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 !


Testimony : organize as bike messenger-era

Last February, 5 bike messengers were sent by QA Courier company in Montreal. These messengers had refused to get on their bikes in a snowstorm because they felt it violated their right to work in safe conditions. Following their dismissal suffered, bosses at QA had increased the working conditions of the next runner-es-eras… It was also able to attend a great wave of solidarity for those bike messengers. The 18 February 2019, More than fifty people were displaced in the early morning with the support 5 returned at a press conference to demand better working conditions for all Messengers and all the bike messengers! Here is a text written by an e-messenger-era bike comrade :

"While bikers QA returned in February will be no re-engage, the boss still increased the salary of his new biker, no 10 ni de 15%, but to 20% even with a big bonus when hiring. This tells me 2 things : what, contrary to what the bosses want us to believe, couriers are essential pieces on the board of the courier industry but also that these patterns have the means and the power to pay us better / treat.

If they do not, it is simply because no lifts. The case that has marked the industry and the community dated 13 February 2019 thus solves, would do for now, a net salary increase for new and new bikers who will be hired-e-s at QA in the present and future.

Only this, this is a huge victory in itself. When I started to mobilize with my comrades 2016 to demand better working conditions, I was winning 100$ a day and it was the best deal in town. Many of those who were dismantling us saying we would gain nothing, or that nothing would change because it was already a good 10 years nothing had move. EH BEN SURPRISE! In only 3 years, my friends and I, we boosted our salary 50% after our return.

All that is born of mobilization and perseverance. So these people, I reply that nothing moves them because nobody moves. Involved, educate yourself and stay strong and strong, comrades. If a company does not respect you, she does not deserve you! »

Mission Accomplished in precarious Community of show

The Show precarious Community, what a beautiful evening of solidarity that was for us, members of Union workers and community workers!


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 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, 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.

Solidarity forever!

The Origins of Solidarity Unionism: Minority report 5

During the recent training of IWW organizers, we talked about the kind of agreements that union solidarity could do with a boss. After all, we aim to ensure better conditions and to take advantage, which means , Firstly, to negotiate with management and commemorate the agreements we have concluded.


The readers of my topics I will regularly criticize contract elements, in my opinion, should be excluded if we want to be a strong movement. Some of these elements are desired by the union bureaucracies rooted, some are desirable for management, and some serve both interests, while abandoning the workers. I speak deductions of union dues, prerogatives of management and no-strike clauses. There are other characteristics of the contracts, such as binding arbitration as the last step of a grievance procedure, deadlines that promote management, the '' zipper clauses '' and so on, I regularly complain.

But what are the types of agreements that we should conclude, so? Generally, I speak of the agreements in terms of using direct action to take power on specific situations and negotiate to commemorate the result. But there are elements in the current contracts that are very useful. What remains to be seen, that is if a more comprehensive agreement that truly protects and extends the rights of working men and women can be negotiated in the current climate.


In my opinion, when negotiating, the workers should seek:
1) the end of the employment status "OTC";
2) a grievance procedure;
3) all economic improvements and working conditions they may wish and;
4) past practices clauses.

Most contracts contain a clause of "progressive discipline" or "termination for cause", that effectively terminates the employee status '' OTC ''. I would be interested to hear unionists seasoned-e-s the kind of progressive discipline provisions that have worked well in their experiments. One of them we have negotiated here based on the idea not to make it easy to discipline e-s-employed for simple wrongdoing. Management was obliged for each discipline to write an essay on the good qualities of the disciplined person, specify how to improve performance and meet regularly with the person concerned to discuss progress. Because it's a bit painful to do this, only the most serious offenses are identified, and former insignificant disciplines have simply disappeared.

Grievance procedures are systematic way the problems that arise in a factory are treated. Many clauses limit the definition of a complaint to the matters covered by the contract, thus reducing the ability of working people to file grievances on matters not provided for in the contract. It could be argued that the questions that are not covered by the contract are exempt from limits resolutions prohibited in the contract, then maybe not this is the worst thing that can happen. But having a procedure that management had agreed to follow when a conflict occurs can be very advantageous for workers.

