Rent strike

While the rent strike seems a certainty in major North American cities like Toronto, Montréal, usually if left, seems to have trouble adjusting his violins. This is not because it felt less need. On the contrary. This morning the newspaper Le Devoir revealed that half of workers have less than a month of financial cushion and for half of them and they it is only a short week before completely dry. It is in this context that various channels are heard to address the pressing issue of rent from April 1.

The communications team SITT-IWW Montreal offers here speaking to Tim, Chloé and Alex and Sarah. The first is Tim whose thinking was shared on the RentStrike group Strike rent Montreal, with close to 3500 members. A recent survey shared on the group shows that nearly 20% of them and they will strike at all costs and that 55% Additional questions arise, but would love to participate. Following the announcement internally that we were going to publish this article, two members wanted to add their two cents. Chloé, formerly the Committee Bails Hochelaga-Maisoneuve, currently working in the events and in favor of a more combative line and Alex and Sarah are salaried in housing committees and activists for a long time for the right to housing. They share with us how things are done internally for the organizations in their networks..

Reflection on RentStrike / rent strike – Montréal
Tim, active voice in the movement for the rent strike in the US

I see many calls go to the rent strike from people who have never organized movement of tenants who are not involved in local and national efforts to implement such organizations.

On the one hand, it is a form of dangerous amateurism; the followers of spontaneity like to believe that "if we make claims and people's support, everything will fall into place ". It's suicide, and this is the result of a trend too lazy left to set up the necessary organizations to the struggle in periods of surf between moments of crisis.

Here's what makes a fight is victorious : broad support of our communities, trusting relationships existing between strikers, funds to support strike, and strategy. For the time being, None of this is in place in the "rent strike 2020 ».

On another side, the tenants will not pay money qu'illes lack. Most tenants do not pay their proprios next month not because of ideological beliefs but because qu'illes have no cash. In this sense, we are in the presence of a spontaneous movement, created by last need material needs rather than the extreme left of militancy.

The claims of the rent strike also affect a central political issue : why should we give half our income to a class of parasites that offers us nothing in return? The rent is nothing but a form of racketeering : " paid, I sent you the police to get you out of your home with guns and batons ".

The fact that many cities have put in place moratoria on evictions shows that we have a political momentum to force big concessions to the ruling class. A moratorium on rents and organizing tenants against their landlords to fight for an immediate amnesty for rent (or at least a significant reduction rents) are battles that we can win, and activists should not reduce their efforts just when new opportunities are made possible.

So do not pay your rent if you do not have the means! More, and more importantly, get organized! The fact of organizing will be a thousand times more effective politically only if we act individually in isolation, I can guarantee you! Currently, the movement lacks the capacity to implement its rent strike claims. and activists should not reduce their efforts just when new opportunities are made possible : girls there are uses that are in trouble lorsqu'illes. and activists should not reduce their efforts just when new opportunities are made possible, and get involved in your union nearest tenants, as quickly as possible.

To move forward - and that is probably even more important than whether to support or not the strike claims, moratoria, etc. - we need to prepare our movement for when the ruling class and its government will try to get things in order and impose a return to normal.

A rent strike is questionable in the context where the courts are closed and evictions are not implemented. But in all cases, even if the wheel of justice turn slowly it always ends up crashing his target. Without political intervention sustained basis, we will witness a wave of evictions once the immediate danger is gone coronavirus. and activists should not reduce their efforts just when new opportunities are made possible.

The thing, with radical rhetoric, is that it must be accompanied by actions at some point. It's very nice to chat to strike comfort rents his house behind our screens, and activists should not reduce their efforts just when new opportunities are made possible?

Second reflection on rent strike
Chloé, member of the IWW and ISTC-old employee of the Committee Bails Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

Disclaimer ; I worked in a housing committee 2011 at 2014, So I'm not a person "never organized movement of tenants". On the other hand, I must admit I'm a little disillusioned the community movement. And also, I'm not actively involved currently in the rent strike.

