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December 26, 2018

2018 Photo Review

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


The month-by-month 2018 Photo Review
by TML Daily of the struggles waged by the working people of Canada and Quebec and the Indigenous peoples continues with October.

October began with the conclusion of the Quebec election campaign. With the Coalition Avenir Québec having won the most seats, all manner of disinformation was pushed on working people to ascribe legitimacy to the government and a mandate to do as it pleases in the name of "making Quebec open for business," which in reality means waging the anti-social offensive on behalf of the rich. Amidst this assault on people's consciousness, the PMLQ took stock of its intervention in the election and reaffirmed the necessity for the regular publication of its newspaper Chantier politique and broadening of its links with the people.

On October 4, Sisters in Spirit vigils and other actions were held in Quebec and across Canada to honour the memory of the more than 4,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The vigils, held for the 13th year, embodied the desire of working people to address concretely these injustices and to establish new nation-to-nation relations based on equality and mutual respect. At this year's Parliament Hill vigil, the Families of Sisters in Spirit read out the names of the 124 Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people who have been murdered or gone missing since the Trudeau government came to power in 2015 with its promises to take action to end the violence and establish a new relationship with Indigenous peoples.

Health care workers across the country took important stands throughout October in defence of their rights and for public health care in the face of the neo-liberal anti-social offensive. In Nova Scotia, a day of action highlighted the crisis situation in rural health care. At the rallies, local physicians and health care professionals spoke. Some identified the problem in the health care system that people who are experts in their field, and who do the work and know the problems, do not have the means to implement the solutions they propose. In the Outaouais, nurses, licensed practical nurses and respiratory therapists stepped up their actions -- including a march and a sit-in at the Gatineau Hospital -- against their employer's demands for concessions in negotiations to renew their collective agreement. Negotiations are taking place under the conditions of the anti-social restructuring of the health care system, instituted by the Couillard government through Bill 10. In Ontario, a mass rally at Queen's Park put the Ford government on notice that it must rebuild and restore health care services, not further cut and privatize them.

On October 22, postal workers across the country began rotating strikes after negotiations with Canada Post failed to address the unsustainable situation facing the workers. The workers have been in negotiations throughout the year, justly calling for Canada Post to address the high rate of debilitating injuries, the right of Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers (RSMCs) to be paid for all hours worked, forced overtime, the overburdening of letter carriers and the increasingly precarious employment for inside workers. None of these were new issues -- they date back at least to the 2011 lockout and strike.

October 1
Candidates, members and friends of the Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ), along with a delegation from the Parti Changement intégrité pour notre Québec meet at the PMLQ’s Montreal office on election day. PMLQ candidates highlight the importance of the work the Party carried out during the election through Chantier politique to give workers a voice and stress the importance of the work continuing now that the election is over.


October 3
Members and supporters of the Quebec Network of Housing Committees and Tenants Associations celebrate its 40th anniversary full of enthusiasm and determination, born out of the defence of rights. Fighting under the banner "Housing Is a Right," it is calling on the new Quebec government to take concrete measures to realize this right.

http://pmlq.qc.ca/wp/2018/10/10/40-years-of-struggle-for-housing-as-a-right/  (Photo: A. Querry)

October 4 
Sisters in Spirit vigils are held for the 13th year in more than 115 cities and communities across Canada and Quebec. The vigils remember and honour Indigenous women and girls who have been murdered or gone missing and demand an end to the continuing violence.

Parliament Hill

Taqamkuk, Newfoundland

Bathurst, New Brunswick

Whycocomagh, Nova Scotia

Montreal, Quebec

Toronto, Ontario

Waterloo, Ontario

Manitoulin Island, Ontario

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Anishinabek Nation, Ontario

Mohawk Territory

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

North Battleford, Saskatchewan

Edmonton, Alberta

Calgary, Alberta

Lethbridge, Alberta

Grand Prairie, Alberta

Kelowna, BC

Prince George, BC

Whistler; Mission BC

Whitehorse, Yukon http://cpcml.ca/Tmlw2018/W48034.HTM#6  (Photos: TML, L. Larter, Amnesty International, J. Barrera, K. Graczk, A. Blanchard-Whi, Charlotte, L. Lanteigne, J. Hopkin, Anishinabek Nation, Unifor, E. Vas, A. Grabish, E. Vas, E.V. Lee, A. Brown, J. Irwin, D. Larivee, Now Media, Howe Sound Women's Centre, A. Joseph, L. Cabott, Karihwakern, V. Fox, M. McCoy, M. Robinson)