Too often, I saw the wind out of the sails of organizing campaigns with promises of leadership that are never delivered. A clear process demonstrates to everyone when it is being ejected-e-s, and workers may well decide quickly how to raise the bar. I prefer that the last step of the grievance procedure is actually a gray area where nothing is assured. Yes, have steps ahead – meetings to discuss the issue, put in writing, bring a mediator, and everything that makes sense in the structure of your workplace. But to rely on a third party – that did not work under the agreement that it requires you to submit – to take the final decision is not ideal. Past practice clauses actually say: "Unless we reach an agreement, the workplace remains as currently. "What this has the effect of putting the burden of change in the workplace on the employer's shoulders. They must come to the union to talk about the changes and the union may or may not be consistent, or negotiate. When workers decide that a situation must be resolved, the grievance procedure can be used to bring the discussion to the calendar. These clauses have largely disappeared current contracts, but I think it's time for a rebirth.


The series of “minority reports” was written and published in 2002 on the website of the IWW, by Alexis FW Buss.

Link to original article:

The Origins of Solidarity Unionism: Minority report 4

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.

Link to original article:

The origins of Solidarity Unionism: Minority report 3

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.

Link to original article:

poor record

The RQ-ACA and the fight

In recent years, le RQ-ACA (Quebec Independent Community Action Network) and its regional fronts are the channels through which community groups in the Autonomous Community Action (HERE) bearing claims on funding and recognition deal with different levels of government, through the campaign "Commit yourself to the community".


The criteria to be part of community action groups are : be a non-profit organization, rooted in the community, have an associative and democratic life, and have the freedom to determine its mission, its approaches, practices and guidelines. To be qualified as independent, we add that it must have been formed at the initiative of the people in the community, pursuing a social mission of its own and promotes social transformation, having an approach based on the totality of the problem addressed and be led by an independent CA public network. In our groups, it is usually to our members, militant.e.s and / or users-using and we are accountable.


ACA gathers groups working on very diverse axes : women, LGBTQ, defense rights, Harm reduction, popular education, family associations, Hosting Resources, international cooperation, ecology, etc. Assemblies are held periodically, by region, so members are involved in developing the outline of the action plan that will define the national struggle.


Among the means used, include poster campaigns, distribution of stickers "I support the Community ', press conferences, publication of texts, representations to various bodies, manifestations, actions "disturbing" and finally strike, like the aborted 7 February.


The worn speech is roughly as follows : the state must reinvest in the community so that we can accomplish our mission and maintain (or increase) our services, suites historical struggles, we managed several gains that we want to save what is now an acquired.


The (lack of) Community funding

In recent decades, we see a change in the state funding. Private foundations are playing an increasingly important and bring with them the performance requirements and efficiency, short do more with less. In the best known, there Way, Chagnon Foundation, etc. These give the funding requested by their vis-à-vis the mission judgment, Services, activity reports, etc. These donors require specific account yields qualitatively and quantitatively. In survival mode, Community has no choice but to turn to these donors for survival. And in spite of ourselves, sometimes, it must distort our missions and mandates to meet the funding criteria. The state also seem increasingly inclined to do so in the allocation of funds.


The ACA groups are important and worthy of funding, but are not the only elements of the Community. Several salarié.e.s Community must both cope with precarious funding, and their tutelage under external bodies (CIUSS/CLSC, YMCA, foundations, hospitals, etc.). This is the case of aidant.e.s pair.e.s are considéré.e.s as part of a specific project under supervision and are then envoyé.e.s in various groups, but are not always treated equally face permanent.e.s intervenant.e.s of these organizations.


The fight is personal

Work in the Community is, for many of us, much more than a job, it is a vocation. Nonetheless concretely, un.e salarié.e occupying the same function in a government resource, or even in the private has much better conditions. Our vocation is it leave us in poverty?


Who among us, Workers, volunteers and community militant.e.s, has not seen colleagues or comrades in from burnout? Who does not know quelqu'un.e who saw his position abolished or cut hours for lack of funding? How are we jumping from contract to contract and end up chronically unemployed? How many CA work or teams have had to make difficult choices as that of maintaining a position or cut in insurance, pensions and / or other benefits? And we pass by! That's the reality we chatter between workers of the community.