I too have seen pass calls to the strike of the rent. I also read some comments from activists who have reservations face this movement. If I am concerned about how it might take shape outside of social networks, I am disappointed in the response of those who are critical of the initiative.

With almost one million person in Canada, I lost my job in the last days due to the pandemic. I wonder how I'll pay my rent in April and May, because we were told that EI checks take minimally 1 months to arrive. In truth, I know I do not pay you. When I saw the strike call, I felt less alone and I have seen that many other people were in the same situation as me. It reminded me of one of the first things I learned when I started to get involved in the movement for housing rights ; have housing problems, it is not my fault, it is a collective issue and policy. I also learned that the answer to these problems should also be collective and political.

It criticized the initiative of the rent strike for not having followed the logic of organization that has a proven ; be following an already established movement, having made a mobilization-e a-e in our communities, a legal defense strategy, etc. But the situation we are experiencing is unprecedented for our "era". We are confined-e-s home, we can not come together, our housing committees are closed, etc. So we have no choice to change our strategies in the immediate. I think we can not just say that, once the crisis behind us, it will restart more firmly. We can build on the momentum.

The housing committees have already taken the first gain in this fight ; suspension hearings and judgments leading to the eviction of tenants. I think it set the table for the future ; a strike which claims as the rent freeze and mortgages. Otherwise what's the result ? Some-e-s talk seek emergency supplements ? This measure often debate in the middle of the right to housing as it does not question the private rental system, the same cause of our housing insecurity.

Short, I do not understand why people are so reluctant to what the word strike is tacked to our inability to pay our rent. I do not see why not pay in silence would be more favorable. I do not see how not to be part of a movement, although not perfectly organized, will help us.

I think that many questions are legitimate ; what will we do when the Housing Authority will be re-opened and thousands of tenants will receive an eviction notice ? How solidarity will be based out of Facebook after stroke ? ... well we do not strike or, we will face these situations ... so both consider now and plan accordingly, ensemble.

Third reflection on the rent strike
Alex, membre du SITT-IWW, and Sarah, sympathetic, work in housing committees and have long campaigned for the right to housing.

We are workers in Housing Committees or involved for several years in groups for the right to housing. Our opinions are our own and do not represent the positions of the organizations we work for, neither of their groupings.

The massive unemployment of a large part of the population brings its share of worries. Gradually, as the stores, convenience stores and other restaurants close, feeling of insecurity increases. Several workers and salarié.e.s workers submitted their application for employment insurance and still await any sign of the Canadian state that their request has been lodged and well fed. Others have applied for financial assistance from the Government of Quebec and are waiting to know whether they will be eligible or not. There are also those who were already on last-resort assistance programs and whose incomes are greatly limited, whose health is at risk or who are not eligible for any program because on social assistance and / or living on the black market.

We wonder how we will survive if we eat the rest of our savings on the 1st of the month. several tenants, in addition to the stress of payment (or not) their rent, live a package of housing problems that accumulate for some time.

Following pressure by FRAPRU and RCLALQ, many gains have been made, but it is still insufficient. Hearings deemed non-essential have been suspended. For the duration of the health crisis, the tenants will not see or expulsé.e.s évincé.e.s their homes. Still, we expect massive crowding out once the health crisis is over, whether for non-payment, frequent delays, or in connection with a lease agreement or terminated following judgment. The Quebec government now recommends not to visit physical housing for the duration of the crisis. The inspecteurs.trices municipal services and extermination services are maintained, but everything is in slow motion, and there is intervention only in urgent cases. It is also asked to provide emergency rent supplements, to facilitate and accelerate access to financial assistance from the various levels of government, and finally that any eviction attributable to the non-payment of April is prohibited.

Meanwhile, more or less organized individuals and autonomous collectives have launched calls for a rent strike. Some facebook pages have been created as well as discussion groups. Several conflicting and sometimes false then circulated : the owners would have a tax holiday and mortgage payment, people who do not pay their rent would not be prosecuted, etc. We will not comment on the falsehoods that circulate, but rather invite you to consult your local housing committee as well as this page : : If a ban on evictions of tenants who have not paid their rent by April 1 was decreed, nothing indicates that political strikers, those who have written publicly and informed their owner that he or she does not pay, support to tenants unable to pay, would be spared.

