As union "by and for", we do not have the financial means to an employers' group, consequently, the stands to speak are not common. In fact, for speech, we can not expect that we tend, we must take. It is in this light that we wanted that runs the show and that's why we wanted to take the microphone to people, organizations and artists like us.
To express our disgust, our tiredness, our rage and our solidarity with comrades before and, it is a privilege. denouncing underfunding affects us, we burned, conditions that undermine our work, the threats of donors like Centraide put pressure on groups defending rights like the Public Organization of Social Rights of Greater Montreal (OPDS-RM), sexism social net, while laughing and listening to peers and colleagues perform on stage, That is why we organized this show.
And we could not have hoped for better reception, so many people. It was for us a success!
A bit of humour
The Community precarious the show began with the solid performance of Colin, the son of Christian Vanasse, that seemed 20 years of experience to give to public shows. Precarious community were able to discover the next prodigy of Quebec humor. Then it is the father who made his entrance by chaining jokes against people who exploit us and contradictions that capitalism imposes on our lives. Thereafter came the two leftist par excellence of the Quebec humor : Colin Boudrias and Fred Dube. Colin gave us several jokes of his political repertoire, including that on the false veganism. While qu'Anarcho-teasing (Fred) We had arrived with his jokes and anti-capitalist activists of the extreme left. Finally, Catherine Ethier ébloui.e.s us again its incredible verve questioning several problems of our society.
After humorists, for the music!
The duo Acoustic Assonance, accompanied by their daughter, we offered a breathtaking performance! The choice of songs, sweet and melancholic, sung by the rousing voice Izabelle has conquered the room and after laughing a bit, bring us into melancholy of this work and this struggle of ours. Assonance Acoustic then made up the Union Thugs, who launched their part with a heartfelt speech about the injustices that plague the business for too long.
As approval, spectators and spectators quickly abandoned their seats to sing in heart Heroes and Martyrs, a resumption of Parisian band Brigada Flores Magon that honors all the men and women in combat mort.es. If the end of the concert was trying for their guitarist who turned 25 years and seen so each song be interrupted by a new round of shooters led by its ami.es, for many and many in the room resumed I Am the Son of Corrigan Fest finished setting the table for the punk of The Awkwerz. Person arriving in the middle of the afternoon could not have imagined that the small bar of Stand-Bars would be transformed into a dance floor for a frenzied trash just hours later! Geneviève a, like always, was first order frontwoman. Spitting his words and occupying the front of the stage with an unparalleled presence that night at Building 7, the perfect recipe for a perfect community precarious show was officially completed and we can say : Mission accomplished!
All funds raised during the evening were donated to L’OPDS-RM.
Most union campaigns are organized around the problems experienced in the workplace or in a specific industry. Workers set up committees, a campaign is launched, and the problems experienced in the workplace are explained so as to increase the support given to the union. Generally, this type of organization is obtaining formal recognition by employers in accordance with legal procedures in place, to a collective agreement is negotiated.
But what happens when it comes time to negotiate the Convention? It is wrong to believe that labor and management are involved in this process on an equal, and that this process is emerging agreement that benefits everyone. In the context of accredited unionism, unions enter into the negotiation process in a weak position : their legitimacy as a union and the satisfaction of their claims primarily depend on the good faith of the employer class, rather than the implementation of proactive responses.
The concept of "labor peace", applied in Canada including the Rand Formula and the adoption of laws for union certification, As was the case of employers that governments and union bureaucracies : employers had enough of fighting unionism and its disruptive methods (occupations, manifestations, strikes, sit-ins, etc.), governments were tired of having to help large companies to Sort this out after every labor dispute, and the trade union bureaucracy was tired of having to "manage" the members who claim to be respected. The system of collective agreements was therefore set up to give the employers a legal responsibility to negotiate the conditions of workers with union, framed by rules and laws that essentially restrict the labor scope to legal and rhetorical joust.
Traditionally, it is assumed that as the target company is profitable, unions and the employing class enjoying the renewal of collective agreements or the renegotiation of employment contracts to improve conditions for workers. However, this is not the case : it is very common that companies, unionized or not, close plants, branches or offices, abolish positions, reduce wages and benefits, and generally show no compassion for workers, even when business is good. Furthermore, it is common - and generally expected - that the agreements and contracts contain a series of clauses and managerial prerogatives completely useless and absurd, even harmful, for workers.
