Chantier Politique

January 10, 2019

English Edition, No. 1

The PMLQ Ushers in the New Year

The Marxist-Leninist Party of Quebec (PMLQ) held an enthusiastic party on the evening of January 5 to usher in the New Year. Comrades and friends were greeted with songs and words of welcome and appreciation for the work achieved by all in defence of rights in 2018.

"The more the conditions deteriorate both nationally and internationally, the more the situation facing the people becomes difficult," Party leader Pierre Chénier said. "The difficulties are all the more reason why the work accomplished by all throughout the last year is significant," he said.

Along with the workers, women and youth who came to celebrate the New Year, the PMLQ was honoured to have in its midst the Consul General of Cuba, Mara Bilbao, representatives from the freedom fighters in El Salvador, Brazil and Lebanon amongst others, as well as the secretary of the Table de concertation de solidarité Québec-Cuba.

On behalf of the PMLQ, Pierre Chénier pledged to continue opening the pages of Chantier politique to all those who speak in their own name about their concerns and as they relate to the concerns of society and body politic. Of utmost importance, Pierre pointed out, is to develop the independent politics of the working class and not ricochet off what the ruling class says the issues are. Only the working class and people have an interest in addressing the reality as is, not according to a figment of the imagination in which prosperity is to be attained by shifting the burden of the crisis onto the backs of the working class and people and claims are made that the government has been given a mandate to do precisely that.

Pierre pointed to a significant quality which emerged from the struggles waged by the workers in 2018. Many contingents of the working class stood up for what is right, despite the pressures put on them to capitulate. This pressure comes from the official circles. This includes those who comprise the government and its agencies as well as the parties in the National Assembly and the media. In many cases the pressure also comes from within the trade union movement itself whose outlook is part of the official ideology which blames the workers and their resistance when problems arise, not the rich and their demands and corrupt arrangements. While the working class is imbued with the principles of defending what is right and social solidarity, how they provide themselves with leadership so as to intervene in the struggles from a vantage point which favours them will become even more urgent in the coming year, Pierre said.

Pierre also pointed to the need to step up support for those fighting for the rights of all in the United States itself and against the U.S.-imperialist led coups in Latin America, attacks against Cuba and the war preparations. The militarization of life is sure to be stepped up as NATO celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding and Canada becomes further and further integrated into the U.S. imperialist war machine.

Pierre pointed out that a federal election is to be held in 2019 and the working people must get prepared to intervene on that front as well in a manner that favours them and nation-building in both Quebec and Canada. The assault on their conscience has already begun as the official circles seek to divide the people behind this or that party which does not in fact represent them. To make headway, the people must speak in their own name, Pierre said.

In outlining the work the PMLQ will do in the coming year, Pierre specifically raised the need to step up support for migrant workers. "Migrant workers have been thrown into many categories such as immigrants, visa workers, contract workers, guest workers, seasonal workers, temporary foreign workers and others so that they remain forgotten, unseen and abused. They receive inhuman treatment while Quebec and Canada claim to uphold human rights.

Pierre opposed the disinformation of the Quebec government which claims a mandate from the public to oppose immigration and religious symbols in schools and public service jobs. This is clearly aimed at diverting attention from the fact that human trafficking is being stepped up to put downward pressure on the wages and working conditions of the entire working class, Pierre said. This is a well-known tactic of dividing us so that we do not successfully place a spoke in the wheels of the neo-liberal, anti-social offensive, he said. "We encourage all of you to support and join the work in whatever capacity possible in defence of migrant workers, so that we can put an end to this terrible trend. The rights of all workers in Quebec must be upheld, no matter their origin or status," Pierre said.

With this, the PMLQ wishes everyone great success in their work in the New Year. The pages of Chantier politique and the permanence of the PMLQ and its locale on Ontario Street are at your disposal.

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In the News

The attacks of the rich and their state and media against the workers and the workers' resistance continue to intensify.

ABI Bécancour aluminum smelter workers, locked out since January 11, 2018, began the year facing the owners Alcoa/Rio Tinto who have closed half of the smelter, thereby demonstrating their continued refusal to negotiate a collective agreement that the workers consider acceptable.

Quebec nurses began 2019 by alerting the public to the untenable conditions that exist in emergency wards, with unacceptably long shifts where nurses are not informed when their shifts will end. Not only does this place their own physical and mental health at risk, it also jeopardizes the lives of patients requiring emergency services.

The situation in the long-term care centres (CHSLDs) continues to give rise to overlooked crimes due to lack of qualified personnel to care for the people who live there. In one case, a patient who was unable to feed himself was left to starve until finally, emaciated, he started having convulsions and had to be hospitalized. And every family is left to fend for themselves as best they can in these inhuman conditions.

Port of Montreal longshoremen begin the New Year with a massive vote in favour of a strike mandate, to force their employer to remove an oppressive disciplinary regime and put an end to having schedules where they must work up to 19 out of 21 consecutive days.

In early December, the union representing employees of the Quebec Liquor Board (SAQ) signed a tentative agreement with the employer. The union reports that the agreement reduces instability in working hours and the precarious working conditions of employees. The 5,500 SAQ workers are to vote on the tentative agreement in a series of regional meetings that will take place throughout January into the beginning of February.

In this way, the year begins with workers assuming their social responsibility to defend the dignity of labour and contribute to the defence of the rights of all.


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