Demand respect ... a bare minimum

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’.

Part 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 transphobia.

A Claim Your Respect, How's it going ?

It 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).

Each campaign and every reality is different.

A campaign story victorious

I 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 union organizer.

We 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 !

When 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 colleagues ...
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.

Together, we are stronger, exactly !

All 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..

What was our real lever ? Here it was to achieve the public image of the body.

We 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 !

A 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.

The 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 !

The 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 !

Finally, meetings were made, in Group, applications have been accepted including : fire the boss and have a voice, an employee representative, on the IT.

Written 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 !

We succeeded despite the ups and downs, reluctance, errors and learning, through all these little cumulative victories !
Boss viré, healthy workplace !

The 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 normality.

well done to them and them ! Solidarity !


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One wall to witness harassment at work : Campaign Launch “Demands your respect!”

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!


Numerous testimonies

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!


The feminist struggle will or will not!


The campaign Reclaim your respect :

And Reclaim your campaign pays! :

To join us : 438-345-5046 and [email protected]

musical suggestion :


26 domestic workers accused of trafficking a recruitment agency

Evelyn Calugay, PINAY militant

PINAY, activist organization of Filipino domestic workers in Montreal denounces human rights abuses and violations perpetrated by a placement agency and the ineffectiveness of authorities and government agencies in protecting the rights of cheated domestic workers.

Super Nanny, a placement agency headed by John Aurora(who was the subject of a Radio-Canada report on “Immigration scammers” in 2003) , load of women from the Phillipines to 4500$ US so they can immigrate to Canada under the domestic help program, but when these women arrive in Canada, they are left with no employer and no choice but to pay rent to the placement agency for a shared bed in a squalid unit rented by the agency.

Sylvia Cordova, one of the 26 workers to complain to human rights commission against John Aurora testifies: “When I got here, I was taken to John Aurora's house and we all slept in the same bed. I didn't know women, but many of us had to live in the same room. They had no choice but to live there. They asked me to sign a lease. They told me not to read it, to only sign it. I paid 4500$ with the promise of an employer and a better life in Canada. But when I got there, they told me they didn't have an employer for me.»

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The exclusion of domestic workers: A long fight against discrimination and prejudice

Christiane Gadoury, UTTAM

Since many years, plusieurs organisations, dont l’Union des travailleurs et des travailleuses accidentés de Montréal, dénoncent le fait que les travailleuses domestiques soient exclues de la définition de travailleur dans la Loi sur les accidents du travail et les maladies professionnelles (LATMP) and, Therefore, ne puissent bénéficier automatiquement de sa protection. Au fil du temps, de plus en plus de voix se sont ajoutées afin de dénoncer cette situation inacceptable. So, depuis maintenant plus d’un an, the government, ne pouvant nier l’évidence, promet de corriger cette injustice incessamment. Mais toujours rien…

Pourquoi y a-t-il tant de résistance? Pourquoi y a-t-il de si longs délais? Voici l’histoire d’une longue lutte.

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Iranian publicize their claims

« Iran in fight »Inform the 19 January, that a group of Iranian activists has issued a statement with the list of their demands. They consider that the proposals put forward by the reformist leaders Moussavi and Karroubi, "Neglect" women's claims.

The declaration highlights the following claims : "Cancellation of all discriminatory and anti-women laws, recognition of women's rights over their own bodies and thoughts, end of violence against women and trial of all those responsible for the crimes committed over the past thirty years "as a solution to get out of the current crisis.

They add that the issue of women is an essential part of the current crisis and "that no solution will be effective" if it does not seek to resolve these issues.

The declaration also supports more general claims such as "freedom of thought, of expression and gathering ". While calling for an end to torture and the death penalty, they also express their request for "immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners".

Women's claims not so much "change of president or limitation of leader's power, statement says, but more the realization of fundamental and structural transformations ”.

Shadi Amin, Golrokh jahanguiri, Fariba Davoudi, Shadi Sadr, Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh and Shahla Abghari are among the signatories of this declaration.

Women have played a major role in recent protests in Iran and many women's rights activists have been arrested and imprisoned for participating in protests.