May 1, 2018

May First -- Day of International Working Class
Unity and Struggle

Build the New!


May First -- Day of International Working Class Unity and Struggle
Build the New!
Hamilton Steelworkers Highlight MANA Lockout at May Day Action - Interview,  Bill Good, Retired Bar Mill Worker, USW Local 1005 Activist
Photo Review

May First -- Day of International Working Class Unity and Struggle

Build the New!

On this May Day, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends revolutionary greetings to all the fighting contingents of the working class across the country and in Quebec, as well as the world over. At this time, examples abound of the imperialist forces aligned against the working class and also of vigorous resistance where collectives of fighting workers are building their unity and taking initiatives to defend their rights and the rights of all. Governments at all levels have changed laws to enable pay-the-rich schemes, dismantled state arrangements which protected the workers' rights, and subordinated all resources of the society to pay-the-rich schemes. This anti-social offensive is being fought with courage through mobilizing the unity and strength of numbers of the working class to defend its individual and collective dignity and rights and open a path for society's progress.

The state measures to deny the working class its right to solve problems in the economy and society reveal ruling elites that are obsolete and have lost their right to rule. They are obsessed with defending their private interests and class privilege to the point of being blind and indifferent to the problems the economy, society and people face. This means society is ripe for fundamental change and the working class is the social force capable of leading the charge to democratize the political processes so that the division between rulers and ruled is brought to an end and the working people can establish a system whereby they decide the direction of the economy and all questions of war and peace.

For the working class to assume its central role it must become the leading human factor in the affairs of the economy, politics, society and state with regard to every issue the people and the social and natural environment face. The working class has proved its competence in dealing with the modern productive forces and becoming the essential human factor in the economy. The working class must now transfer this competence in production into leading the economy and society by bringing into being new forms of governance, politics, relations and aims in conformity with the modern socialized forms of producing and living.

On May First, let the working class express its competence and confidence in itself as the essential human factor. Let it pledge to increase its efforts to unite, organize and engage in actions with analysis to democratize the political process and thereby usher in the New!

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Hamilton Steelworkers Highlight MANA Lockout
at May Day Action

  MANA workers at Hamilton Labour Day 2016.

In 2013, there were negotiations at the MANA mill in Hamilton, and the members of Local 1005 turned down MANA's totally unacceptable offer which included a 30 per cent wage cut, no Cost of Living Allowance, replacing the Defined Benefit pension plan with a Defined Contribution plan, major reductions in benefits, and a general gutting of the basic agreement. The shame of it is that it's been five years of the lockout and for the past three years they have been running the mill using scab labour. That is what we are all upset about. Most of the workers that are working there now are new workers. It is a disgusting situation because the locked out MANA workers put 20 to 25 years of their lives into that place. They accrued seniority. They had pensions. They were working towards their 30 years so they could retire. It has all been taken away from them. It is a horrible thing too for the workers who had to find jobs in other places because in Hamilton now it is very difficult to get a job with decent pay. Conditions are pretty bad. Meanwhile, we are keeping up a level of picketing at the workplace. It is difficult. It has been five years now. There are some guys who still go down to the line and picket actively. I am proud of my union. We are always there defending workers, supporting other striking workers, raising money for food banks, etc.

MANA is an example of union busting. The way it is now in Ontario, a place could shut the workers out, the unionized workforce, shut down and hire scabs and start the mill up again without the union. And they are getting away with it. At MANA, they have been operating with scabs for three years now. They have been producing bars and just ignored the union. They are showing the way to other companies, showing that it can be done, that you do not have to pay attention to the unions.

The shame is on MANA but it is also on governments. They have let all this happen. Take pensions for example. The Ontario government allowed companies to underfund their pension plans. It began with GM, which was called "too big to fail." This just gave them an excuse not to keep their pension plans fully funded. Stelco started doing it in 1996 and you have seen what happened to us because of that. Practically every company has done it. Everywhere you look, you see pension plans funded at 70 to 75 per cent. Why are they allowed to do that? When the pension is only at 75 per cent and the plan is wound up, there are a lot of cuts that are going to be made and it is the guy who has the pension who takes the brunt of that.