Since many unions seem to believe that workers should be "e-s-managed" by bosses who do what they want, Most collective agreements and employment contracts traded give the employers a total control over the workplace. Furthermore, by collecting contributions directly on the payroll of their members, accredited unions have an interest in encouraging them not to strike, or lose a portion of their income and having to support the strikers disturbances.
When we think about the means available to us to transform the trade union movement, we must take into account these elements, and can not limit ourselves to saying "better organize our workplaces"; As we have not solved the problem obliging unions which do nothing to help their members take control of their environments, we will be stuck-e-s in a loss to negotiating paradigm with an entrepreneurial class that decides the agenda.
Comment, so, do we get out of this game which we do not have written rules? We must first and foremost stop making legal recognition and contract negotiation top priorities. Although our unions and solidarity networks must be able to act to resolve issues at the source of most union campaigns (wages, social advantages, working conditions, etc.), it is absolutely necessary to be respected as workers, as well as having control over our workplaces and on how our work connects us to our community and the world. We need to create a context in which they are the bosses and bosses, and not the unions, who want the signing of an agreement; we must create an environment in which it is the employers who fell to his guns to get our collaboration. This is an important part of the potential offered by the solidarity struggle unionism.
The objective of this unionism, as promoted by the SITT-IWW, is to organize the workers so that our power can not be ignored by employers and governments, or recovered by facade union. The Solidarity trade union movement is one of the ways to achieve it, since the goal of our struggle is not simply to sign a contract or obtain legal status.
In fact, as much as possible, we must avoid giving our collective power to substitute a contract or a legal framework; if the contracts and agreements help us make our bosses and bosses accountable by obliging them to respect their commitments, it is very good. But if negotiation is not a process by which we negotiate what we lose as rights and benefits, and by which we legitimize a total employers' control over us as workers, there is definitely something wrong.
Note: This article was translated from English and adapted to the Canada-Quebec reality by x377545. In the original text, the author evoked specifically in the American context the procedure Card check recognition and union election process, supervised by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
The series of “minority reports” was written and published in 2002 on the website of the IWW, by Alexis FW Buss.
In this section, and other opportunities, I wrote about the major advantage enjoyed by the ISTC-IWW compared to corporatist unions. Particularly with respect to our approach allows any worker or workers to get involved and to find meaning to his involvement with the union, and that a majority of colleagues has demonstrated his desire or not to negotiate with the boss. I named the minority unionism.
There are other benefits to SITT-IWW — we believe in the principle of one vote per member. Any and all responsible and representative and union representative is elected-e and see these posts frequent turnover. Any structural change of the union is subject to a vote, including the amount of contributions and constitutional amendments : democracy. Our members are very motivated es to fight to win better working conditions. The Wobblies are often the first and first to arrive on a picket line and the last and last to leave, even when the action does not affect them directly : militancy. These elements should not make us unique, but it is unfortunately too often the case.
A growing militancy and democracy can only benefit every worker organization, especially corporatist unions and there are people who work very hard for such reforms. These remain good minor reforms to the unions that remain quietly within the Labor Code.
Since I wrote the first edition of this topic, I realized how much the idea of minority unionism disturbs the pattern of major unions, especially when it comes to court. Let's look at a hypothetical example:
Alice, an employee of the loading dock at Best Buy, is told that she has to buy his own safety shoes. It is legal. She does not pay, these shoes are expensive. Let's, for the need of the cause, that most of his colleagues feel the same. The Directive, which was forwarded them to be applied in two weeks.
Alice speaks with an electrician who came to install a new gadget store. He is a member IBEW (The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and told him, if it were unionized, she would not have this problem since the union would ensure that the company pays for safety equipment.
Alice calls IBEW and says it wants to join the union. It is sheer madness to his interlocutor ears. It would have to follow the apprenticeship program and the waiting list is long. Furthermore, there is not enough work in the area to justify new members. Alice hangs up, baffled by this contact with the craft union.
She speaks with a truck making a delivery. The driver is a Teamster. He also told him to form a union is the right way to resolve their situation. Alice therefore calls the Teamsters and request to join the union. Let's say we have here is a section that is experimenting a bit with the minority unions as they are campaigning in Overnite (transport company) and have had to develop a strategy allowing them to hold a union presence in the workplace (Note that I say this to the discussion purposes — it's not something that really happened). The Teamsters answered him, "Yes, join us."
However, a colleague Alice has a brother who works in the public sector, also on loading docks, and is represented by SEIU (Service Employees International Union). This colleague becomes SEIU member.
the UFCW (United Food & Commercial Workers), representing retail industry workers, Wind of what unfolds and requires the transfer of these two members in name, that the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations) grant them. Neither union members do not want to be affiliated UFCW saw their inability to adequately represent workers in supermarkets across the country. Instead, they decide to buy their own safety shoes and give up the idea of a union.
