May 1, 2014 - No. 51
May Day, International Day of
Working Class Solidarity
All Out for People's Empowerment!
The Working Class Must Take the Lead
• All Out for People's Empowerment! The Working
Class Must Take the Lead
- Communist Party of Canada (Marxist- Leninist)
• The Importance of Summation and Charting a
Way Forward - Workers' Forum
• May Day 2013 to May Day 2014
May Day, International Day of Working
All Out for People's Empowerment!
The Working Class Must Take the Lead
The Workers' Centre of CPC(M-L) on the occasion of May
Day 2014, salutes the Canadian and Quebec working class for its
courageous and determined resistance to nation-wrecking and the
anti-social austerity agenda. With more and more organized and
concerted actions, workers are rising to block the wrecking
of the country's industrial base, public services and social
infrastructure, and to stem the attacks on workers' rights, wages,
benefits and pensions.
The neo-liberal wrecking of
everything in the public
realm has spurred the people to action. With heightened conviction, the
working class is formulating and putting forward a pro-social
alternative, which is drawing broader sections of the Canadian people
into action. Farmers demand the re-establishment of
the Canadian Wheat Board's public monopoly on grain marketing and an
end to the dismantling of public supply management systems. Scientists,
doctors, technical experts and others
are standing up for pro-social positions. First Nations forcefully
claim the recognition of their sovereignty and right to a say and
control over the way Mother Earth is treated and
her bounty distributed.
As a contingent of the international working class,
workers of Canada and Quebec affirm their unity with the workers and
oppressed peoples everywhere who are fighting to defend their
sovereignty and right to chart their own destiny free from imperialist
interference. The working class and its allies in other
strata repudiate Harper's war government, which in concert with the
U.S. and other imperialist powers threatens to plunge the peoples into
a devastating world war. The anti-war opposition led by the working
class must step up its fight to establish an anti-war government.
May First is an important occasion to sum up the
experience gained in the class struggle during the previous year and
set a line of march. Sober assessment of past events and deciding on a
course of action are very much required in a society where every
pressure is put against activating the human factor/social
consciousness. The working class can only make headway based on its own
agenda, one that workers themselves formulate, defend and fight for
with passion and conviction.
Workers' experience in the
class struggle is telling
them they need to act as an organized force, in a way that can only be
achieved if they discuss with their peers and together establish an
agenda and required strategy and tactics within the framework of the
fight to bring in the New and get rid of the Old. For
modern workers experienced in solving problems of production, how to
develop their own independent politics and effectively defend the
rights of all are practical problems to be solved on a modern basis.
Providing rights with a modern definition that they belong to the
holder by virtue of being human is key to
being effective and achieving successes which can then be taken further
to achieve victory.
Working people are under tremendous pressure to wage
only defensive battles and depend on others to represent them
politically, but workers are breaking out of this old way of doing
things. Experience is showing them that they are the only force with
the numbers, organization and desire to uphold the public
interest, enforce public will and put an end to the dictate and
nation-wrecking of the monopolies and their direct take-over of
governments and state agencies. By leading the fight against
nation-wrecking and for democratic renewal of the electoral process and
constitutional arrangements so as to vest sovereignty in
the people, workers can empower not only themselves but the polity
itself and open society's path to progress.
In the fight to renew democracy, the importance of
establishing social forms such as Committees for People's Empowerment
cannot be underestimated. Those social forms provide a means to ensure
the unity of the people under conditions where reactionary forces use
the mass media and disinformation to sow
doubt about the people's capacity to fight, smash the people's ability
to think and plan coherently, and disorganize any opposition.
The working class as the most numerous and organized
force disciplined by modern production must take the lead in the
struggle for people's empowerment. On the occasion of May First, 2014,
the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) calls on all those who
stand to gain from a working class that has
the power to restrict and deprive the global monopolies and their
politicians of the monopoly right to do as they please and stop them
from stomping on the public interest with impunity to join in!
Workers and Oppressed Peoples of the
Our Future Lies in the Fight for the Rights of All!
Organize for People's Empowerment!