Also, free trade agreements and globalization have wrecked Hamilton's economy. We used to make things here. Plants started closing down when it was easier for the companies to move their factories to Mexico or to the southern states. Today, the way things are, they can just buy everything from China and put their stickers on. All kinds of stuff was manufactured in this city but not much is being made at all here anymore. Steel has shrunk. The average wage in Hamilton for industrial workers has gone down. Poverty rates in Hamilton have gone up. This also used to be a union town. The whole idea of free trade was to bust the unions. MANA is an example of how the union can be trampled on. When this was a union town people made good wages. With the declining of the unions there are a lot of people just scrambling to make a living. There are a lot of sweat shops now. That is not good for the working people. It is not good for anybody. Because the city not does not have the same tax base that it had in the past, services are declining, our roads are in bad shape. It is causing all kinds of problems.

We have known a time when there was a unified union movement. There were problems, but there was a unified front. If there was a lockout going on with scab labour, there would be a united effort to stop that from going forward, either with a settlement with the union involved or the place would be unable to operate. There were pitched battles in Hamilton on that basis. There has never been a greater need for the unions to step up and start leading again.


U.S. Steel carved up Stelco after it seized control of it in 2007, selling the bar and bloom mill to a German company, Max Aicher North America (MANA) in 2010. MANA began laying off workers in 2011 and when workers refused to take a huge cut in pay and make other concessions in benefits in 2013, the company locked them out. After that, the German imperialists unilaterally and without consultation wound up the pension plan and began bringing in scabs to run the plant. MANA executives have committed these anti-worker actions without any public authority stopping them or holding them to account.

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Photo Review

Manufacturing Yes! Nation-Wrecking No!

Local 1005 steelworkers in Hamilton, Ontario hold picket on May Day 2017 at 6:00 am outside
MANA plant. Workers have now been locked out since 2013, while the company brings
in scabs to carry on production.

Striking Samuel et Fils steelworkers bring their demands to Montreal May Day march 2017.

Workers' Forum, May 25, 2017.

Local 1005 USW holds information meeting June 1, 2017 in Hamilton, for its retirees, part of
a week of discussions with members on whether to accept a new tentative agreement. The meetings take place amidst the difficult situation caused by the Canadian state's subordination to the U.S. imperialist demand to hand over Stelco steelworks to another gang of U.S. oligarchs.

Workers' Forum, June 15, 2017.

Workers occupy Northstar Aerospace plant in Milton, Ontario from August 10-12, 2017, demanding the company withdraw its 25 per cent cut to pensions.

Steelworkers march in Hamilton Labour Day parade, September 4, 2017.

Hamilton steelworkers and their allies converge on Parliament Hill November 6, 2017, to demand an end to the legalized theft of pensions and benefits through the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act. They fill the parliamentary galleries for the introduction of MP Scott Duvall's private member's bill to amend insolvency legislation.

Mining and Metallurgy

Workers at the ABI aluminum smelter in Bécancour, Quebec on November 22, 2017
overwhelmingly reject the company's offer that would introduce two-tier pensions
and working conditions.

USW Local 6486 members at the CEZinc refinery in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec on
November 25, 2017 vote to return to work after defending their pensions
in a strike that began
in February 2017.

Steelworkers rally outside ABI Smelter in Bécancour, Quebec January 12, 2018 after the company locked them out the previous day.

March 8, 2018, workers at Iron Ore Canada in Sept-Iles, Quebec give union strong strike mandate, rejecting the company's final offer in particular on clauses related to workers job security in relation to technological change.

Throughout March 2018 many delegations of workers from plants across Quebec, visit the locked-out metalurgical workers at the Aluminerie of Bécancour Inc. plant bringing their
solidarity and pledging ongoing financial support.

Steelworkers website keeps track of money lost to Hydro Quebec and people
of Quebec due to the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. lockout of its workers which
started January 2018.

