Open Letter | Today, we’re making history
November 23, 2023
The Front commun makes history on November 23, 2023
Today, 570,000 of us are out on strike – that’s over 10% of Québec’s active population. Never before in the history of Québec, Canada, or even North America (since the AT&T strike in 1983) have so many of us used our right to strike in order to improve our condition.
As you read these lines, maybe you can hear us in the street with our rattles and chants, or people honking their horns to show their support.
We want you to know that we’re striking for you, too.
Yes, we need better pay – we’re lagging behind other workers in Québec.
Yes, we need better conditions of work and practice, so that we can attract people and stop the exodus of workers that’s damaging our public services.
But we’re also taking to the streets today for you – your children – your parents – your loved ones. We want to be able to keep on taking care of them, supporting them, and teaching them. We want the next generation also to benefit from the unique expertise of workers in our public services.
Of the 570,000 people on strike today, 450,000 are women. Women are the ones who’ve been taken for granted for centuries because of their so-called vocation, and the word “vocation” is still alive today. Some dinosaurs actually say it out loud, while others believe in it without saying anything.
Our struggle, then, is the struggle of women saying “Enough!” Yes, we love our jobs. But let’s not be afraid of saying that’s what they are: jobs. The work we do is often difficult and needs to be paid for what it’s truly worth.
François Legault and his government are also making history today, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s been a long time since we’ve felt this angry. We are bewildered by the way the CAQ is treating its “guardian angels”. How can we describe their actions? Appalling, offensive, disconnected, Duplessis-like, and sexist are some of the words that come to mind. You can imagine the others.
If our paths cross today, why not join us for a moment to show your support? Let’s make history together, by making sure Québec’s public services are designed for all of us.
Caroline Senneville, president of the CSN
Éric Gingras, president of the CSQ
Magali Picard, president of the FTQ
Robert Comeau, president of the APTS
Julie Bouchard, president of the FIQ
Mélanie Hubert, president of the FAE
Guillaume Bouvrette, president of the SPGQ
on behalf of the 570,000 public service workers who are out on strike.