The Importance of Summation and
Charting a Way Forward
The past year has seen tens of thousands of workers in
action to defend their rights and oppose the anti-social wrecking being
carried out by the Harper, Quebec, provincial and many municipal
governments. A broad movement demanding the anti-social changes to
Employment Insurance be
rescinded brought 50,000 people onto the streets of Montreal for May
Day 2013. The movement to put an end to the Harper government's worker
trafficking, in particular through the Temporary Foreign Worker
Program, is growing. These fights are taken up with the spirit that the
future and security
of workers lie in the fight for the rights of all.
Federal, Quebec and provincial governments continue to
cut social programs and turn those funds over to the rich. Workers on
the front lines of these services have resisted the escalating attacks
on their livelihoods, security in retirement and the services they
provide. To defend the public
infrastructure, public sector workers are mobilizing not only
themselves but also those who depend on the services. Alberta
provincial workers, Nova Scotia nurses, Ontario teachers and education
workers, and others have faced head-on the anti-worker legislation
being passed to strip them of their
rights and criminalize their resistance.
Workers in Ontario have
denounced and opposed the
wrecking of one production facility after another, including the
shutdown of steelmaking at Hamilton Works, the closure of the Kitchener
Schneider's plant and the threatened shuttering of the Heinz, Kellogg
and other plants across the province.
The working class is demanding alternatives be found, that governments
use the means at their disposal to block monopolies from wrecking or
removing the productive capacity of Canadian facilities.
Workers at U.S. Steel, in
Quebec's construction trades
and at CN Rail, to name a few, have waged vigorous organized resistance
to the concessions being demanded in wages and working conditions.
Workers are tackling how to become effective in carrying out their
social responsibility to fight
for modern and safe working conditions, the same conditions required
for the safety and security of the public. They have rejected the
ideological assault that they must make concessions if the economy is
to be strengthened.
The majority of truckers at Port Metro Vancouver, around
1,200, organized themselves into a non-profit United Truckers'
Association outside the BC Labour Code. The UTA is dedicated to
defending the rights of all truckers. When faced with intolerable wages
and working conditions, they
unleashed a strike struggle. Inspired by their just stand, 300 truck
drivers organized in Unifor soon joined them in the fight. Defying
threats of losing their port licences and the criminalization of their
struggle, they succeeded in reaching an agreement. The struggle of the
truck drivers is a reminder
that under the current conditions of overall assault against the
working class, new methods and forms of struggle are required.
In summing up the year, the Workers' Centre sends
sincere May Day greetings to the Hamilton steelworkers who have marked
10 continuous years of weekly meetings where they discuss the problems
facing them and society. Within those meetings, they set their program
of action for nation-building
and to hold U.S. Steel and governments to account for the wrecking of
Canada's steel production and trampling of people's rights.
From BC to Ontario and
Quebec, working people made
themselves a factor in by-elections and general elections, working out
the tactics and forms of organization to push forward their interests
within the situation. Three days of actions at the federal Conservative
Party convention in Calgary
put forward the many reasons to defeat the Harper dictatorship. Working
people across the country met the opening of the spring session of the
federal Parliament with mass actions demanding the post office remain
public and that Harper Must Resign Now as a step to block the
for which his government is responsible. The longer the Harper
government remains in power, the greater the damage to be undone.
The changes to the Election
Act contained in Bill C-23
presently before Parliament, threaten to deprive hundreds of thousands
of Canadians of the right to vote. Opposition to Bill C-23 is almost
universal. National and international election officials and experts on
democracy and elections have
condemned the Harper bill but his government is hell-bent on pushing it
through in the hopes, it appears, of winning a rigged election in 2015.
Only the organized working class with its own political
and economic agenda can turn history around in a new direction that
opens a path to progress. Workers can see from their own concrete
experience of defending themselves that they are their own saviours and
models. Workers' own thinking,
human-centred outlook, independent politics and modern methods of
organizing to activate the human factor/social consciousness are
crucial in turning the situation around. Let the working class pledge
on this May First to carry the work forward to deprive the political
and economic elite of the
power to deprive the working class of shaping history in its own image
and moving the world in a new direction that favours the people.
May Day 2013 to May Day 2014
Manufacturing Yes! Nation-Wrecking No!
Hamilton May Day 2013.
workers' five unions take united strike action against employers'
for concessions on wages and working conditions. Strike begins June 17,
demonstrations take place in many cities June 20, 2013.
