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’.
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
Claim Your Respect, How's it going ?
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).
campaign and every reality is different.
A campaign story
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
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 !
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
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.
we are stronger, exactly !
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..
was our real lever ? Here it was to achieve the public image of
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 !
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.
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 !
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 !
meetings were made, in Group, applications have been accepted including :
fire the boss and have a voice, an employee representative, on the
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 !
succeeded despite the ups and downs, reluctance, errors and
learning, through all these little cumulative victories !
Boss viré, healthy workplace !
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
Someone hears about the IWW by un.e ami.e, we contact us online and we arrange to meet and discuss ways to take to claim the stolen wages. This is how many of our start campaigns Reclaim your pay, but our most recent will is not bound to the ordinary. Tale of a victorious campaign, the biggest in the history of our industry.
In his first message in late January, a worker tells of a chic restaurant closed, checks that bounced and more hours worked but not paid. They call to ask for more details, and we learn that they are 11 employé.e.s closed restaurant have bounced checks and / or unpaid wages! The information is relayed to the voluntary union for campaigns Reclaim your pay, and at the magnitude of the case, a team of three Wobblies is formed. Quickly, a meeting is organized with the greatest possible travailleurs.euses. At this first meeting, 5 of the 11 are presented, we count all wages to demand to realize that more than 20 000$ are at stake! We also note all relevant information about the boss: in addition to the closed restaurant, He is also co-owner of a chain of coffee shops in Montreal and coffee distribution company. He also has a habit of not paying its employé.e.s; the travailleurs.euses have heard similar stories in their, which spread on 10 last years. The boss will not easily let impress. This time, against, the claim will be organized and supported by a union. We do not lose anything to wait, we immediately establish a schedule of direct action to do in the coming weeks.
All campaigns SITT-IWW to claim stolen wages are based on direct action. The 11 employé.e.s have everyone made a complaint to the CNESST (except one, who worked in the black), but these complaints can easily take a year to reach a payment. For more travailleurs.euses, One year is too much to wait for three to four weeks of payroll. Direct action puts pressure on the employer to convince him that he has more to lose if he does not pay, without going through the legal. It is always the travailleurs.euses who democratically choose what actions, although union members can suggest them some.
The first step is to send letters of request to the boss, to remind him of the amounts payable and to inform the union is now on the case. While the letters are being delivered, the boss contacts a worker of 11 with the intention of paying it after she complained publicly. union members accompanied to this meeting, taking the opportunity to put the application letters to the boss personally. He takes the letters without reacting and not receiving any message from them by mail / e-mail or phone. It's time to start actions.
We start by sending emails denouncing the situation in several bosses in case of partners, without results. then continues with a "phone zap", where for two hours several people continually call to shops boss to block phone lines, and a blitz of negative comments on the pages of its companies (facebook, google, yelp, etc). To raise public pressure, is published on the website of the union an article that directly exposes the boss and unpaid wages. At this stage, three weeks have passed and certain.e.s travailleurs.euses receive boss Messages for, in short, threaten them with lawsuits and tell them that the union does not scare him. The next action, early March, continues escalating pressure tactics, this time physically with cafes whose boss is co-owner to distribute leaflets at the entrance. The managers are panicking a little, but we managed to pull three days to three coffees without too much trouble.
This is the week of towing the union is finally contacted by the boss to arrange a meeting, held the 14 mars. When it, it serves us the usual stories: "This is a misunderstanding, I'm the real victim, we could just talk not need to attack me ", etc. Rest you leave the meeting about 12 000$ checks! 6 of the 11 Former employé.e.s are now completely payé.e.s, there are still a few thousand to claim for 5 other.
The rest of the campaign covers 4 month, during which we discuss and negotiate with the boss to get the rest of salaries. One time, it seems that the boss ignores us, then organized a small action of towing two of its cafes, to get back his attention. The whole story is concluded on 19 June, when the last checks we are supplied by the employer. One worker did not have any money, and it is because it has decided to stop the campaign of direct action and rely solely on complaints it filed with the CNESST. It was noted that the worker who was being paid below the table has received his money, without particular difficulty.
