How Seven Thousand Quebec Workers Went on Strike against Climate Change

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~(((( T h e B u l l e t ))))~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 1927 ... November 7, 2019
_________________________________________________

How Seven Thousand Quebec Workers Went on Strike against Climate Change

Alain Savard

With a crowd of 500,000, Montreal’s march for the climate was the largest in the world during the September 20-27 week of climate action. Yet it was also noteworthy for another reason. Despite provincial labour laws preventing unions from striking over political issues, 11 locals representing 7,500 workers formally voted to go on strike for a day.

Organizing for the strike began in January with a handful of rank-and-file teachers who were also involved in grassroots ecological movements. François Geoffroy and Frédéric Legault had little experience with unions, but when they saw that the international network Earth Strike was calling for a climate strike on September 27, they decided to dedicate all their energy to organizing a real climate strike. They linked up with the rank-and-file union network Lutte Commune (Common Struggle) to make connections with union activists on how to push forward.

The strategy they came up with was to get local membership meetings to pass a strike mandate.... This mandate would be "conditional": it would take effect only if a critical mass – at least 10 locals representing 5,000 workers – were participating. That way the locals would not strike alone and be vulnerable to repression and marginalization. It also ensured that locals could coordinate without having to use the formal structures of labour federations for communication and strategizing.

Coordination outside the formal structures was important because the unions that the organizers thought might strike belonged to various federations. They didn’t expect a majority of unions to go on strike in any single federation, and they expected the federations to be reluctant, if not hostile to the project.

Continue reading

Share on Facebook

Follow us onr0

Forward to a friend: this link

r39
powered by phpList

Login Form