張嘉玲:沒有她們鼓勵,我會退出工運

我名叫張嘉玲 (Patricia Kah Ling Chong)。我擁有加拿大麥克馬斯特大學(McMaster University) 勞工研究碩士學位、德國全球勞工大學 (Global Labour University) 勞工政策和全球化碩士學位,以及維多利亞大學 (University of Victoria) 成人和進修教育證書。

亞裔加拿大勞工聯盟成員參加多倫多及約克區勞工議會活動後合照。前排右一為張嘉玲(Patricia Chong) 。

我是引以為榮的亞裔加拿大勞工聯盟 (Asian Canadian Labour Alliance, ACLA) 成員。

我是勞工教育工作者,在安省專業雇員工會AMAPCEO任職教育主任,負責設計、開發和向會員提供培訓。

AMAPCEO 代表超過 14,000 名專業工作者,他們大多在安省公共服務部門工作。

張嘉玲(Patricia Chong)為 AMAPCEO 成員主持研討會。

我20歲時是一名大學生,在多倫多大學書店當兼職收銀員。書店收發部員工是加拿大公共雇員 工會分會3261 (CUPE 3261) 的成員, 但其餘部門員工則沒有工會。我參與在內部組織非工會員工。然而,最終我們從兼職員工得到僅足夠的簽名工會卡以舉行認證工會投票。1999年,我們兼職員工贏得了投票,而我則成為談判小組成員。這是一場非常艱苦的戰鬥,最終,兼職員工在2000年夏天進行了為期13周的罷工,以取得我們的第一份集體協議。

我永遠記住我們從社區獲得的支持:多倫多大學教授抵制多倫多大學書店,將訂單轉到多倫多婦女書店,作家如瑪格麗特-阿特伍德 (Margaret Atwood)和諾姆-杭士基(Noam Chomsky),多倫多及約克區勞工議會,其他工會和積極份子等等,幾乎每天都出現在糾察線上。


我製作了一部關於多倫多大學 書店兼職工人罷工 16 周年的紀錄短片, 名為 《罷工 16 (STRIKE 16)》, 這是 2016 年加拿大勞工國際電影節 (Cliff)放映 的其中一部紀錄片,可以在YouTube上觀看:https://youtu.be/rlr2Ikz_SdE

在我大學的最後一年,我發現了酒店和餐廳工人工會分會75 (HERE Local 75)  的學生實習機會。我完成實習,並被聘為工會組織者,在多倫多大學組織食品工人 (PIzza Pizza, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, etc.) 成立工會。


我曾擔任公共和私營部門工會的工會組織者,並在安省、西北地區、育空地區和努納武特工作過。

工會是工作場所和社會正義的工具。然而,他們嵌入一個基於壓迫(種族主義、性別歧視、同性戀恐懼症等)的社會,工會也經常複製這些壓迫。然而,工會正在改變,我們需要繼續推動變革和解放。並非所有的勞工問題都是內部的,或以更多的代表性來解決問題,然而,公平是建立一個真正包括大多數工人階級的工人運動的關鍵。我們是正在進行的鬥爭的一部分。

張嘉玲(Patricia Chong)扮恐龍參加2021 年 3 月 28 日的團結反仇恨亞裔集會。

正如我仰慕的勞工活動家卡羅爾-沃爾(Carol Wall)在2021年3月28日於多倫多舉行的反仇恨亞裔團結集會上所說:

「我與祖先站在一起說:我們喚起了舊廢奴者的精神,決心、勇氣、勇敢、愛……這緊迫性的時刻和集體創傷絕對需要重新舉行廢除奴隸運動。他們努力廢除奴隸制,對抗巨大的逆境,許多人知道,在他們有生之年不會發生的,但他們堅持了下來。最後,他們取得了勝利。因此,現在我們必須完成他們的工作,確保廢除白人至上主義,確保解放,來尊敬他們的犧牲。  」

我製作了一部關於在多倫多「團結反仇恨亞裔」的短片(2021年3月),其中一個關鍵主題是理解反亞裔種族主義並不新鮮,它一直在這裡,它是直接關係維護白人至上,而反土著種族主義和反黑人種族主義。     

我們需要更多地了解加拿大華裔勞工歷史。儘管我們不包括在加拿大勞工運動之內,但也有抵抗的故事和跨種族團結的例子。亞裔加拿大勞工聯盟 目前正在製作一系列歷史簡介,以頌揚我們忽視的歷史。