In total, efforts 11 travailleurs.euses and the union have helped claim 20 995$, in unpaid hours 4%. Certainly a direct action campaign involves more work than the single gesture of complaint, but this considerable victory shows us once again qu'armé.e.s solidarity, we can overcome all obstacles, and build a better world for tomorrow.
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.
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! »
The 2 May, a day of reflection on the working conditions in the Community was organized by organisms at the bottom of the ladder, the popular Training Center and the sectoral grouping of community organizations in Montreal (RIOCM).
We were three members of the Community Committee of the IWW Montreal to attend. It was an interesting day and well organized. There was material to brainstorm ideas with more than a hundred people. Congratulations to the transition to the organization. Several proposals have been put forward; we will mention some, explaining the pros and cons, and issuing certain criticisms we hope constructive.
Three workshops framed discussions : labor conditions, the work-life and the workplace. The issues raised were mainly lack of funding (mostly), overwork, les burnouts, the large staff turnover, martyr culture, the few links of e-s-employee with their board, sexism in the workplace, la bureaucratisation, project funding (and thus insecurity), etc.
Those are, in sum, problems that most of us who work in the community and have already seen weighing on our shoulders every day.
Before moving forward, an aside is necessary to explain the context of discussions. We said, a hundred people were present. However the majority of these people were either in leadership positions, coordination with a power of hiring and dismissal or board member of directors. That is to say that we were talking about our working conditions with boss. Bosses obviously conscious of their employee-e-s (and suffer themselves and themselves some of the issues discussed), but the boss still. And the discussions were tinted.
Also, to be clear : reflections and critical that we bring here are ours, those unionists.
Calling versus employment
Several people mentioned : there is a culture of martyrdom in community organizations. That of not including overtime, to accept the often precarious conditions, And this, just because our work is a care. We work with the world of precarious and often messed up, our work is essential. Somewhat the same speech that is served to nurses and called women's jobs. A random? Probably not. It is often also said that the EU is a work '' militant ''. The boundary between work and activism is not always clear. It is common to see people overwork at work on this basis, that '' because '' is worth a couple of unpaid overtime!
Interesting proposals have emerged. Deconstructing this speech first. Explain the nature of our jobs, to denounce these situations overwork, just as the health care workers have for months with strength, either via public texts or videos. Refusing to do more (with less means).
An expression is however emerged repeatedly from the mouth of managers or directors of organizations, is the need to "educate their employee-s in overtime". Manner of providing the fault of overtime on the shoulders of the employee-s, but neither on directions or the structure of organizations, and even less on donors. If employers accept imposed performance requirements donors, knowing we often "low staff", it is inconsistent to require e-s-employee to provide the same services, but in less time.
Funding, bureaucracy and paperwork
Sure, the main issue remains : under-funding and project funding. Some people have raised the possibility of pressuring the political parties in the context of election campaigns. Trying again to strike the Community, perhaps with clearer objectives and decentralized than the aborted 7 February. And look more broadly and talk more. But above all to mobilize the very foundations of organizations : either the employee-e-s!
[On this subject, a personal story and a parallel with the Retreat : nowadays, very little employee-s organizations with a health mandate and social services (Such prevention of STIs) I talk to had heard of this missed strike 7 February. As few of my colleagues intervention had heard of this day of reflection on our working conditions. Visibly, if these are the coordos directions or who receive an invitation to talk about workplace conditions, there is little chance of that is transmitted to the employee-s. Imagine then speak to strike ...]
In terms of insecurity issues related to project funding rather than mission, few solutions have been put forward, Furthermore to make a strike Claim. We have mentioned a few times to tackle some private donors such as the United, who actively participate in the entrepreneurial culture, but no one picked up the ball, which in itself speaks volumes about the lack of analysis we have our own "industry" working.
Be heard as workers
An announcement was made, namely that a national association and workers Community workers would be created in the coming months. Few details were unveiled. As the creation of meeting has not taken place, it is difficult to say what its mandate, but we suspect that this will be our rights, to demand better funding, etc.
By asking a few questions in the following weeks to people involved in its creation, we have some, or concerns, but the project still interests us.
Already, have a space where propose actions, where share and talk about our working conditions is interesting in itself. Can come together is almost a luxury, considering all the tasks and we weigh. This will definitely be a project in which it may organize actions on trades that we.