Iron Ore Company workers go on strike in Labrador, March 27, 2018, demanding an end to the use of the temporary workforce which works side by side with permanent workers under far
worse conditions.

A delegation of workers from USW Local 9344 at the Iron Ore of Canada plant in Sept-Îles,
Quebec visit striking workers at IOC plant in Labrador City, March 30, 2018, and present
cheque to financially support their strike.


In Quebec, 175,000 construction workers launch a general strike on May 24, 2017, against unacceptable concessionary demands from organizations representing construction employers. Within days the Quebec government criminalizes the workers' struggle.

Construction workers rally in Quebec City, May 30, 2017, as National Assembly debates and
passes legislation criminalizing their just fight for their rights and ordering them back to work.

Workers' Forum, February 8, 2018.


Toronto Airport Workers' Council rallies at Pearson International Airport in Mississauga,
Ontario on May Day 2017.

CN and Via Rail workers bring their banner denouncing the Trudeau government's Bill C-27,
which introduced target benefit pensions, to Montreal May Day 2017.

Close to 300 striking Swissport workers who belong to Teamsters Local 419, with their fellow
airport workers and allies from other unions and organizations, take part in a spirited
Labour Day 2017 rally and march at Pearson International Airport.

Working people of Churchill, Manitoba demand immediate government action to fix the rail line servicing their region, June 15, 2017.

Workers' Forum, November 23, 2017.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, along with the BC Federation of Labour and the BC Civil Liberties Association, rally in Vancouver, December 16, 2017, against anti-national Bill C-23, An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the United States. The bill authorizes U.S. agents to carry weapons and detain, search and use force against Canadians at preclearance facilities on Canadian soil.

Workers' Forum, April 19, 2018.

Public Sector Workers Defend Their Rights and Services They Provide

Stop the Cuts Rally at the Saskatchewan Legislature in Regina demands an end to the provincial government's cuts to public services and sell off of Crown corporations, May 24, 2017.

Public sector workers, through CUPE, bring a lawsuit against Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne
and her Ministers of Finance and Energy for the privatization of Hydro One, Ontario's public electricity distribution and transmission utility. They rally and march June 12, 2017,
in support of their demands.

Pickets outside Finance Minister Morneau's offices in  Ottawa (top) and Toronto, September 18, 2017, demand the government's anti-worker pension legislation, Bill C-27 be scrapped and defend defined benefit pension plans.

Public sector workers from across Nova Scotia gather in Halifax September 21, 2017, at the opening of the fall session of the Legislature, to voice their opposition to Bill 148, the Public Services Sustainability Act (2015). It imposes wage restrictions on workers and removes longstanding articles from existing collective agreements.

Public sector workers from across Nova Scotia continue their resistance to McNeil government's attacks on rights with actions outside the Liberals' annual general meeting October 14, 2017.

Eleven thousand workers from more than 400 early childhood centres hold a Quebec-wide one-day strike on October 30, 2017 against the demands of the employers and the Quebec government
for rollbacks in all aspects of their working and retirement conditions.

Retired and active postal workers from the Toronto and Scarborough Locals of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and allies rally in Toronto November 28, 2017 to demand the Liberal government's anti-worker pension Bill C-27 be scrapped.

Workers' Forum, December 14, 2017.

Workers' Forum, January 18, 2018.

Federal public sector workers in Edmonton rally to demand that problems in the Phoenix pay system be immediately fixed, February 9, 2018.

CUPE New Brunswick holds "Breaking the Mandate" conference to organize a united fight
of public sector workers in CUPE and other unions in upcoming negotiations.

Health Care Is a Right!

Striking Quebec paramedics lead the May Day 2017 march in Montreal.

BC health care workers hold May 1, 2017 day of action in support of hospital food services workers.

Hospital workers from across BC rally at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver May 31, 2017 to support the demands of more than 4,000 housekeeping and food service workers employed by the multinationals Compass-Marquise, Sodexo, Aramark and Acciona.

Senior care workers from Cold Lake attend hearings of the Alberta Labour Board in Edmonton on day 189 of being locked-out, June 21, 2017.