Although the above scenario is fictional, I think it illustrates the problems that would surface area in the event that the corporatist unions adopt a minority unionism strategy or a direct affiliate program. The reason I think the situation would unfold well — maybe not every time, but often enough to make it problematic — is that the corporatist union abandoned the minority unionism 1935 and when they pleaded es for the Wagner Act.
The Wagner Act — well what offer some protection to workers involved in minority unionism campaigns through its clauses protecting the concerted action — was greeted with open arms by the union leaders. Indeed, it guarantees exclusive bargaining rights to unions won powers of representation, while facilitating the management of the clauses related to members, such as collecting contributions. The AFL-CIO has pushed even further with, within its structure, anti-poaching judicial language and having protected the worst affiliates, preventing workers accentuate the democratic aspects activists and union representatives.
In Australia, the government, accredited and bosses have cut workers' industrial landscape jurisdictions countries unions. The unions have exclusive rights trading industry standards such as leave, salaries, the safety standards, hours and working conditions. They have the right to negotiate whatever members density, but the results of these negotiations affect all and all workers and industrial workers, union members or not. When a worker or a worker becomes a member or, it is usually to tackle a problem on their own workplace. A worker can become a union member and used to agitate for its own sake or for the workplace full. Given the history of American unions fighting for legal rights, I can imagine a system based on that of Australia, but without the right to represent an entire industry.
This would be implemented by the AFL-CIO that would cut the jurisdictions and approve that only unions having a presence in some industries may be a member or working there. The majority of this work has already been done, it has only been sidelined with the latest most difficult years. The Australian system was put in place because the working activity was up. Many moved from one union to another, changing organization as it saw them looking for a maximum level of militancy. Rather than encouraging devotion, the choice was made to control the workers by not allowing them membership in specific circumstances.
interesting note : the Australian system is not actually an industrial unionism. for example, there is a union secretaries. The secretaries are an indispensable part of almost any industry, but rather than being members of the union that represents them, and they are represented by an art-craft union. Ironically, although the vast majority of secretaries are women, the union is controlled by anti-feminist men, mainly because of some union members have the right to vote. The union is very little actually to organize the people it represents and even tries to counter any attempt at reform by members. The union can behave that way since it can retain its bargaining despite a very small amount of members, allowing a very small group of individuals unpopular among secretaries to be the sole representatives.
To return to the Alice scenario, that would SITT-IWW in this situation? We occupy ourselves with immediate safety shoes. Alice would initially contacted either with an intersectoral local or regional industrial council, an organization that serves to unify workers regardless of their industry. It would be in contact with other members, would provide training and would find solidarity. She would learn how to organize themselves to achieve gains as well as how to build a trade union presence in the workplace.
The SITT-IWW is open to all workers and all workers and our system of industrial unions is designed to increase our strength report. The only reason would have to wonder what industrial union join is to give us the best possible negotiating power, not to protect territory. The SITT-IWW opposed the Wagner Act when thinkers who created it made him the first draft. This is because we have seen the danger of the fact of relying on laws to organize the working class in our place and we did not want the cumbersome bureaucracy, the short-sighted and methods of separation of the corporatist unions.
Building our movement in this way makes us deeply only. We choose to experiment with new methods of organization, methods that have the potential not only to successfully provide for smaller claims, but also the potential to create a movement that can make a real difference.
The series of “minority reports” was written and published in 2002 on the website of the IWW, by Alexis FW Buss.
At the most recent General Assembly of the IWW, I had the chance to participate in a panel discussion to share ideas on how to rebuild the labor movement. My exchange theme was minority unionism. Here are some excerpts:
If the unions must become a movement, we must come out of the current model, based on a recipe increasingly difficult to prepare: a majority of workers vote union, a contract is negotiated. We must return to the kind of unrest that has earned us the eight-hour day and built the unions as a vital force. One way of doing this is what is now called the “minority unionism”. It's a question of constituting organized solidarity networks and significant improvements can win on individual workplaces, in industries and for the benefit of the international working class.
The minority unionism occurs on our own terms, irrespective of the legal recognition. It is not a question of simply creating a small clique of professional malcontents. It should rather aspire to grow, but in the short term, He gives an example of possible types of organization when we decide that our unions will exist because we need.