However, some concerns remain. First, that will be part? Will be qualified-e-s Workers people who have hiring and dismissal powers within our bodies? Suppose we begin to talk about organizing, are we going to face an internal group that fiercely oppose it? Or simply to speak of self-management, internal conflicts, power relations within our bodies ... Will speak are we working conditions or just general underfunding? The question is valid.
Trade union solidarity and self-management
Sure, we preached for several solutions like us. Against some reluctance to join unions under a traditional model, we talked about putting forward a solidarity unionism. Namely mobilize, We base, by and for ourselves, so not only talk about underfunding, but also to bring up to date the self in community organizations in which we work. But also to be able to address issues such as harassment, the employee-s reports versus directions / boards, etc. This is why our trade unionism is voluntary, to enable people to be heard according to their needs.
We mentioned the importance of not remain impassive when an organization is cut. And I believe that this goal remains for us one of our key mandates : asserting solidarity among people working in the Community. Because it is together that we have a balance of power and that we can protect our bodies.
in short, it was an interesting meeting. We hope it will not be an isolated exercise, and it will be followed by a more general and broader. Organizations that have started organized something important, we hope it continues and that it be given suites.
The meeting was after all the Community Image : we are well aware of the problems we are experiencing, we have a good idea of the solutions within our reach, but taking action is unclear, or uncertain.
Anyway, our side, we will provide all the help we can in our midst colleagues, and we invite them to contact us. The more we are many and many, more our voice will.
An injury to one, an injury to all!
Members of the union workers and community workers.
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.
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.
After about six years of combined experience with it, over there, it's officially the end of my life doorman. Although I leave with a bitter taste, and despite some moments a little less clean than the profession demands, This is a profession that throughout my career will be remained as honorable as rewarding for me. Porter, this probably is not the typical business when we think of the left, whether radical or union, but it was mine. Over the years I have fed my Facebook news feed of anecdotes that punctuated my evenings with some delay and following Vanessa and Manu pressures (Thank you!), I send them here in a text which I hope the original mid-status, Mid-memory, will not come too harmful to the fluidity of reading.
My very first job security was in any holiday season around 2009-2010. Agent in a Hi-Fi Center. If standing 12 hours a day was something a bit annoying, the real alienation was really having Shreck 3 played on loop 44 screens of brands and sizes. "I have never read Marx's capital, but I have the Capital marks all over me ". And I, including Bill, and I dont.
It was two or three years later I made the leap to the world of bars. For bum down high floor to blow G.I-Jo, Marvel Comic, punks shows and bar output battles that I was, be hired as a porter at the Coop Café Chaos had been a great source of pride. Unemployed and a little on the brush, I went to see the manager to ask if he wanted a doorman. Probably in contrast with my big sister a lot more than I bum, I managed to go for a good conciliator and he referred me to the head doorman who agreed to take me, my 5 feet 9, my 165 lbs wet and me if I could get the. A deep breath and a headlock later, ask and you shall receive. I was engaged. It was a strange year, but a good year. Helping kids and kids less-cultural scenes against keeping the main bar that welcomed them to stay clean by limiting police intervention was something a bit special, but they spoke the same language. Somewhere between the end perfume Robine Sweat #5 punk of Maniks Monday and olfactory attack overflow crowd Herbal Essence of metal Thursdays, there was a common understanding of what it was the respect of a place and its staff. incidentally, because the pay was going down due to financial problems instead, but seriously after being targeted by neo-Nazis in lack of thrills, it is with great regret that I had to resign, however after a year and end this adventure in the heart of Night Life from downtown.
It was no less a shock when a few years later I landed in the quaint door frame of a small bon chic bar, right kind of gentrified northern district of the island and its clientele of young professionals such frica.
They are between 25 and 35 years, tailored navy blue suits to go with their haircuts Playboy. Their hands are as clean as what their cheeks are pink and they are not talking with humor and admiration of various crosses their tanks vendors such friends are doing to put money in the pockets on the back customers they are trying to calculate the profit margin they will next year or the best angle of approach to tumble Secretary.
Ladies and gentlemen, all that was most ugly in this world was standing there in front of me, on my street corner, smoking too expensive tops and snorting the powder they would probably have to pay more expensive.