Health care workers rally in St John's, Newfoundland on July 11, 2017 is one action in the
campaign to mobilize against public-private partnerships in the health care sector.

Pacific Blue Cross workers in BC are locked out from July 6 to September 11, 2017 after workers
refuse to accept company's demands for concessions, including to reduce retirement benefits.

Stand Up for Health Care Rally at Manitoba Legislature in Winnipeg, September 13, 2017.

Infuriated by the deadlock in their negotiations caused by the Quebec government, on November 21, 2017, paramedics, on strike since March, shut down the Ministry of Health in Quebec City, symbolizing how the government has blocked negotiations.

Paramedics from many Ontario cities converge on Queen's Park on December 12, 2017 to oppose changes to the Ambulance Act that undermine regulations in their sector and in so doing endanger patient care.

Health care workers organized in the FSSS-CSN hold an action February 12, 2018, in Gatineau, Quebec to mark the third anniversary of the anti-social Bill 10 that is having serious
negative effects on the health care system.

Quebec nurses sit-in in Hull, Quebec hospital, February 19, 2018, demanding action to end
the crisis in their sector.

Nursing home workers, members of CUPE Local 1876, picket office of North Sydney, Nova Scotia MLA, March 30, 2018 to smash silence on their working conditions and the living conditions of
nursing home residents.

Teachers and Education Workers Defend Public Education

Windsor-Essex, Ontario teachers and education workers host May Day 2017 discussion
with workers in various sectors.

Faculty at Ontario community colleges go on strike October 16, 2017 to obtain proper working conditions. Their longstanding demands for stability and job security for part-time and contract staff and for college faculty to have a say in decision-making, favours both students and college workers.

November 2, 2017, the day that bargaining is set to restart in the Ontario community college strike, some 5,000 faculty, students and their allies from across Ontario converge on Queen's Park
to affirm their resolve to stand together until a just contract is won.

Rallies take place at colleges across Ontario as faculty organize to reject the College Employer Council's offer in a November 16, 2017 vote forced on them by the Ontario Labour Relations Board. College faculty vote an overwhelming No! Days later, November 19, 2017 the Ontario government passes back-to-work legislation forcing faculty back to work.

Slideshow produced by Greater Essex EFTO celebrates five years of resistance to dictate and defending workers' rights.
Click on image to view video.

Elementary teachers and other education professionals organized in the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO) on December 10, 2017 launch a social media campaign to commemorate the beginning of their province-wide strikes five years ago. The campaign coincides with another round of mediated talks with the government over a remedy after the courts affirmed that the government violated fundamental freedoms in the 2012 negotiations.

Teaching assistants, graduate assistants and part-time faculty at York University in Toronto rally
as they begin strike action March 5, 2018, after overwhelmingly rejecting university's final offer.

Solidarity picket held March 17, 2018 as 800 administrative, technical, and library staff at Carleton University in Ottawa continue their strike to defend defined benefit pension plans.

Defending the Rights of All Working People

Workers across Hamilton rally October 27, 2017, at the call of Local 1005 USW to support Sears workers, retirees and their families, who are being deprived by Sears Holdings of the pensions
and benefits that belong to them by right, through its use of the Companies'
Creditors Arrangement Act.

Injured workers and their allies mark the 34th Ontario Injured Workers' Day, June 1, 2017, with
spirited actions affirming that they will not give up their fight for full and just compensation for all workers who are injured or made ill at work, and for safe and healthy working conditions.
Actions take place in Toronto and in other Ontario cities.

More than 120 former General Electric workers participate in a public meeting in Peterborough, Ontario on July 12, 2017 to demand compensation for years of exposure to toxic chemicals at work.

Injured workers participate in Labour Day parade in Toronto, September 4, 2017.

The Ontario Network of Injured Workers' Groups' launch province-wide organizing campaign "Workers' Comp Is a Right" on September 11-12, 2017 coinciding with the return of MPPs
to the Ontario Legislature.