October 5
Striking education support workers in Living Waters Catholic School District in Alberta sign a contract that ends two-and-a-half years of bargaining and an 18-day strike. By standing united with their communities, they are able to achieve an agreement that provides for more stable, defined hours of work and a predictable, constant work year.

  http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0535.HTM#6 (Photos: AUPE) 

October 8
Concrete mixer drivers in Montreal hold a special general assembly where they reject the measures proposed by their employer Demix Béton to deal with problems stemming from a new computerized dispatch system, introduced without consultation. The system regularly requires drivers to work over 50 hours a week and interferes with their ability to take needed breaks, affecting their health and safety and endangering that of residents living close to the worksites.  

http://www.pmlq.qc.ca/CPE2018/CPE05008.HTM#3  (FIM-CSN) 

October 9
Nurses, licensed practical nurses and respiratory therapists from the Outaouais march to demand improved working conditions. Among the employer's requests for concessions during the current round of local negotiations are compulsory overtime, the abolition of a weekend off every two weeks and the ability to change the work schedule with less than 48 hour's notice.


United Steelworkers Local 9700 representing the aluminum workers in Bécancour, Quebec, locked out by ABI, holds a general membership meeting following the mediator's announcement that negotiations between the union and ABI have been suspended. The union then holds a press conference to report that ABI has made additional demands for concessions on the pension plan, short-term health insurance and union leave.


October 11
The Mikisew Cree Nation holds a press conference in Edmonton following a Supreme Court decision that the government has no duty to consult Indigenous nations when drafting legislation that may affect their treaty, constitutional, and inherent rights. They vow to continue to defend their sovereignty and rights. The Mikisew Cree First Nation court challenge concerns the Harper government's 2012 omnibus legislation which made sweeping changes to Canada's environmental assessment regime, without Indigenous consent.


October 13 
A day of action is held across rural Nova Scotia to defend the right to public health care. The situation in most rural areas has reached a crisis level, made worse after the McNeil government announces the closure of two more hospitals.




Anti-war activists picket in Edmonton as part of their ongoing work to make Canada a
factor for peace.

October 15
Members of the Union of Care Professionals of the Outaouais hold a sit-in at the Gatineau Hospital to express their dissatisfaction with their employer's demands for concessions in negotiations to renew their collective agreement.


An Ontario-wide Day of Action tells the Ford government to keep its hands off improvements made to labour law in the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017. Community college faculty join in with actions at all community colleges to mark the one-year anniversary of their strike, emphasizing the demand that pay equity for contract faculty not be eliminated.






North Bay

Georgian College, Barrie

George Brown College, Toronto

Toronto, Ministry of Labour

University of Toronto

Parkdale Neighbourhood, Toronto

York University, Toronto




St. Catharines





Sault College, Sault Ste. Marie
http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0535.HTM#5 (Photos: Workers' Forum, $15 & Fairness, OPSEU College Faculty, USW District 6, YUGSA, M. Holden)

October 16
Northern BC sawmill workers begin rotating strikes, with a picket line at Tolko's Lakeview Lumber in Williams Lake, to force the Council on Northern Interior Forest Employment Relations to withdraw its demands for concessions. These include provocatively low wage increases over a long contract period and the introduction of two-tier wages.

http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0535.HTM#7 (With files from USW Local 1-2017, Williams Lake Tribune and Prince George Citizen)

October 17
Public sector workers demonstrate outside the Quebec National Assembly demanding the Legault government make major new investments in services after years of cuts. The event takes place as the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN) holds a consultation forum on the next round of public sector bargaining. The workers testify to the significant deterioration of their working conditions and the serious impact on patients' health care services.

http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0536.HTM#3  (Chantier politique. Photos: CSN)

Monthly pickets in Montreal, as well as Ottawa and Vancouver, demand the U.S. end its criminal and illegal blockade of Cuba.

