On the Picket Line

Industrial glass strikers in Montreal win solidarity

By John Steele
October 1, 2018

MONTREAL — “They want us to do overtime without overtime pay,” Oldcastle Building Envelope striker Bruno Zaviolette told the Militant on the Unifor Local 6000 picket line here Sept. 12.

“All we want is a wage increase to cover the rise in the cost of living and a bit more, but the bosses are playing with our breaks, vacation pay and other work conditions,” said Zaviolette, an assembler with 15 years in the plant. “They are pushing for more production too.”

The workers make glass windows, skylights, storefronts and facades for the construction industry. The plant is located in the Montreal borough of Pointe-aux-Trembles. Some 100 unionists went on strike July 6 after their contract expired in March, setting up a tent and a trailer in front of the plant.

Strikers gave a warm welcome to Beverly Bernardo, Communist League candidate in the Oct. 1 Quebec provincial election, when she joined the picket line to bring solidarity and to learn more about their fight.

The strikers are getting a lot of support.

“On Aug. 24, 250 Unifor members, many from other locals, including from across the country, turned out to a solidarity barbecue,” Local 6000 President Véronique Figliuzzi told Bernardo. That same day a Unifor rally in solidarity with the Quebec strikers took place at the Oldcastle plant in Vaughn, Ontario, near Toronto. Eighty-five of the strikers attended the Aug. 17-19 Unifor Canadian Council meeting and received a standing ovation from the delegates.