REFLEXIONS ON THE QUESTION OF THE FASCISATION OF OUR WORKPLACE WHICH BEGAN TAKING PLACE IN THE LATE 1970`S

Fascism is in essence the suppression by the state of the movement of the working class and broad masses of the people for its rights and the instituting of a dictatorship which rules over the above and forces everyone to surrender all the fruits of their labour to the bourgeois capitalist class.  Anti-communism is the hallmark of fascism.  It forcibly suppresses any opposition to its rule and considers socialists and trade-unionists to be its main enemy.

The fascisation of the Ottawa Mail Processing Plant began in earnest during the 1978 postal strike which had taken place after two years of fruitless negotiations between the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and the government.  These negotiations to renew the collective agreement was based on the just demands of postal workers for improvements in their working and living conditions.  At that time, the post office was a government department and Treasury Board was involved in the negotiations process.

The Trudeau liberals who were in power then stopped all negotiations while we were on strike and passed legislation in the parliament declaring the postal strike illegal.   It then threatened the workers that if they did not go back to work within 7 days after the legislation was passed that it would call upon the Canadian army to sort the mail and the post office management would carry out the mass dismissal of the workers.

The union offices were searched by the RCMP who was looking for material to incriminate the leadership and the militant workers.  The entire National Executive Board of the Union was charged with breaking the law as the workers defied the legislation passed by the parliament and who had received royal assent.  Jean-Claude Parrot who was national president of the union during that period was subsequently jailed three months for his union activities in defence of the rights of postal workers.

I was also arrested and jailed during that strike and fired from my job at the post office for my leading role in the strike and for having co-chaired the strike committee in Ottawa.

During that period, the state carried out maximum amount of propaganda against the postal workers through its mass media accusing them of being lazy bums, thieves and unworthy individuals of the society.  This propaganda against postal workers still continues on today.

This propaganda allowed the post office to introduce all kinds of security measures at the place of work such as the pass system, attendance time management recorders tied to payroll, electronic surveillance (in house camera`s) and other measures.

Union shop stewards were very much restricted when they tried to file grievances against the management on behalf of the workers and those who persisted in this work of writing grievances were ordered back to production or the police would be called in to escort them out of the building under threats of charging them with trespassing the private property of the Crown.

The period from the late 1970`s to the early period of the new millennium was a period of mass discipline of the workers and of record number of dismissals for alleged incapacity, insubordination and for the slightest misdemeanor.

I was a seasoned trade-union activist and one which was very good at it.  I was one of the workers who suffered the most disciplinary measures in the country which included three dismissals for my work in defence of the rights of the workers both at the place of work and within the society.

I stood shoulder to shoulder with the workers courageously fighting for all their rights in the society including the rights that we have in the work contract which are now under attack by Canada Post Corporation and the Harper dictatorship.  To this day, I continue to fight for the rights of all by espousing the view that the rights of the working class and broad masses of the people to education, health care, housing, culture and so on must be recognised in a modern society such as ours and provided with a constitutional guarantee.

At the time of the Trudeau liberals, class collaboration was imposed on the workers by using the full strength of the law since the working class would not give it the consent of the governed.

Today, the Harper dictatorship is imposing class collaboration by confining the just struggles of the workers in social consensus making activities further instituting corporatist arrangements at the places of work and throughout the society which in turn denies the entire working class and the broad masses of the people their most precious rights.   Accordingly, the claims of the workers onto the system are always denied.

In Solidarity,
Danielle Desormeaux

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