October 18
Demonstration at Montreal's Sacré-Coeur Hospital calls on the employer to stop stalling and negotiate an agreement which improves working conditions.


October 21-23
Postal workers begin rotating strikes across the country after negotiations to address major concerns of the workers, in particular on health and safety, overtime and pay equity break down, due to Canada Post's intransigence. Workers in Victoria, Edmonton, Windsor and Halifax are the first to go on strike.


RSMCs in Nova Scotia

Sherbrooke, Quebec

Magog, Quebec

Sudbury, Ontario

South Central Sorting Plant, Toronto; Carrier Super Depot, Etobicoke

Mississauga, Ontario

Windsor, Ontario

Tecumseh, Ontario

Edmonton, Alberta

Lower Mainland, BC

Victoria, BC

Sooke, BC; Duncan, BC
http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0536.HTM#1 (Photos: WF, CUPW, CUPW Pacific, R. Barron, M. Keefe)

October 23
Thousands converge at Queen's Park in Toronto for a mass rally to demand the Ontario Ford government rebuild and restore health care services, not further cut and privatize. Broad participation from front line health care workers and people from across the province confirms that Ontarians are united in their defence of the public health care system and their right to health care. Ontario has downsized and cut its public hospitals for decades and currently has the lowest public hospital funding in the country.


October 24-26 
Emergency actions take place across Ontario to oppose the Ford government's anti-worker Bill 47, the Making Ontario Open for Business Act. The bill rolls back improvements workers won with changes to labour legislation in 2017. Among other things, it freezes the minimum wage at $14 per hour, repeals equal pay provisions for part-time and casual workers and makes union organizing more difficult. It will also do away with the Ontario College of Trades, and replace it with a new model for regulation of skilled trades and apprenticeships.






Brock University, St. Catharines

October 25
Workers at Canfor's Prince George sawmill and chip plant in Northern BC take part in the rotating strikes to force sawmill owners represented by the Council on Northern Interior Forest Employment Relations to withdraw their demands for anti-labour concessions.


October 26
Quebec Liquor Board workers stage unannounced strike action in response to disciplinary measures undertaken by the Board against union members' tactics in various outlets to draw attention to their just demands. It is part of the workers' ongoing fight
to oppose precarious working conditions and for wages corresponding to a modern standard.


October 26-29
Postal workers across the country continue rotating strikes for a second week as Canada Post continues to refuse to negotiate on the workers' main demands.

Saint John, New Brunswick

Îles-de-la-Madeleine; Sherbrooke, Quebec

Magog, Quebec

Montreal, Quebec

Ottawa, Ontario

Peterborough, Ontario

Durham East, Ontario

Oshawa, Ontario

Pickering, Ontario

Sudbury; Chelmsford, Ontario

Espanola; Garson, Ontario

Wikwemkoong; Innisfil, Ontario

Tri-Town (Cobalt, Haileybury, New Liskeard), Ontario

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Brandon, Manitoba

Virden, Manitoba

Saskatchewan Federation of Labour Convention, Regina

Red Deer, Alberta

North Fraser, BC

Kelowna, BC

Mission, BC

Richmond, BC

Vancouver, BC

Coquitlam, BC

Burnaby, BC

Pacific Region Educational Conference, Harrison Hot Springs, BC
  http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0537.HTM#4   http://cpcml.ca/WF2018/WO0538.HTM#8 (Photos: CUPW, CUPW Montreal Local, MFL.) 

 October 29
Building trades workers hold a spirited rally at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton. The action denounces the current anti-worker labour laws that deprive building trades workers and their unions of the right to organize and take job actions to win terms of employment acceptable to them.



 October 30-31
Pickets at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto and the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa on the eve of the UN vote on the Cuban resolution calling for the U.S. to end its illegal blockade of Cuba. The resolution would be passed with an overwhelming vote in favour for the 27th year.





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