, and more broadly from society. A single day of strike is not enough to roll back a government that protects the financial interests of the dominant. We believe that a global revolt of the whole of society must emerge this spring. This revolt must take place on the long term : in Quebec as in Europe, too many examples of recent social movements have proven the uselessness of ad hoc actions against governments now accustomed and prepared for social discontent.

Against capitalism and liberalism, we reaffirm our right to manage our own lives, whether or not it suits those who lead us. Our daily life is ours, our cities are ours. We firmly believe that capitalism must be banned from Quebec. For that, we will always show solidarity with those who fight, but forever unsympathetic in the eyes of the resigned and prostrate. We will be alongside workers and students in struggle, and we will oppose police brutality with proletarian solidarity. In the street, in the workplace and study, in our neighborhoods, we are here to support and help you.

Let’s not be afraid of our utopias.

Dare to fight to overthrow the established order.

15$ the minimum time to arrive !

To read this article in English, click here.

L’État et son allié le patronat veulent garder les travailleurs et travailleuses dans la pauvreté en les maintenant au salaire minimum. Le nombre de ménages utilisant plus de 80% de leurs revenus pour le loyer a augmenté de 26% in 5 ans seulement, and more 220 000 ménages doivent consacrer au moins 50% de leur revenu pour se loger. Seulement à Montréal, it's over 365 300 people, dont 208 800 women, qui travaillent au salaire minimum. And, comble de l’insulte, lorsque ces travailleurs et travailleuses se retrouvent sur le chômage, quand ils et elles y ont droit, c’est à un maigre 55% de leur dernier revenu.

On pousse de plus en plus les travailleurs et travailleuses vers le salaire minimum, and, thereby, même, vers l’endettement. Le patronat veut amener les gens à travailler toujours plus, parfois à deux jobs, tout en payant les plus bas salaires possibles dans le but de maximiser ses profits.

Furthermore, cela a pour effet d’épuiser et d’isoler les travailleuses et travailleurs, tout en limitant leurs possibilités de se rebeller, tant ils et elles sont occupé-e-s à survivre et à joindre les deux bouts.

Les travailleurs et travailleuses au salaire minimum sont les plus vulnérables de la classe ouvrière.

Améliorer leurs conditions de vie immédiate, c’est aller contre les intérêts du patronat, et ainsi, faire un pas vers une société plus juste, une société anticapitaliste. Cela démontre aux travailleurs et travailleuses que des avancées peuvent être réalisées par la force de leur solidarité, de leur union. Car il ne faut pas oublier que « l’histoire de toute société jusqu’à nos jours, n’a été que l’histoire des lutte de classes » (Karl Marx).

Empêchons les travailleuses et travailleurs de crouler sous le poids du capitalisme, exigeons et luttons pour le salaire minimum à 15.00$ de l’heure pour tous et toutes!


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Hersey reduced immigrant workers to slavery

C’est l’histoire de 300 étudiants étrangers venus aux États-Unis dans le cadre d’un programme de travail-études et qui se voient engagés dans ce qu’ils décrivent comme du travail forcé à l’usine d’emballage Hersey de Palmyra, en Pennsylvanie. Les étudiants, originaires de l’Europe de l’est et de l’Asie, ont fait grève il y a deux semaines, après s’être fait ordonné de lever de lourdes boîtes, de travailler des quarts de huit heures de nuit, et avoir été forcés à rester debout de longues heures à emballer des friandises dans des chaînes de production extrêmement rapides. Des agences fédérales américaines ont ouvertes quatre enquêtes à ce sujet.

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precarious work: Employers strengthens operations

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