Second to strike: Concordia journalism students

The Journalism Student Association at Montreal’s Concordia University voted in favour of a strike at its general assembly on January 16, making it the second in Quebec to do so thus far this semester.

With this strike mandate, the JSA joins the Association des étudiantes sages-femmes du Québec (AÉSFQ), or Quebec Association of Student Midwives, who voted for an unlimited general strike just three days prior. The motion passed by the AÉSFQ was contingent on 20,000 students in 3 different regions of the province also going on strike.

The JSA’s own motion, passed unanimously with one abstention, is not for an unlimited strike, but a one-week effort that “coincides with the broad unlimited strike against unpaid internships.”

Still, considering that the only anglophone associations to join in the week of strikes in November were undergraduate and graduate students in social work at McGill, the JSA’s early entry into this round of strikes is noteworthy. And its initial one-week commitment can always be extended later on.

Concordia Student Union Finance Coordinator John Hutton commented on Facebook: “Just by holding their strike General Assembly, faculty members promised to advocate at the Concordia Senate to change their policies that require unpaid internships for credit. Imagine what we can win by actually striking across Quebec!”

The following day, associate members of the Canadian branch of Communications Workers of America issued a statement that they “stand in solidarity with the Concordia University Journalism Student Association and with the broader student movement demanding an end to unpaid internships in Quebec.”

With other associations’ GAs forthcoming, it remains to be seen if and when the necessary conditions will be met for the strike to begin.

Featured photo: John Hutton