Steelworkers from Local 1005 USW celebrate 10 years of
Thursday Meetings, June 18, 2013. The weekly meetings are animportant converging point
for discussion and action in defence of the rights of
from U.S. Steel's Lake Erie Works, joined by a delegation from Local
picket MP Diane
office August 2, 2013, demanding an end to the
and rejecting the
company's demands for concessions.
Rally at MP David Sweet's
constituency office, November 16, 2013, demands
that the federal government intervene in
U.S. Steel's decision to
end steelmaking at Hamilton Works.
Forestry workers hold demonstration in
Saint-Félicien, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, November 21,
demand the government must take responsibility to protect their living
and working conditions (right).
Meanwhile, workers in Baie Comeau occupy the
of their MP.
2013, delivers petition
opposing the government's
allowance for airlines to reduce the size of air crews, jeopardizing
Rally in Leamington, Ontario, November 30, 2013, opposes the planned
closure of the Heinz plant and demands the
government intervene to end this nation-wrecking.
Truckdrivers on strike since February 26,
2014 rally at the
Port of Vancouver, March 21, 2014, to defend uphold their right to a
standard livelihood, and for a say in their sector of the economy.
United in action, the 1,200
owner-operators organized in the United Truckers Association and 300
unionized drivers succeeded in winning a settlement.
public forums are held in Prince George (shown above), Mackenzie and
Williams Lake, BC
from April 12-14, 2014
under the theme "Renewing our Woods: Keeping Our Forests Public and
Sustainable." Participants affirm the need for
people's empowerment to
uphold the public interest in the forestry sector.
Defend Public Services and the Workers Who Provide Them!
cuts to disability services.
Calgary rally against cuts to
people with disabilities, May 31, 2013.
Edmonton high school students rally at the Alberta Legislature, June
11, 2013, to oppose program cuts, in particular
to support for students with disabilities art program.
Rally outside Alberta PCs' convention, November 22,
demands government keep open the Mitchener Centre for developmentally
BC health care workers
from the Lower Mainland rally at Vancouver General
private labour traffickers to whom services have been contracted out.
Rally in Quebec City,
October 23, 2013, stands with the Quebec City municipal workers in
demands for an
acceptable collective agreement.
Legislature (above) and elsewhere in the province throughout December 2013 against Bills 45 and 46 that viciously attack their collective
right to organize.
Defence of Public
Workers Pensions Is Defence of Pensions for All!
Rally in Campbell
River, March 2, 2014, organized by the Hospital Employees' Union
intervene in the mass layoff of the entire unionized staff of a
seniors' care facility by the private owner and their replacement
with lower-paid non-unionized contract workers from a
Halifax nurses hold mass picket outside Nova Scotia Liberal Party's
AGM, March 29, 2014, to oppose back-to-work legislation criminalizing
for working conditions necessary to ensure their safety and that of
reform to public sector pensions.
deliver more than 12,200 postcards to constituency office of Lisa
Raitt, Minister Responsible for Canada Post, December 18, 2013, to
demand a stop
to the planned cuts to postal services and jobs, while postal rates are
Retired New Brunswick public sector workers meet
November 20, 2013, to discuss how to stop the
provincial government's attack on their pensions.
Mass action at PEI Legislature in Charlottetown,
November 15, 2013, opposes cuts to public sector pensions.
Rally in Edmonton, March 2, 2014, to defend public
workers' pensions and to demand pensions for all.
at the opening of the Alberta Legislature, March 3, 2014, in defence of
public sector pensions.
Workplace actions across Alberta, March
stand of public sector workers in defence of their pensions.
Stop the Harper Dictatorship -- Harper Resign Now!
Montreal May Day 2013
demonstration demands Harper government stop its wrecking of Employment
and attacks on unemployed workers.
Rally in Hamilton,
June 16, 2013, part of a day of action by medical professionals across
Canada to oppose cuts to
health care for refugees and to affirm that health care is a right.
"Stand Up for
Science" rallies take place across Canada, September 16, 2013, to
defend scientists and their work against the Harper dictatorship's
attacks on science that does not serve its narrow anti-social,
Three days of
action outside the Conservative Party policy convention in
Calgary, October 31-November 2, 2013,
say a resolute No! to the Harper dictatorship and its nation-wrecking.
Three thousand people in
Sydney, Nova Scotia protest the closing of
local Veterans Affairs Office, November 9, 2013.
January 31, 2014 at Veterans Affairs district offices across the
slated for closure.
