On Monday, October 17 tens of thousands of trade unionists brought the capital city of British Columbia to a grinding halt. Victoria was closed for business as a regional general strike in support of the British Columbia Teachers Federation crippled the city. The strike culminated in a massive demonstration at the BC legislature. The comrades of Fightback were there on this historic day.
This summer the Teamsters, SEIU, UFCW, and UNITE HERE split from the AFL-CIO union federation at their annual convention in Chicago. For the first time in half a century, the US trade unions are officially divided into large, separate camps. The break up of the AFL-CIO came as a shock to many trade unionists and activists. These four unions alone represent over one third of the federation’s 13 million members. But is it a step forward for US workers?
In a matter of days, all of the contradictions that have been building over the last four years in British Columbia have come to the fore. Gordon Campbell's mis-named Liberals have spent their time in power attacking the working class. This has been met with several waves of unrest. Now this battle is reaching new heights. The province stands on the brink of an all-out general strike.