Still relatively wealthy, but a little more variety at a glance, I am still attached to a portion of this clientele. Somewhere between nicks artists, les hipsters, the tourists, the Plateau French, showers Laval and proles aspiring to social uplift, There was something for everyone! Considered the trash bar area with several I always thought I had to basically be a rich kid to find that the ultimate trasherie it was a powder key on the side of the lane and a fast one in The bathroom (or vice versa). One of these four will be necessary and that they descend from their ivory tower to meet with the real world. Note, the rich kids that also happen to be lost at the bottom of their nostrils. They have more ways to get by you and me, their evil to be something a bit superficial when compared to what was going down the slope in the alley of Chaos, but they are not the prettiest to look at when it happens to them.
It is an evening in November, a customer just happened, it had been three months since she had not come. She tries to stop coke. 15 minutes after his arrival, one of his friends had already given him a baggies. consumption requires, it is not bloody remember my name, but seems it I have the mouth of someone who has just confide or seek advice. I would have liked it to find cool words, but I have found nothing better than to suggest him to go home to what pajamas before Netflix and jump on a Friday night about us all is to look 50 and last 50 coming. In an hour or two, his eyes will become a bit empty, his jaw will tighten and she will start to drool the same empty phrases. She'll wake up tomorrow morning after said it was just tonight, return to 0 to addiction, 50$ less in the pockets, and two or three guilt. Is that without it lacks something in the evening. A large vacuum.
I open the door to the dealer. He wishes me a good evening, I return the favor.
In a bar everyone plays some role. The bartender is your friend, to you and 150 other client.es. The waitress is cute you, not your name is not interested. I'll put you out if you consume, but I know the first name of all dealers.
Moreover, do not get mad, customers also play a role. Already it shows the clothes that people put. I have no particular opinion on the aesthetics of high-heeled sandal, but if the purpose of the evening is to engage in a competition shooters, I always suggest the boot of walking or running shoe. (porter profession, ascending shoemaker, tend not fashion designer.). Ensuite, there report to work. Because it must really be a lawyer or an architect to think that yelling frantically bouncer to the ears that advocate or architect turns automatic an injustice for pissing on the terrace or insult another customer about sexual orientation. Finally, there are lifestyle, as hot customer stiff bar, a little problematic. Category : I was a guy in 20 years, I have today 50 and not only life did not miss me, but in addition the tavern where I was going to become a trendy bar or I'm not beautiful enough to be welcome in the eyes of the manager.
Me: I apologize for my boyfriend, going to have to come with me, the evening is over.
Client: *look around to be sure that people see us * Ok ok, but I can you join you in 2 minutes? I do not want the world to see I'm getting out.
I swear, there are conversations that have done more harm to my little porter heart that many of the punches that my angel face received.
Let there be no mistake, Also a slight shift in terms of social class, I have enjoyed working with this last job as all the others before. All other except security in a Hi-Fi Center Christmas. Staying up, still for 12 hours I can do it, but before Shreck 3 on repeat displayed in 43 screens of different shapes and sizes, it's just torture. But I loved the ending partys political science session, as punks shows Monday night, through the first Word Up Battle or the victories of the amateur team Rugby. Thursdays rainy evenings when there are a handful of lost souls who come to drink their loneliness. The Saint John or patriotic pride equaled the amount of vomit in the gutter. just cross side of the day Love of year, Extra testosterone as the little guy who puts a Halloween mask. I enjoyed every moment.
I got to thinking tequila-soaked beads: "I think it's the cellar bar fights. As long as you beat me I want to do something real. Tse as fight for my homeland. Something intellectual anything. "I've mostly been partners in gold and staff, when he does not question your decision to leave a customer was always funny. Most regulars with good humor saved I do not know how many of my evenings some trouble. And it was always a pleasure to make sure the regulars, as the neighborhood, have a good time. I still probably would if it had been an accumulation of fatigue and lack of pathological respect of senior management from the first to last day. Because we will tell, the only thing that is more harmful than working night, it is the work itself.
Thank you to everyone who made the last few years, a nice experience. No hard feelings to clients that I went out to kick in the ass. Do not take your car starting siouplait, one at a time in the bathroom and not piss on the tree I said. This is my Last call.