Featuring POWER, Justicia for Migrant Workers, and
the Toronto Harm Reduction Workers Union!
7:00pm SHARP (Doors at 6:30pm)
Monday, April 27th
Nepean Room, Bronson Centre
211 Bronson Ave, Ottawa
Childcare available during event
The Punch Up Collective is excited to announce our
contribution to this year’s Mayday events in Ottawa! With workers of all kinds under increasing attack, and with the ability of conventional union structures to defend and expand worker struggles increasingly in doubt, this event looks to some of the models of community and workplace organizing happening outside the boundaries of the mainstream labour movement.
Below you’ll find details on the event, a call
for endorsements, and an invitation to local organizations to submit their own
stories of how they have successfully brought people together and increased
their ability to demand justice and dignity.
- All In: Worker Organizing Beyond The Mainstream
- Call for Endorsements
- Call for Submissions: How Has Your Organization Brought People Together?
- Call for Financial Support
- Event Details
1. All In: Worker Organizing Beyond The Mainstream
Workers of all kinds are under increasing attack, but
the mainstream labour movement frequently seems unable to defend even its own
previous victories, let alone expand worker struggles into new and necessary
areas. Yet workers continue to come together collectively to demand justice and
dignity in the workplace and wider society. Indeed, some of the most vital
contemporary workplace struggles are taking place outside the boundaries of the
mainstream labour movement, which is often handcuffed by a strict adherence to
labour law, a lack of real internal democracy, and an inability to adapt to the
changing realities of work.
Please join us as we hear from people speaking from
the following organizations:
Justicia for Migrant Workers
(J4MW) is a
grassroots advocacy group based in Toronto, Vancouver and Mexico City. Composed
of migrant workers and allies, they fight for the interests of workers in
Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program, including workers in the
Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program and the NOC C and D Agricultural Stream.
Prostitutes of Ottawa-Gatineau Work Educate, Resist (POWER) is a non-profit, voluntary organization founded on February 17th, 2008.
Membership is open to individuals of all genders who self-identify as former or
current sex workers, regardless of the industry sector in which they work(ed)
(i.e. dancers, street level workers, in and out call workers, phone sex, etc.)
and to allies who share their vision. They envision a society in which sex
workers are able to practice their professions free of legal and social
discrimination, victimization, harassment and violence and in which sex work is
valued as legitimate and fulfilling work making an important contribution to
Harm Reduction Workers Union (THRWU) is an organization of Harm Reduction Workers who are united together in
solidarity, to improve their working conditions and to strengthen equality in
the workplace for the betterment of the workers and those who access the
services. They are a union of employed and unemployed workers committed to harm
reduction with a range of skills, education and lived experience. They have
come together in their common concerns to form a non-hierarchical democratic
labour union with a commitment to mutual aid, social justice and the principles
of harm reduction.
2. CALL FOR ENDORSEMENTS
We’re really excited about this upcoming event, and
we’d very much like your help in spreading the word. To that end, we’re seeking
endorsements for the event from local organizations.
An endorsement would mean your name would appear on
promotional material for the event, such as posters, emails, and our website.
Your endorsement will greatly increase our ability to make the event a success
by getting the word out to as many people as possible.
We intend to begin promoting the event widely in
the very near future. If you’d like to endorse the event, please let us know as
soon as possible.
And please note: you’ll see below we’re also
seeking some financial support. Don’t worry if your organization isn’t able to
donate or doesn’t want to – we would still love to have your endorsement for
3. CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: HOW HAS YOUR ORGANIZATION
BROUGHT PEOPLE TOGETHER?
As part of this event, we are encouraging groups to
reflect on solidarity and the power of organizing by submitting a short written
answer to the question: “How has you organization successfully brought people
These short submissions could highlight any event,
action, or occasion your organization feels was successful in bringing people
together and increasing their ability to fight for justice and dignity. Did you
hold a powerful demonstration? Carry out a winning campaign? Host a successful community
meeting? Fight off an attack by political opponents? Collectively advocate for
someone’s right to justice and dignity? These are just a few examples of things
your organization might consider ways for bringing people together, but it’s
really up to you.
We’ll have these submissions on display during the
event, and we hope this will help encourage discussion during the event, as
well as highlight some of the brilliant methods groups are using to strengthen
If your group would like to submit an answer for us
to display, please send it to us by Monday, April 13.
4. CALL FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORT
If your organization is able to contribute even a
small donation to support this event, it would be appreciated. The main
expenditure will come from the travel costs from Toronto for two of our
speakers, but there are a number of other costs, as well, including a venue
booking fee and honorariums for the speakers and childcare workers. We will be
finalizing a complete budget in the very near future.
If your organization is able to support this event
with a donation, it would be very much appreciated. Even a small amount will go
a long way towards making this event a success.
5. EVENT DETAILS
We’re still finalizing a few things, but the event
will be held on the evening of Monday, April 27th, 2015, in the Nepean Room of
the Bronson Centre. Doors will open at 6:30pm, for some hang outs and snacks,
with the talk itself beginning promptly at 7:00pm. Each speaker will have 12
minutes of to speak, followed by time for questions and discussion.