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December 23, 2018

2018 Photo Review

Taking Bold Stands in Defence
of the Rights of All and to
Make Canada a Zone for Peace


TML Daily continues its month-by-month photo review of the stands taken by the working people of Canada and Quebec and Indigenous peoples in 2018 with July.

BC casino workers -- some 400 in Coquitlam along with another 700 in the Okanagan -- were on strike in July for improved pay and working conditions in their sector. The casino and entertainment business is very profitable but the owners and operators are consumed with the aim to expropriate as much profit as possible at the expense of their workers.

Striking salt miners at Compass Minerals in Goderich, a southwestern Ontario community, began militant collective actions on July 4, with the broad support of their community, to prevent scabs from entering the plant. Their strike opposed concessions demanded by the company, including onerous overtime provisions that would have seriously impacted health and safety. Since April 27, the company had refused to negotiate and instead ran the plant with scab workers. Negotiations resumed July 12 and a settlement was reached by July 16, with workers fending off the most drastic concessions and returning to work with their heads held high. The collective conclusion reached was that the entire community was fully engaged in the salt workers' fight in defence of their rights and dignity, and there was no doubt in the minds of the people there that the mass actions were instrumental in forcing Compass to settle.

The refusal of employers and governments to permit negotiated contracts was seen elsewhere in Ontario and Quebec in July. For example, the new Ford government passed back-to-work legislation against education workers at York University. With none of the issues facing these workers addressed, students' education will be negatively affected and conditions prepared for yet another strike.

As well, unionized workers at the Quebec Liquor Control Board (SAQ) continued their fight to negotiate an acceptable collective agreement that reduces the rampant job insecurity they experience. In June, the workers voted to hold six one-day strikes to support their demands. The SAQ, hiding behind the Quebec government's "financial framework" to justify its refusal to negotiate and its demands for further job insecurity, has told SAQ workers that if they persist in fighting for what is theirs by right, they are headed for disaster, as the government will use this as a pretext to privatize the SAQ.

These struggles underscore that more than ever, workers must fight for their rights and for new arrangements. Social solidarity from all working people is essential to oppose the dictate and blackmail of employers and governments and to affirm that working people -- with their skills, knowledge and experience -- are essential to the functioning of the society and economy and the fulfilment of everyone's rights. And the rights of all working people must be recognized so that they can fulfil their duties.

The criminality of Canada's role in Haiti and its treatment of people without status in Canada of Haitian origin were brought out by actions in July. The Haitian people have been suffering under terrible economic conditions and exploitation by the ruling elite and foreign powers since the 2004 coup orchestrated by the U.S., Canada and France. Their opposition to the physical, social and economic violence caused by Haiti's exploitation and governments subservient to neo-liberalism came to a head with mass protests this year. Canada and other countries condescendingly sought to blame the Haitian people and called on them to "respect constitutional order," which of course, because of foreign intervention, does not exist. This portrayal of the Haitian people as the source of the problem was rejected by Haitians in the diaspora and friends of Haiti. Based on the turmoil there, the Canadian government declared Haiti an unsafe destination for Canadians, but showed an unacceptable double standard, deporting people of Haitian origin in Canada without status, back to Haiti. None of these actions by the government show that Canada has taken responsibility for the problems it is causing in Haiti, as Canadians continue to demand.

July 4 
BC Casino workers at the Playtime Casino in Kelowna, along with casino workers in  Vernon, Penticton and Kamloops, took strike action on June 29 to assert their claim to dignified working and living conditions 

http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0526.HTM#5  (Photo:BCGEU)

 July 4-9 
Striking salt miners in Goderich, with the support of the community, take action to block Compass Minerals from running the facility with scabs. Barricades of skids are erected and, when an injunction orders them removed, a cavalcade of farm tractors arrives to take over.

http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0526.HTM#1  (Photos: Unifor)

July 5 
Protesters demanding No Consent, No Pipeline! rappel from the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge to block oil tankers from leaving the Kinder Morgan facility in Burnaby.

(M. Hudema)

July 6
Fifth anniversary of Lac-Mégantic rail disaster marked with outdoor ceremony.

http://cpcml.ca/Tmlw2018/W48026.HTM#5 (J. LeMay)

July 9
Rally on Parliament Hill demands Canadian government stop its interference
in Haitian politics, withdraw military and police, and direct funds to projects
that benefit the Haitian people.


July 14
Goderich miners ratify tentative agreement ending their strike.
Miners return to work with heads held high, united with their community.

http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0527.HTM#1  (Photos: Unifor)

People's rally at Queen's Park says No! to the escalation of the anti-social offensive
by Ontario's newly-elected Ford PC government.

Protect the Inlet protest, outside Kinder Morgan's terminal in Burnaby, opposes the building of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

July 16
Postal workers at Tecumseh depot hold information picket as Canada Post implements restructuring measures for the fifth time in seven years while in contract negotiations with the union. Restructuring has led to a 55 per cent reduction in staff and the deterioration of working conditions, with workers forced to work up to 12-hour days to deal with increased workloads.


July 17
Monthly pickets in Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal demand an end
to the criminal U.S. blockade of Cuba.



 Quebec Liquor Control Board workers hold a one-day strike as part of the fight they have been waging since January 2017 to oppose precarious working conditions and to demand
modern Quebec-standard wages.

July 18
York University faculty and students and their supporters rally at Queen's Park to denounce the Ontario Ford government's passage of back-to-work legislation against
striking CUPE 3903 members.


July 21
Picket outside Citizenship and Immigration offices in Montreal calls for a moratorium
on the deportation of Haitians from Canada.


July 22
Moncada Day, Cuban revolution day, is celebrated in Toronto.

July 23
Supporters of West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations gather outside BC Supreme Court, where a hearing is being held to determine whether an injunction will be issued to stop work on the Site C dam until a lawsuit on infringement of treaty rights is heard.

(Witness for Peace)

July 24
Members of the Assembly of First Nations youth council
call on the Assembly to take a stand against the Kinder Morgan pipeline, at the AFN's meeting in Vancouver.

July 27
Rally at Toronto city hall denounces the Ontario Ford government's anti-democratic and arbitrary plan to introduce Bill 5 to restructure Toronto's municipal government, cutting by half the number of councillors. The plan is announced the day nominations close for the city election.


July 31
Stagehands, members of IATSE Local 58, locked out at Exhibition Place on July 20 by the City of Toronto, picket city hall. The city refuses to budge on the contracting out of jobs of IATSE members, which stalled negotiations in the first place.


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