There seems to be treading water for years, and our struggles are fragmented. Everyone is trying to pull a piece of cover on their side hoping to make giving back a portion of the amount that has been cut, or see our funding be indexed. As soon as it receives a portion of what it hoped, it withdraws from fight. Efforts our state donors are not living up to our potential. From year to year, the same strategies are repeated : representations to various bodies, petition and letter, and a very symbolic temporary occupation of a lobby government offices or large financial players.


Funding for our groups must not only enable us to continue our activities, it should allow wages and viable conditions for everyone. Often agencies must draw on their funds to adequately pay salarié.e.s engagé.e.s for a temporary project. It lasted quite. We can not bear any longer to be the cheap labor of the State in social services. Our donors can perhaps muzzle our groups, organizations and projects, but they can not muzzle workers who wear them at arms. Join the Union of Workers of the Community!


Rage and Solidarity,

A member of the union workers and community workers.

Intoxication culture and radical unionism

To read this article in French, click here.

The opinions stated in this article aren't necessarily those of the SITT-IWW and shouldn't be considered as such.

For those who know me, it’ll be no surprise to hear that I consume a lot of marijuana, I am what people call a high functioning user. My consumption and use is intertwined with my self image issues, my social anxiety, and my PTSD. I feel like I need to use before going out and talking to focus my thoughts and not end up being a rambling idiot. I feel like I need to use to make my body acceptable, or at least in my mind, acceptable to society. I spend a lot of money on my self-medication, and I freak out when my means to self medicate is low or gone. This means I have the choice to stop self-medicating and plunge into a plethora of stress and internal anxiety, or forking over the money to keep up my line.

This is a facet of intoxication culture; it is a self-consuming beast that ingests social interactions and forces them to develop under the guise of consuming drugs. In our union, which is mostly conveyed through drinking alcohol, after a meeting we’ll go out for a drink, after a GMB we’ll go out for a drink, after a demo we’ll go out for a drink, we drink a lot, we drink an alarming amount. We spend a lot of money, collectively falling into the pit of intoxication culture, and there isn’t much we do socially that doesn’t include alcohol. Read more

Culture of intoxication and radical unionism

Note: Les views expressed in this article are those of the author-e and should not be considered as official statements of the IWW-SITT.

Ceux et celles qui me connaissent ne seront pas surpris et surprises d’apprendre que je consomme beaucoup de marijuana, je suis ce qu’on appelle un utilisateur fonctionnel élevé. Ma consommation est liée à mes problèmes d’image personnelle, mon anxiété sociale et mon trouble de stress post-traumatique. Je sens que j’ai besoin d’en consommer avant de sortir et de parler pour concentrer mes pensées et ne pas être un imbécile incohérent. Je sens que j’ai besoin de consommer pour rendre mon corps acceptable du moins dans ma tête pour la société. Je dépense beaucoup d’argent sur mon automédication et je panique lorsque mes moyens d’automédication sont bas ou épuisés. Ça veut dire que j’ai le choix entre arrêter de m’automédiquer et plonger dans une profusion de stress et d’anxiété interne, ou alors de casquer pour continuer.

Ceci est une facette de la culture de l’intoxication; c’est une bête qui se consume elle-même et qui avale les interactions sociales et les force à se développer dans le contexte de consommation de drogues. Dans notre syndicat, c’est principalement porté par l’alcool; nous allons prendre un verre après une réunion, nous allons prendre un verre après une réunion de branche, nous allons prendre un verre après une manif, nous buvons beaucoup, nous buvons une quantité alarmante d’alcool. Nous dépensons beaucoup d’argent, ce qui nous plonge collectivement dans le trou de la culture de l’intoxication, et nous faisons peu socialement qui n’inclut pas d’alcool.

Non seulement cela crée des espaces très peu sécuritaires, mais ça rend aussi inaccessible à ceux et celles qui ont fait le choix de ne pas boire ou qui ne le peuvent pas de sympathiser avec nous.