On December 11, 2017, injured workers in communities around Ontario, including Toronto, Hamilton, Barrie, London, Windsor, Chatham and Thunder Bay hold pickets, rallies and outreach actions demanding that the right of all workers injured and made ill at work to full compensation be met. Photos from Thunder Bay (top) and London.

Workers hold ceremonies across the country on April 28, 2018, the Day of Mourning
for workers killed, injured or made ill at work under the banner "Mourn for the Dead, Fight
for the Living." Photos show ceremonies in Hamilton, Ontario (top) and Penticton, BC.

A demonstration November 24, 2017, by unemployed workers and their allies in Forestville on Quebec's North Shore demands the federal government immediately adopt measures that will reduce the impoverishment of the population of the region, particularly the unemployed.

Activists from the Ontario Public Service Employees' Union, together with Justicia
for Migrant Workers, rally in Leamington September 10, 2017, making a bold statement against any attempt by the Town Council to pass anti-loitering bylaw targeting migrant workers who gather in the downtown area after work and on weekends.

Our Security Lies in the Fight for the Rights of All!

120th weekly picket against Bill C-51 in Vancouver takes place June 20, 2017. On this day, the Trudeau Liberals introduce Bill C-59 which, like Bill C-51, increases police powers of the state security agencies to act against the people in the name of "national security."

The Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec in action July 5, 2017, to inform people about the Trudeau government's Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters, and of the need to take a stand against measures to expand police powers. Pickets organized in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and Saint-Laurent neighbourhoods in Montreal demand the bill be withdrawn.

"Nova Scotians Rise Up" day of action February 27, 2018, sees one thousand workers from all walks of life, youth and students come together at the opening of the Nova Scotia Legislature to denounce the anti-social agenda of the McNeil Liberal government and its attacks on rights.

Ongoing protests throughout March and April 2018 at the Kinder Morgan facility on Burnaby Mountain in BC affirm the peoples' right to decide and that: No Consent -- No Pipeline.

Indigenous youth succeed in establishing a gathering place on Parliament Hill from
June 28-July 1, 2017, despite being assaulted by police. Their action affirms the sovereignty and rights of Indigenous peoples and rejects the glorification of the Canadian state and its colonial relations with Indigenous peoples embodied in the $500 million Canada 150 commemorations.

For the seventh year a spirited march in northern BC calls for an end to violence against Indigenous women and girls, including along the Highway of Tears, Highway 16, where dozens of Indigenous women have disappeared. This year's Tears4Justice march, September 21-25, 2017, covered 350 kilometres of Highway 16, from Prince Rupert to Smithers, the site of the second hearings of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

Sisters in Spirit vigil is held on Parliament Hill (above) and across Canada on October 4, 2017 in
memory of all the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. 

Actions across the country in February 2018 follow the not-guilty verdict in the trial of Gerald Stanley for the killing of Indigenous youth Colten Boushie. People everywhere join Indigenous peoples to decry their criminalization and treatment as fair game that led to the killing of Colten and the failure for anyone to be brought to justice. Shown here, the courthouse in Saskatoon.

Memorial marches and gatherings honouring the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
and Girls, and demanding justice for them, take place in at least 20 towns and cities across Canada on February 14, 2018. Photos are from Vancouver where the first Memorial March
was held 28 years ago. 

Activities take place across Canada and Quebec to mark International Women's Day, March 8, 2018, as women assert their claims to a say and control over all the affairs of society.
Photo is from Montreal rally.

Activists hold an anti-war demonstration June 30, 2017, outside the Federal Building in
Hamilton, Ontario to demand an end to Canada's involvement in U.S.-led aggression.

During the Halifax International Security Forum November 18, 2017, the people of Halifax affirm there is No Harbour for War!

In December across the country, people stand with the heroic Palestinian people to vigorously repudiate the U.S. President's declaration that the U.S. considers Jerusalem the capital of Israel. Photos from Edmonton rally.

Picket outside January 16, 2018, Vancouver meeting of foreign ministers of the aggressor nations in the Korean War. Pickets were also held in Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal and elsewhere to oppose the meeting.

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