Internship legislation: Battles on two fronts

[Original article by Zacharie Routhier in Quartier Libre, the independent student newspaper of Université de Montréal. Translation by Jonathan Turcotte-Summers.]

During his visit to the convention of the Fédération étudiante collégiale du Québec (FECQ) [1], in which participated the Union étudiante du Québec (UEQ) [2], the Minister of Education and Higher Learning, Jean-François Roberge, declared Saturday that he is open to the idea of a legal framework for internships. The Comités unitaires sur le travail étudiant (CUTEs) [3], who were not present for the announcement, say they don’t feel represented by the two provincial associations.

“It’s because [Roberge] is feeling the heat. Let’s continue to defend the unlimited general strike in our general assemblies and leave no one behind. We’ll have it, the remuneration of all internships.” This was the reaction of the CUTEs, who responded to the minister’s announcement via their Facebook page.

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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.

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Student midwives first to declare UNLIMITED GENERAL STRIKE!

On Sunday, Jan. 13, the Association des étudiantes sages-femmes du Québec (AÉSFQ), or Quebec Association of Student Midwives, became the FIRST student association in the province to formally vote in favour of an unlimited general strike in the winter of 2019.

The strike motion, which passed by a “strong majority,” will take effect as soon as a minimum of 20,000 students in 3 different regions of the province have passed similar motions, and requires renewal every 14 days at most.

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Montreal launch of the latest issue of CUTE Magazine Thursday, Jan. 24

The 5th issue of CUTE Magazine will be launched Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6 PM at Atomic Cafe (3606 Ontario Street East) in Montreal. There will be a discussion with feminist activist and theoretician Silvia Federici, author of such texts as Wages Against Housework (1975) and Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (2004). And the evening will conclude with musical performances by Fiona Quoi and Nada.

Children are welcome, there will be whisper translation from French to English, and the space is accessible for people with reduced mobility.

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Concordia University info session on student strikes Friday, Jan. 11

The Concordia Student Union (CSU), which represents the more than 35,000 undergraduate students at Montreal’s Concordia University, will host an information session on the student strikes against unpaid internships.

Part of CSU Winter Orientation, this info session will take place on Friday, Jan. 11 from 3 to 5 PM, in room 2.789 of the EV Building (corner Ste-Catherine & Guy).

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Week of strikes Nov. 19 to 23, 2018

At a general assembly on November 14, 2018, students at Cegep Marie-Victorin in Montreal North voted overwhelmingly to strike against unpaid internships from November 19 to 23.

In total, some 58,000 students from 39 different student associations at cegeps and universities across Quebec went on strike that week — and are gearing up for an unlimited general strike in winter 2019.

Photo: Syndicat Étudiant Cegep Marie-Victorin