Housing committees and our groups are asked to, FRAPRU and RCLALQ, to support these initiatives. National groups currently have no mandate to support a general rent strike. Even between workers, between members of boards of directors (THAT) active national and activist groups with which we have a more frequent connection, we are very far from having a consensus, and this is not yet the case nor within the work teams, nor within local CAs. In the internal discussions we had between workers, many consider that participating in a rent strike involves risks for vulnerable tenant households which are greater than the earnings prospects of a movement does not mobilize critical mass. In short several misgivings expressed.

You should know that the level of local groups, like many other workers, we are either unemployed since Monday, is in the process of transferring our legal information services from our premises to teleworking. Renters Assistance applications are still ongoing, we have our members to reassure and inform of the situation. As any group with a certain structure, our decision making processes sometimes take a while. It operates democratically. It adopts an annual action plans, adopted by our members, which then participate in its realization in work committees or mobilization committees. Our local being closed, we are presently unable to consult, to collectively assess the pros and cons of the proposed actions, and even less to bring our proposals to groupings, something that must also be made in a general assembly. In short, for the time being, housing committees focus on providing legal information and are therefore available to answer legal questions. It will probably not be possible for them to position themselves by the rise or failure of the movement.

The permanence of our groups are currently working on a package of issues, ranging from historical claims (public housing, gel rents, register leases), claims related to the health crisis : Emergency measures for tenants, moratorium on evictions, owner of the right of, and this while the housing committees are closed or under reorganization, and many tenants are turning to consolidation to be informed about their rights. The groups therefore appear to have concrete demands they know to win the short to medium term and whose actions would quickly apply without subject of lengthy and costly disputes a government usually tries to avoid. That does not mean that these groups can not effectively support the strikers' demands, but they make choices based on these capabilities and the state of mobilization, both internally, that in our groups and in civil society.

FRAPRU and RCLALQ accumulate between them over 80 years of advocacy experience, mobilization and representation. The salarié.e.s and militant.e.s within it saw in passing rent strikes, occupations, mobilisations, economic or health crises, disaster. This long experience allows them to have an enlightened perspective on where gains are to be made., where risks are taken, and what it takes to build a strong social movement. Without necessarily agreeing with their present positioning, one must consider their reluctance and their views on the subject.

A general rent strike is an ambitious project that will require a lot of organization. From what I know, This idea came out publicly there is less than two weeks and is currently very marginal. It is true nevertheless that a social crisis is a factor accelerating the development of a social movement. Several means of action and dissemination are available but have not been discussed. Put a white cloth to signify solidarity, write to the owner, Contact our local elected officials, make poster campaigns, discuss with our neighbors, it takes time.

Are we ready to lead a rent strike? Is the goal of holding a rent strike for April 1 realistic? Is the risk taken now worth the effort? It is currently uncertain. It lacks several conditions for different groups and individu.e.s currently at work can develop a strong and combative social movement. By next month, we will have time to think of ways to meet, discuss, develop our claims, our organization and means of action in favor.

In solidarity with you,
Alex (x377511) and Sarah (sympathetic)

Photo credit:

When will strike?

With the International Day of Workers which is nearby, I started thinking about my job, society in general, a little while. Worse things go wrong in shop, looks like another.


Social inequalities explode for years. Our wages stagnate while our rents are rising constantly. Go to a grocery store or pay the hydro bill is more an accounting period. Patrons and CEO, them, give themselves big bonuses and often even the money the state takes from our pockets to save their ass. The environment, his, during that time, continues to make good slaps to satisfy rich track Industries shareholders (U.S) disappear. Our rights as workers, it notes the willingness of courts, almost always there to make life beautiful for our boss. And to make sure to have a nice social atmosphere, add to this racist policy that only divide us while we are impoverishing.


