Countering a neoliberal assault on all of us

September 5, 2018

The Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain, an affiliate of the Confédération des syndicats nationaux, is a council of unions in the Montreal region with with some 100,000 members in the public and private sectors. In this statement released on Labor Day in the U.S., President Dominique Daigneault expresses the Quebec labor movement’s solidarity with U.S. workers fighting a sustained assault on their rights.

FOR MANY years, unions in the United States have been under attack from business lobbies and politicians alike. Since the 1980s, union power and influence on American society and politics has waned, and every month, political and business opponents who try to weaken the working class devise a new scheme.

The same is true today: Backed by powerful business and media moguls, the Trump administration is waging a ceaseless war against those Donald Trump pretends to be representing. “Make America Great Again” sounds more and more like a sick joke played on the American working class and its representatives. As “right to work” legislation storms the country, this is a crucial moment for the future of the labor movement in the U.S. Health coverage and retirement plans are in jeopardy almost everywhere. Federal employees’ working conditions are under attack with executive orders crushing union rights. There are powerful pressures to privatize public services and to undermine workers’ rights. Courage and determination will no doubt be needed to reaffirm and protect workers’ rights against a strong business class looking to secure its stronghold on the future of labor in the United States.

Public-sector workers show their solidarity on the streets of Montreal
Public-sector workers show their solidarity on the streets of Montreal (CSN | Facebook)

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just this spring, strong rank-and-file movements among teachers and public sector employees have shown that, now as ever, unity is power. #RedForEd and #RedForMed campaigns bring together thousands of workers willing to fight for their rights and for the quality of the services they provide to the population. At the beginning of August, Missouri voters rejected “right to work” legislation by a 2-to-1 margin, taking a stand for workers’ and unions’ rights in their state. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance’s recent victory against Uber and Lyft reminds us that organized labor can defeat corporate lobbying. All this shows that when workers get together and stand up to greed, they can harness sufficient power to force legislators and bosses alike to agree to their demands.

On Labor Day 2018, the Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain-CSN wishes to express its heartfelt solidarity to American workers and unions. By working together, we will be able to counter the neoliberal offensive affecting all of us, on both sides of the border. We have a duty to resist and make sure that the interests of the workers and of the general population prevail against corporations and bosses seeking more money and power.

Solidarity to our American brothers and sisters!

Dominique Daigneault
Présidente, Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain

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