TRAC Union Statement of Solidarity with Quebec Student Strike Action Against Unpaid Internships
The Union of Teaching and Research Assistants at Concordia (TRAC) stands in solidarity with the student strike against unpaid internships. Unpaid internships contribute to a devalorization of our academic labour and contribute to a culture of exploitation, particularly that of women and marginalized workers, that must be challenged and abolished. Universities and other institutions of higher learning are complicit in upholding the legitimacy of unpaid internships and maintaining the status quo. Unpaid internships perpetuate the precariousness of students and young workers. We encourage our members to find ways to support the movement for positive change in our community by talking to the students involved.
There will be a Quebec wide strike against unpaid internships on the week of March 18th to March 22nd, 2019. Departments at Concordia University affected by the strike are the Department of Journalism, the Department of Communications Studies and the School of Community and Public Affairs. Classes in these departments that are not cancelled will be picketed and blocked from being held. Contact your undergraduate student association (JSA, COMS Guild and SCPASA) to learn more about the strike mandate and schedule in your department.
TRAC recognizes the legitimacy of the student strikes, called for by democratic assembly. However, our members have an obligation to fulfill their contractual duties. We advise our members not to push through a picket line, as this might put you in harm’s way. If you are confronted with picketers in front of your class, tutorial or building, you should contact your supervisor and inform them of the situation. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure a safe work space for their employees. Therefore, we advise our members to evaluate the situation and take appropriate action to ensure their safety. Peaceful protest is permitted at the university and the expectations of the University for these protests are outlined in the Code of Conduct for every member of the University. Any safety concerns can be raised directly with your supervisor or with security by calling 514 848-2424 ext. 3717.
Your TRAC Executive Committee