Diets working relationship between the United States and Canada are established on the assumption that the majority of workers must have a union, generally approved by the government in a global context, which is relatively rare. Even in North America, the idea that a union needs official recognition or majority status for the right to represent its members is relatively recent, mainly thanks to the choice of the unions to the legal trade of membership guarantees.
The labor movement was not built by the majority unionism – it could not exist. A hundred years ago, the unions had no legal status (indeed, courts have often ruled that unions were an illegal conspiracy and constituted a form of extortion) – they were recognized by their gross industrial power.
When the IWW fought for the eight-hour day in the wood and wheat fields, they have not decided to prove their majority in boss through elections. Workers have rather held meetings to decide what their claims, elected shop committees to represent claims, and used tactics such as leaving work after a quarter of eight hours to persuade recalcitrant employers to accept their demands. Union recognition in the construction trades was carried out through a combination of strikes, direct action and respect stakes grêve and of each other (and which, often, not enough).
The wave of sit-ins that have implemented the IOC in auto and steel, for example, was undertaken by minority unions who were very present in the workplace with agitating history. The union then appealed to the minority presence to take direct action that galvanized the largest workforce in their factories and have inspired the continent workers.
Trade unionism was built through direct action and through the organization of work. But in the years 1930, bosses have been increasingly difficult to recruit thugs and friends judges, and to proceed with collective redundancies. Recognizing that there was no way to crush the unions and tired of the continuous conflicts, they proposed an agreement: if the unions agreed to abandon their industrial power and instead worked through appropriate channels – the National Labor Relations Board in the United States, various provincial offices in Canada – the government would act as a referee “impartial” to determine whether the union was or not bona fide workers' representative.
Short term, unions could bypass the need to sign the workers one by one, to collect premiums directly. Bosses exchanged suit unionists for the thugs they had previously employed. And after a brief period of membership, trade unions (particularly in the US) began a long spiral. As part of this exclusive negotiation model, unions do not attempt to work on the job as long as they have not obtained legal certification. This legal process provides employers an almost unlimited ability to threaten and intimidate workers and drag out proceedings for years. It is a system designed to interfere with the right of workers to organize – and the IWW emphasized when the national law on labor relations was adopted.
However, if the labor law system is designed around this majority-majority unionism, he does not really require. As long as workers act together, they enjoy the same basic legal rights – such as those – whether or not in an officially certified union. Indeed, in some cases, they enjoy more rights, the courts have ruled that most union contracts implicitly refer to the right to strike. It is illegal to fire members of a minority union for trade union activity, to discriminate, to dismiss for strike, to refuse to allow union representatives to attend disciplinary hearings, etc. An organized group of workers have legal rights, but it would be wrong to expect that labor boards more vigorously apply than they do for unions that have been certified. And an organized group of workers, even if it is a small minority, has much more power than the unorganized individual workers.
In most of the cases, you have as many legal rights as a majority union as a minority union – with the only exception being certified as the exclusive bargaining agent and sole authority to negotiate a contract. A minority union has the right to file grievances (even though there may be no formal complaints procedure); engage in a concerted activity, make requests to the boss; seek meetings, or even trigger a grêve (even if it's not a good idea if you do not have the support of the majority).
If you choose well your problems and use them as an opportunity to talk with colleagues and mobilize, you can fight together for better conditions and build a 'union'. By campaigning on issues that matter to your colleagues, you acquérerez experience in self-organization, you will learn that you can trust, and you establish that the union of workers on the job and they are there for a long time.
The labor movement was built when workers groups have banded together and began agitating for their demands: sometimes, they persuaded their colleagues to approach their boss and ask that some problems are corrected. Sometimes, they refused to work under working conditions or unsafe manner, and persuaded their colleagues to do the same. Other times, they acted individually, sometimes they were demonstrations across the city on issues of common interest such as working hours and hazardous work.
The crucial point is that they acted. They identified the key elements of their problems; they got together, they agreed to an action plan, then they executed. It is the trade union action. It does not require official recognition, it requires no contract. It requires Workers who join together and act collectively.
If the unions must become a movement, we must come out of the current model and return to the type of agitation on the ground that we won the eight-hour day and built the unions as vital force. The minority unionism is to form organized networks of solidarity and significant improvements can win on individual workplaces, in all industries and the benefit of the international working class. This is a process, a process that offers hope to transform our greatest weakness – the fact that our members are scattered in many workplaces largely disorganized – into a force.
The series of “minority reports” was written and published in 2002 on the website of the IWW, by Alexis FW Buss.