Proposal for a Social Strike this May 1st and 15th

Friday, April 20, 2012


 We’ve been discussing a social strike for some time now and it’s high time that we translate words into actions. The fight against the tuition hike is not a question of nickels and dimes; it’s a struggle that is calling for a radical transformation of society. A transformation that rejects the austerity politics of the current government. Health tax, tuition fee increases, increases in rents and electricity fees, restrictions on the right to strike, the pillage of natural resources, and failure to respect the rights of aboriginal peoples…

In the face of such social attacks, there is only one possible response: social strike!

A social strike is the simultaneous strike of all workers and all actors in a society, whether salaried or not. It’s an opportunity not only to demonstrate general discontent with government policies, but also to attack directly the only thing that the government seems to hold dear: business as usual. Thus we urge all of civil society to join the student movement in days of mass general protests.

This call for a social strike is made in the broad spirit of protest against the neoliberal policies that are being imposed on us.

Many student associations, unions and social groups have already taken positions in this direction.

Yesterday, the students in the faculty of social sciences at UQAM (AFESH-UQAM) called for days of social strike and economic disruption this May 1st and 15th.

So we invite you to adopt a similar position and to begin meetings and negotiations with unions and community groups in your area to broaden this event and to maximize its impact.

At the end of this message we have included the wording of the proposal that the AFESH-UQAM

adopted and we ask you to adopt it in turn.

In solidarity,

Profs contre la hausse (Profs against the hike)

Enough is enough! Social strike!


Proposal for a Social Strike (by AFESH-UQAM)

Whereas the student strike movement has reached a historic magnitude and the obstinacy of the ruling political class is equally historic in its refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of student demands,

Whereas the student strike movement aspires in its struggle to a radical social transformation and as such goes beyond mere corporatist interests,

Whereas the hike in tuition fees represents only one aspect of a much large plan of austerity measures aimed at privatizing a growing number of social spheres and bearing in mind the related or connected issues of the health tax, the hike in electricity fees and the hike in cost of rents,

Noting the climate of anti-unionism aided by the relentlessness and mediocrity of many politicians and leaders, which is expressed through widespread lock-outs, restrictions on the right to strike and the tacit support of strike breakers,

Noting further that it is a matter of utmost urgency that we step up the strike movement in the face of government inaction and that the student movement has the potential to act as a catalyst for other social struggles, (your student association) calls for a social strike for May 1st and 15th of this year, so that these dates become days of general social strike and economic disruption;

Given that the organization of this social strike is a matter of emergency in order to ratchet up the pressure on the government, be it further resolved that (your student association) will without delay reach out to various provincial and regional unions and community groups;

Be it resolved that (your student association) call on its member associations to make contact with their regional unions and community groups;

Be it resolved that (your student association) promote the social strike to the wider public by whatever means available;

Be it resolved that (your student association) explain and popularize the idea of a social strike to its members and in its appeals to the public in general;

Be it resolved that the days of social strike be in solidarity with the striking workers at AVEOS and Rio Tinto and all other currently active social and union movements;

Be it resolved that (your student association) also bring all these demands to CLASSE.