At least macro scale, it's been a few years that I am involved and I must say that I find it difficult. Not so much the job, because I deeply love the people I coach and I work with. But it is difficult to see these people, my colleagues like e-s-participant our organization, duty to struggle against a system of increasingly violent attempt to get services or enforce rights that we are supposed to be acquired. It's tough to see more and more people into poverty while we are asked to fill statistical and respond to thick bureaucratic expectations. And rough to see my colleagues (and myself) burning at both ends to try to compensate with crumbs for a state that has nothing providential.


But it is not as isolated-e-s as you think. If my colleagues and myself is the feel we heading straight toward a wall, that means we are not alone-e-s to have ras-le-bol. Worse it forces me to think. It forces me to think that I can wait after my coordos my direction and collaborator who tell me to shut up, there is nothing to do, while they are managing it, Community. As said a comrade, we can not afford to have blurred class. Plus, it forces me to do a portrait of the situation and to wonder where we are going in general, as a society.


So, collectively, what do we do to stop these attacks? What can we do to not only stop eating the fly, but to get what is rightfully ours, either better living conditions worse the last word on how it is rolled, this society? How to use our best weapon, or solidarity?


My answer is this : a complete shutdown of the machine (and all smaller), to bend the government and our boss, try the general strike.


And I fantasizing too (I hope). In 2014, several groups, including the IWW and community groups, including the Coalition Red Hand, called for a general strike on May 1 2015. For one year, activist-e-s of the IWW and community groups have organized meetings, multiplied times when to meet to work together and prepare for a day of general strike. Many student associations and some unions, including education, followed suit. The context lent itself well : the public sector fell by negotiation and cutbacks were the common enemy. The word "austerity" has been on the map.


The current context differences and similarities. always subject to the same policies that favor the class of bosses. There is a new provincial government in, which continues to set foot in the flat and was quick to show his contempt for workers (we only think of Legault words about the lockout ABI, a boss it's still a boss).


Next year, the public sector is back in negotiation. Nurses have demonstrated for over a year their widespread disgust. The CAQ s'attaque enseignant aux-and-s, whether through his bill on religious symbols or their obsession with creating nursery 4 years, while there is a glaring lack of staff to fill these future positions, as undesired or election promise. Student associations have changed, but the movement for internship remuneration of talk.


But OK, for a general strike, must the world to launch the ball. worse especially, have a more combative speech and more inclusive than the unions, always ready to address to keep social peace.


No one is boasting, I think we can agree that workers and activists of the Community have proven more than once their ability to brew and shit (he) mobilize. Despite the elephant what the public and the attention he held during negotiations, Community could well launch a call to action for a strike in the community and thereby invite its allies in organized labor and students to do the same. Especially as nurses and teachers also seem disgusted their conditions, there would be beautiful alliances on standalone basis to.


The Red Hand Coalition and the Coalition of May 1 2015 had demonstrated their ability to join different groups and create links 2014-2015. These same groups once mobilized opted for actions within their means. Illegal strikes in more than ten colleges, disruption of economic activities in certain regions, Student strikes, of transport routes blocked; ministerial office occupations by one, demonstrations and there, what a general strike.


There is no magic formula to mobilize or obtain earnings. I do not claim to have a perfect game plan, others have better analysis and surely know best how the strongest could spank. But I am a community worker and union activist sickened, worse when I look exhausted colleagues, the burn outs that build worst in the world in general snatch more, I can not help but wonder, in 2020, in community, it is triggered when the strike?



A member of the Community Committee of the IWW Montreal.

On strike for the planet

We are in 2019. The situation on Earth is catastrophic. The ozone layer is on track to be completely destroyed by the carbonic gasses from cars, Chemical Industry, and the push-push in cacane. Result : Earth is dying under the sun. It would eventually find a new planet move 8 billion tatas, but a providential series for children who rocked a generation of those who tatas we warned that governments and big business will never learn from their mistakes, Terran population decides to go on strike to save what is left to save.


Then in July 2017, British newspaper The Guardian published the results of a study showing that only 100 companies are responsible for more 70% of global emissions, it becomes increasingly disturbing to talk about personal choice and play the game of guilt or morals to treat ecology. If animal species are disappearing, the number of human deaths due to heat waves rising summer after summer and that our years on earth are counted, this is not because the neighbor's recycling bin is not full enough or that our colleague forgot to put his apple core compost.


