May 1, 2018
May First -- Day of International
Unity and Struggle
Build the New!
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
• 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
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!
Hamilton Steelworkers Highlight MANA
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,
the Defined Benefit pension plan with a Defined
Contribution plan, major reductions in benefits, and a general gutting
of the basic agreement. The
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 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
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
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.
Manufacturing Yes! Nation-Wrecking No!
Local 1005 steelworkers in Hamilton, Ontario hold picket on May Day
2017 at 6:00
plant. Workers have now been locked out since 2013, while the
in scabs to carry on production.
Striking Samuel et Fils steelworkers bring their demands to
Montreal May Day march 2017.
May 25, 2017.
Local 1005 USW holds information meeting June 1, 2017 in Hamilton, for
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.
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,
the company's offer that would introduce two-tier pensions
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
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
strike mandate, rejecting the company's final offer in particular on
clauses related to workers job security in relation to technological
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
of Quebec due to the Aluminerie de Bécancour Inc. lockout of its
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
A delegation of workers from USW Local 9344 at the Iron Ore of Canada
Quebec visit striking workers at IOC plant in Labrador
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
passes legislation criminalizing their just fight
their rights and ordering them back to work.
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.
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
detain, search and use force against Canadians at preclearance
facilities on Canadian soil.
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
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
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
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.
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 workers from across BC rally at St. Paul's Hospital in
Vancouver May 31, 2017 to support the demands of more than 4,000
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
campaign to mobilize against public-private partnerships in the health
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
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
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
negative effects on the health care system.
Quebec nurses sit-in in Hull, Quebec hospital, February 19, 2018,
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
Teachers and Education Workers Defend Public Education
Windsor-Essex, Ontario teachers and education workers host May Day 2017
workers in various sectors.
Faculty at Ontario community
colleges go on strike October 16, 2017 to obtain
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
college strike, some 5,000 faculty, students and their allies from
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
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
Solidarity picket held March 17, 2018 as
administrative, technical, and library staff at Carleton University in
Ottawa continue their strike to defend defined benefit pension
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
years of exposure to toxic chemicals at work.
Injured workers participate in Labour Day parade in Toronto, September
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
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
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
for Migrant Workers, rally in Leamington September 10, 2017, making a
against any attempt by the Town Council to pass anti-loitering bylaw
targeting migrant workers who gather in the downtown area after work
Our Security Lies in the Fight for the Rights of All!
120th weekly picket against Bill C-51 in Vancouver takes place June 20,
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
the Trudeau government's Bill C-59, An
matters, and of the need to take a stand against measures to
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
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
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
June 28-July 1, 2017, despite being assaulted by police.
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
For the seventh year a spirited march in northern BC calls for an end
to violence against Indigenous women and girls, including along the
Tears, Highway 16, where dozens of Indigenous women have disappeared.
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
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
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
Hamilton, Ontario to demand an end to Canada's involvement in U.S.-led
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
Toronto, Montreal and elsewhere to oppose the meeting.
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