Building on the tradition established by the struggle of Alma aluminum workers during the Rio Tinto lockout in 2012, the ABI workers and their union mobilized support, including financial support, from approximately 500 union locals in Quebec, Canada, and elsewhere including the United States, Australia and Guatemala. In many cases this was done through holding general membership meetings at which workers were informed of the ABI dispute and subsequently voted to support the workers financially, often in regular donations until the end of the lockout.
Union-trained representatives journeyed to address workers throughout the world, including Australia and Belgium to explain the conflict and mobilize support. Workers and unions from across Quebec, and from many places in Canada, the United States and other countries, came to the ABI workers' picket lines to express their support. This greatly encouraged the ABI workers to hold firm during the lockout despite the difficulties. The many activities engaged in during the lockout and the relations that developed with other workers are a valuable asset of the workers' movement, which can be further developed and made even more effective in the fight in defence of workers' rights.
The global social love and solidarity of the working class was on full display at the powerful family march of over 5,000 people demonstrating their enormous spirit of resistance and dignity in the streets of downtown Trois-Rivières on May 25. The struggle of the ABI workers and their community and global solidarity throughout the lockout reveal the enormous potential of the working class to defend itself.
The resistance of the ABI workers and the support of
their allies throughout the world exposed the subservience to global
private interests of neo-liberal governments such as in Quebec in
opposition to working people and their communities. The lockout shows
the necessity to hold those governments to account and confront them
practical politics of the working class in new ways that have to be
explored and developed.