Just in Montreal, there are over 150 000 of people who are joined at the foot of the Mont-Royal 15 mars 2019 to express their fears about the future and require the government and immediate actions companies. In the morning, Montreal School Board announced to have to close the doors of several of its secondary school following pressure from many students and many students who formed human chains to prevent courses take place. In several districts, the neighborhood elementary school could attend during recess or after school to children's events-e-s accompanied their teacher-e-s. Far from being confined to Montreal, there were ten actions planned across the province, including Quebec where several thousand demonstrators e-s stormed the streets. Recall that the members of 120 Student Associations from 35 different schools were on strike this Friday. These have also been able to count on the support of many citizens groups, community organizations and unions such as the IWW-SITT, Autonomous Federation of Education, CSN and the Employees' Union e-s Old Port to name a few.


Worldwide, the environmentalist wave has spread to more than 125 pays, for a total of 2083 and recorded actions but it is only the beginning! L’organisation Earth Strike, ad immediately for new protests 27 april, to build on the momentum from May 1 to strengthen ties with unions, and August 1, as rehearsal, so that the movement culminates in a Grand World General Strike to save the planet, the 27 September.


« A revolutionary ecology movement must also organize among poor and working people. With the exception of the toxics movement and the native land rights movement most U.S. environmentalists are white and privileged. This group is too invested in the system to pose it much of a threat. A revolutionary ideology in the hands of privileged people can indeed bring about some disruption and change in the system. But a revolutionary ideology in the hands of working people can bring that system to a halt. For it is the working people who have their hands on the machinery. And only by stopping the machinery of destruction can we ever hope to stop this madness. » ― Judy Bari (1947-1997), IWW et Earth First!



Photo credit: Patrick Sicotte

Press release – 1er May 2015 You ITS-IWW

Thousands of workers from the base showed, blocked and disrupted the economy throughout the day from May 1 2015. We were very many-its to oppose the Liberal government project and challenge the austerity measures that it hopes to impose. May 1st International Day of Workers' Struggle 2015 was a great success.

Many highways have been blocked, dozens of disruptive and blocking actions were carried out such as occupations of banks and construction sites. Several direct actions were also made the night before May Day. The Industrial Workers Union/Industrial workers of the world, from Montreal (SIT/ IWW) took part in this day of combat by multiplying the actions and disturbances. From the morning, the SITT-IWW Montreal has blocked the municipal services of the city of Montreal in support of blue-collar workers in struggle, an economic block was also made by blocking the parking control service. SITT-IWW then marched alongside dozens of social groups and unions at the downtown protest of the Coalition Opposing the Pricing and Privatization of Social Services (« Coalition Main Rouge »).

During the afternoon, the SITT-IWW organized a strike zone with a union BBQ, in addition to blocking Brébeuf, the street where our offices are located. Ensuite, we joined the family demonstration in the neighborhoods which descended the city from Villeray and marched alongside social groups on strike as well as with the teachers against the rise (PCLH) , before finally joining the anti-capitalist demonstration of May Day organized by the CLAC.

THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES ! . This day was only a premise. This was not an isolated moment, but a step that is part of a larger perspective ; that of the struggle of the working class against employers and capitalism. This day demonstrates the strength and capacity for self-organization of workers. If what was done for a day was multiplied on the scale of a week, even a month, no government, no repression could resist our struggle for our emancipation. The will to put an end to our exploitation will not stop in this 2 May ! On the contrary, the struggle will continue and intensify. The political class and the economic elite may be worried. We will change the rules of the game and intend to destroy their class privileges, bring down capitalism and the polluting society, patriarchal, colonial and racist which characterizes it.

Their repressive policies cannot kill our dreams of a fairer and more equal society.. To the conservative slogan "Equal work, equal pay! », our banners must oppose the revolutionary slogan "Down with wage labor! ». The struggle continues ! See you soon, in the street.


Towards the strike May 1 2015!