Écoutez, je n’essaie pas de casser le party. Parmi tous, je suis le premier à prendre quelques pintes après une longue réunion. Je suis le premier à consommer. Je fais partie de ce cycle, je vis dans la bête, j’ai eu un long passé à tourner les coins ronds pour me geler, j’ai séché le travail, planté des ami-e-s, laissé tomber des responsabilités pour continuer à consommer, en partie à cause de tout ce que j’ai mentionné, mais aussi parce que je me sentirais seul et incapable de faire face à mes responsabilités une fois sobre. C’est quelque chose avec quoi je lutte toujours, et j’ai tourné tellement de coins ronds que le gros de mon travail finit par ressembler à un cercle.

Lorsqu’une organisation de personnes nourrit cette machine, nous changeons, nous avons des standards plus bas, nous nous abandonnons à la bête et tout ce que nous faisons deviens assujetti à l’intoxication. C’est la différence entre accomplir quelque chose et accomplir quelque chose pour pouvoir aller boire. In my opinion, nous sommes meilleur-e-s que ça. Ça veut dire qu’aussi forts et fortes que nous sommes, aussi critiques que nous sommes, nous sommes toujours des esclaves à la boissons et au pot, et je crois que nous sommes bien meilleur-e-s que ça. Je n’ai pas les réponses à ce problème, j’ai mes propres démons, mais ensemble, y’a rien qu’on puisse pas faire.

– Harvest.

Two militant-e-s union condemned-e-s

While Jennifer Pawluck, the militant Industrial Workers Union and Workers (SITT-IWW) has been convicted of harassment Ian Lafrenière, spokesman for the Police Department of the city of Montreal and Hamza Babou, Member of the Association for Student Solidarity Trade Union (ASSÉ) is sent to the Rivière-des-Prairies prison pending trial, it is legitimate for union to ask where does all this stop.

Recall that in the case of Jennifer Pawluck, that the injustice system called harassment, is in fact nothing but the publication on his instagram account cash 81 abonné.es, the picture of a graffiti showing the SPVM spokesperson with a bullet in the head. Pawluck did not do graffiti, she encouraged people to share the photo and she especially encouraged person to reach the safety of Lafrenière. Pierre Trudel, Professor of Law at the University of Quebec in Montreal, interviewed by The duty, worries also limits the Court is in the process of asking for freedom of expression, noting that the language codes are not the same on the internet than in real life.


On the side of Hamza Babou, Those are 14 Heads of the charges against him. Including those of armed aggression, read : throwing spray coils son in the face of an agent (it is still not clear if it is a Garda or a policeman) and breaking a court injunction banning democratically voted during raised by student associations at UQAM. Recall that the Judge Denis Laberge is not his first in terms of wrongful imprisonment. In 2003 he was sentenced to a protester 18 days in jail awaiting trial and, Despite Canadian laws, had forbidden him to present evidence in his own defense during his bail inquiry. For Véronique Robert, responsible for the defense of Babou, there is no doubt that the Court is trying to make the accused an example and that his trial is in charge of political will to crush the protest movement that takes place in Quebec.

We can not ignore that this is at best a funny coincidence, the trial Pawluk and Babou take such drastic turns in two weeks 1is May, International Day of Workers and day general strike and social push by several base unions affiliated to the Union of Industrial Workers and Workers (SITT-IWW), the National Trade Union Confederation (CSN), the Quebec Federation of Labor (FTQ), the Central of Quebec Unions (CSQ) or to the Association for Student Solidarity Trade Union (ASSÉ) in addition to numerous community groups orbiting the Red Hand Coalition.


As long as protest repression will mean it will be the most important for all workers and all workers to stand together. To remember that those who face justice today have been chosen to serve as examples and in this sense represents us all. Tomorrow it might be our turn to face justice for them and they. Because an injury to one or one of us is an insult to all and to all, Local Montreal section of the IWW-SITT appeal to your solidarity, the only weapon that we have in the fight against austerity.

When they came for the Communists,
I said nothing,
I was not a Communist.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I said nothing,
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not protest,
I was not Jewish.

Then they came for me,
And it was no one left to protest.