Top: Sydney, NS; bottom: Windsor, ON.
Meeting in Raymore,
Saskatchewan, March 9, 2014, organized by Canadian Wheat Board
the government conduct a vote on the reinstatement of the farmer-controlled single desk Wheat
Actions at the
Alberta Legislature, March 3 and 29, 2014, demand an end to the Harper
government's attacks on all workers' rights and working conditions
through its Temporary Foreign Workers Program.
Canada-wide day of action, March 25, 2014, to demand the Harper
government withdraw its
anti-democratic "Fair Elections Act," Bill
No to Neo-Liberal Austerity Agenda!
Monthly rally at
Tim Hudak's office, June 7, 2013, against austerity agenda spearheaded
by Ontario Liberals and PCs.
Public forum July 6,
2013 during provincial by-election in Kelowna, BC discusses issues facing voters
and the need
for a pro-social direction for BC.
Members of the Ontario
Teachers' Federation participate in provincial by-election to defend
their interests, July 2013, calling on voters to defeat the
Liberals and Conservatives.
Rallies at Ontario
PC policy convention in London, September 20, 2013 (top), and Liberal
Hamilton, September 28, 2013, oppose austerity agenda and anti-worker
Injured workers and their supporters rally
Ontario Ministry of Labour in Toronto, December 9, 2013, to demand the
its stop attacks on injured workers and its wrecking of the public
workers' compensation system
by turning it into a private
Mass action at the
Ontario Liberal Party annual general meeting in Toronto, March 22,
2014, holds government
account for its brutal anti-austerity agenda.
Uphold First Nations' Sovereignty
Reconciliation week events in Vancouver,
September 17-23, 2013, including a march of 70,000 people,
need for new
arrangements between Canada and the indigenous peoples.
Actions on October 7, 2013
mark the 250th
anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 with calls to establish
nation-to-nation relations between Canada and the First Nations. Top:
Gatineau, QC; bottom: Elsipogtog First Nation, NB.
On November 17, 2013, the
Elsipogtog First Nation's affirmation of their right to a say and
control over their traditional territories is met by state violence.
Actions across Canada oppose the violence and demand recognition of the
sovereignty of the first nations. Top to bottom: Elsipogtog; Halifax, Ottawa, and Vancouver
On December 10, 2013, Idle
No More marks the one-year anniversary of its
cross Canada day of action.
are warmly greeted as they arrive in Ottawa, February 25, 2014,
after completing their historic
journey of more then 1,700 kilometres from Northern Ontario to Ottawa,
to call for new arrangements between
Canada and the First Nations.
Women's Security Lies in the Fight for the Rights of
Sisters in Spirit
vigil in Ottawa, October 4, 2013, the largest of 216 vigils held
Canada to honour missing and
murdered aboriginal women and to demand the government take measures to
end the violence against them.
in Vancouver on Valentine's Day 2014 honours the missing and murdered
aboriginal women and girls.
Actions in their honour and demanding an
national inquiry and measures to end the disappearances took place in
more than 14 cities across Canada.
Women's Day, March 8, 2014 -- women across Canada affirm their place
forefront of struggles for the rights of all.
Fight for an Anti-War Government!
Canada from late August to September 2013 oppose
against Syria and put forward the
demand for an anti-war government. Top to bottom: Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa,
Toronto, Hamillton, Windsor, Winnipeg,
Calgary and Vancouver.
Fight for the Rights of All!
March 5, Vancouver activists marked their
monthly picket for the freedom of the Cuban Five -- Gerardo
Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino,
Fernando González, and René González -- political
prisoners unjustly held in U.S. prisons. Actions
took place the same day in other cities across Canada. Top to bottom:
Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto.
In Montreal, the
Quebec-Cuba Solidarity Roundtable on September 12 kicked off a month of
actions for the
with a picket that began in downtown Montreal and ended up outside
the U.S. Consulate. The
fifteenth years that the Cuban Five have been unjustly
jailed for their anti-terrorist actions in defence of Cuba.
Canada February 20-22 defend the right of the Venezuelan people to
determine their own affairs
free of foreign interference. Top to bottom: Ottawa, Toronto and
In Montreal May 12
demonstration commemorated the 65th anniversary of Al Nakba - the 1948
expulsion of the Palestinians from their homes by the Israeli zionists
- and affirm the Palestinian people's
right to return and their right to be.
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