To read this article in English, click here.

La lutte est déjà amorcée. Trade unions, les étudiant-e-s et les différents groupes sociaux sont sur un pied d’alerte. Ce printemps, nous aurons besoin d’être unis. La grève générale du 1er mai 2015 ne sera possible que si nous sommes solidaires les uns envers les autres.

Rappelons-nous que le code du travail limite le droit de grève et l’action syndicale dans le but de restreindre les effets des luttes de la classe ouvrière. Il oblige les patrons et les travailleurs et travailleuses à négocier «avec diligence et bonne foi», jusqu’à adoption d’une convention collective. Mais le patronat et l’État utilisent en tout temps les lois spéciales et les lock-out pour nous bâillonner. Mais bien sûr, cela n’est pas considéré comme des négociations de mauvaise foi

Ce même code du travail qui fait en sorte, qu’entre deux ententes, c’est la paix sociale. Pas de possibilité de grève, pas de possibilité de revendiquer. Les grèves politiques, les grèves dans les milieux de travail, ou même encore, les grèves de solidarité, sont interdites et lourdement sanctionnées. Et si le patronat consent à offrir quelques maigres concessions, c’est au prix du silence et de la soumission des salarié-e-s pour toute la durée de l’entente.

Il faut donc se réapproprier nos moyens de luttes afin de créer un rapport de force solide et ainsi obtenir ce qui nous revient. These laws, ces droits, qu’on semble vouloir nous donner, sont dûment réfléchis. C’est pour nous berner, c’est pour nous empêcher de nous solidariser, c’est pour nous empêcher de nous unir, c’est pour nous empêcher de lutter et de gagner!

Ne nous laissons pas dicter nos moyens de lutter par nos exploiteurs.

Soyons tous et toutes solidaires.

Le congrès contre l’austérité et vers la grève générale du 1er mai 2015 a eu lieu les 15 and 16 on November. L’objectif de ce congrès était de créer une coalition large regroupant différents groupes et syndicats de divers horizons politiques afin qu’ils s’unissent pour une journée de perturbation et/ou de grève générale le 1er mai 2015.16418_478768425597432_605857773974586701_n

Le Syndicat industriel des Travailleurs et des Travailleuses (SITT-IWW) souhaite réaffirmer son appui à la Coalition du 1er mai 2015 et rappeler qu’il n’est pas au centre du processus décisionnel. Tel que statué lors du congrès de fondation de la Coalition, les membres gardent leur autonomie de base, ce qui veut dire qu’ils et elles sont libres d’agir dans leurs champs respectifs lors de la grande mobilisation qui aura lieu le 1er mai 2015.

Le SITT-IWW est membre de cette coalition afin de faire valoir ses luttes particulières tel que l’abolition du salariat et du patronat dans une perspective autogestionnaire, voire révolutionnaire. Le SITT-IWW est d’avis qu’il faut s’unir et être tous et toutes solidaires afin de résister contre l’État pilleur, mais surtout pour faire des gains afin d’améliorer nos conditions de vie en tant que travailleurs et travailleuses. La solidarité est d’autant plus importante par temps d’austérité. Il faut mettre nos efforts en commun et passer de la parole à la pratique. Les coups se font sur tous les fronts, ripostons sur tous les fronts!

En tant que SITT-IWW, nous pensons qu’il est grand temps de mettre en causele patronat, l’État et ses subordonnés! Le droit de grève au Québec et au Canada ont été écrit par cette même classe dirigeante et possédante à notre détriment. Comme si c’était à eux de déterminer la façon qu’on les abolira. Le SITT-IWW est d’avis que tant qu’il y aura des classes et des patrons, la grève sera toujours légitime! Reprenons-nous en main, le 1er mai 2015, bloquons nos milieux de travail, ralentissons nos moyens de production, take the street, grevons! Dans la solidarité, on ne pourra nous réprimer. La classe ouvrière et la classe dirigeante n’ont rien en commun!

Le 1er mai 2015, je ne travaille pas, je n’achète pas, je ne chôme pas, je combats par la grève générale!