International Workers’Day | Who benefits from inflation? Not us!

May 02, 2023

Image International Workers’Day | Who benefits from inflation? Not us!

Montréal — Thousands of people will come together in the streets of Montréal today to celebrate International Workers’ Day. The May Day march is organized by the Coalition du 1er mai, and its theme is Who benefits from inflation? Not us! Participants will be meeting up at Parc du Souvenir (Verdun metro station) at 5.30 p.m.

The Coalition says that for a great many Quebecers, inflation is bringing very significant negative consequences, while big corporations and the wealthiest individuals are deriving substantial profits from the situation.

“A significant proportion of workers are struggling to make ends meet and cover basic needs for housing, food and transportation. Meanwhile, wealthy people and major corporations such as oil companies and supermarket chains are unscrupulously taking advantage of the situation to make money hand over fist,” said Coalition spokespersons Catherine Beauvais-St-Pierre from the Alliance des professeures et professeurs de Montréal and Jérémie Dhavernas from Montréal’s Mouvement Action-Chômage (MAC).

You’re not benefiting from inflation – you’re having a problem finding a place to live

The Coalition sharply criticized the government’s inaction in dealing with the housing crisis, which has existed for several years and is making access to housing more and more difficult.

“The price of housing has skyrocketed,” said Beauvais St-Pierre and Dhavernas. “We’re seeing bidding wars, landlords using dubious methods such as renovating in order to evict, rising mortgage rates, and an almost complete absence of social housing. The right to a roof over one’s head is threatened as never before.”

You’re not benefiting from inflation – you’re having a problem buying food

Rising food prices are a daily issue for working people. The Coalition condemned major supermarket chains that are taking advantage of inflation to reap exorbitant profits.

“More and more workers are turning to food banks to put food on the table,” said the spokespersons. “These organizations can’t keep up with constantly growing demand. People who work full time have to rely on food banks – is this normal?”

You’re not benefiting from inflation – you’re having a problem getting around

The Coalition argued that the ability to move around freely is what makes it possible for individuals and communities to flourish.

“Inflation has had a huge impact on transportation, whether we look at the rising price of cars or the upsurge in gas prices,” said the Coalition spokespersons. “Mass transit has its own problems – it’s inadequate and increasingly expensive. Mobility is key to basic rights such as the right to work, the right to education, and many others.”

The Coalition du 1er mai

The Coalition du 1er mai is a group of unions, community organizations, and civil society groups that join forces every year to organize the traditional May Day march celebrating International Workers’ Day.

The Coalition includes the APTS (Alliance du personnel professionnel et technique de la santé et des services sociaux), Au bas de l’échelle, the CSD (Centrale des syndicats démocratiques), the CSN (Confédération des syndicats nationaux), the CSQ (Centrale des syndicats du Québec), the IWC (Immigrant Workers Centre), the Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain – CSN, the CRFTQMM (Conseil régional FTQ Montréal métropolitain), the FAE (Fédération autonome de l’enseignement), the FTQ (Fédération des travailleurs et travailleuses du Québec), the FECQ (Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec), the FIQ (Fédération interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec), the SFPQ (Syndicat de la fonction publique et parapublique du Québec), the SPGQ (Syndicat de professionnelles et professionnels du gouvernement du Québec), the MAC (Mouvement action chômage), the TROVEP (Table régionale des organismes volontaires d’éducation populaire de Montréal), UTTAM (Union des travailleuses et travailleurs accidentés ou malades) and the UEQ (Union étudiante du Québec).