December 23, 2018
2018 Photo Review
Taking Bold Stands in Defence
of the Rights of All and to
Make Canada a Zone for Peace
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
BC Casino workers at the Playtime
Casino in Kelowna, along with casino workers in Vernon,
Kamloops, took strike action
on June 29 to assert their claim
to dignified working and living conditions
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
Protesters demanding No Consent, No
Pipeline! rappel from the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge to block oil
tankers from leaving the Kinder Morgan facility in Burnaby.
Fifth anniversary of
Lac-Mégantic rail disaster
marked with outdoor ceremony.
Parliament Hill demands Canadian government
stop its interference
in Haitian politics,
withdraw military and police, and direct funds to
that benefit the Haitian
Goderich miners ratify
tentative agreement ending their strike.
Miners return to work with heads held high, united with their community.
People's rally at Queen's
Park says No! to the
escalation of the
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
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.
Monthly pickets in
Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal demand an end
to the criminal U.S. blockade of Cuba.
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.
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
striking CUPE 3903
Citizenship and Immigration offices in Montreal calls for a moratorium
on the deportation of Haitians from Canada.
Moncada Day, Cuban revolution day, is celebrated in Toronto.
Supporters of West Moberly and Prophet River First Nations gather
outside BC Supreme Court, where a hearing is being held to determine
injunction will be issued to stop work on the Site C dam until a
infringement of treaty rights is heard.
(Witness for Peace)
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.
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
Stagehands, members of IATSE Local 58, locked out at Exhibition Place
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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