將加拿大華人、土著人和其他種族化的人排除在勞工運動之外,有結構性的原因。我們必須記住,勞資關係框架以白人男性工人為基礎,該工人由單一雇主全職雇用(例如:標準雇傭關係)。白人男性工人作為家庭「養家糊口者」的概念與性別和異性戀規範、種族分工和基於公民身份的權利有著深刻的聯繫。因此,如果這是你的勞動關係基礎,那麼加拿大工會積極地將任何不適合這種模式的人視為威脅也就不足為奇了:婦女、種族化和土著工人、非公民、兼職工人等。雖然勞動力市場和勞動力已經發生變化,但積極排斥那些不被視為「規範」的人的影響今天仍然感受到。這並不能成為當今工會對種族化和土著工人缺乏接觸和機會的藉口,或種族主義行為,但它確實有助於解釋一些工會文化和價值觀(如大男子主義好戰)如何不引起一些人的共鳴。

我寫了更多關於這個話題刊登在這裡:

http://www.justlabour.yorku.ca/volume20/pdfs/08_chong_press.pdf

https://ourtimes.ca/article/sex-race-sacrifice

在我的第一次工會會議上,一群男人互相大喊大叫。 不是開玩笑。如果沒有像吳溫溫 (Winnie Ng) 和邁赫迪-庫赫斯塔尼內賈德 (Mehdi Kouhestaninejad) 這樣的人鼓勵和支援我的參與,我就會退出勞工運動。關係很重要。

同樣,我建議有興趣參與勞工運動(工會與否)的人,可以尋求參加像亞裔加拿大勞工聯盟或黑人工會成員聯盟這樣的組織,這些組織專門旨在鼓勵、指導和接觸種族化的工會積極份子。

張嘉玲(Patricia Chong, 後排左一) 穿著星際迷航探索的服裝,參加由多倫多及約克區勞工議會組織的拯救我們地鐵行動。

Patricia Chong: Without their encouragement, I would drop out of the labour movement

My name is Patricia Chong. I have a MA in Labour Studies from McMaster University (Canada), a Masters in Labour Policies and Globalisation from the Global Labour University (Germany), and  a Certificate in Adult and Continuing Education from the University of Victoria..

I am a proud member of the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance. 

I work as a labour educator / education officer at a union called AMAPCEO which means that I design, develop, and deliver training to members. 

AMAPCEO represents over 14,000 professional workers who are mostly in the Ontario Public Service

I was 20 years old and worked as a part-time cashier at the University of Toronto Bookstore when I was an undergraduate student. The ‘Shippers & Receivers’ were organized with CUPE 3261 but the rest of the bookstore was not. I was involved with the internal attempt to organize the non-union staff. However, we ended up with only enough signed union cards from the part-time workers to hold a certification vote for us. In 1999, we, the part-time workers, won the vote and I became one of the bargaining team members. It was a really tough fight that ended up with the part-time employees going on a 13-week strike in the summer of 2000 for our first collective agreement. 

I’ll always remember the support we got from the community: UofT Professors boycotting the UofT Bookstore and moving their orders to the Toronto Women’s Bookstore, authors like Margaret Atwood and Noam Chomsky, the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, other unions and activists just showing up everyday to walk the picket line, etc. 

I made a short film documentary about the 16th anniversary of the UofT Bookstore part-time workers’ strike called “STRIKE 16” that was part of 2016 Canadian Labour International Film Festival (CLiFF):  https://youtu.be/rlr2Ikz_SdE

During my last year at university, I found out about a student internship with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employes (HERE) Local 75. I did the internship and was hired on as a union organizer to unionize the food workers (PIzza Pizza, Starbucks, Tim Hortons, etc.) at the University of Toronto. 

I have worked as union organizer for public and private sector unions and have worked in Ontario, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Nunavut. 

Unions are vehicles for workplace and social justice. However, they are embedded in a society that is based on oppression (racism, sexism, homophobia, etc), and unions often replicate these oppressions as well. However, unions are changing and we need to keep pushing for transformation and liberation. Not all of labour’s problems are internal or will be resolved with more representation, however, equity is key to building a working-class movement that actually includes the majority of working-class peoples. We are part of an ongoing struggle. 

As Carol Wall, a labour activist that I look up to, said the following at the Solidarity Rally Against Anti-Asian Hate in Toronto on March 28, 2021: 

“I stand here with my ancestors to say: We are invoking the spirit, the determination, the courage, the bravery, the love of the Abolitionists of old . . .  The urgency and the collective trauma of this moment calls for nothing less than a renewed Abolitionist movement. They fought to abolish slavery [against] overwhelming odds and many knew that it wouldn’t happen in their lifetimes, but they pressed on. And in the end, they were victorious. So now we must honour their sacrifices by finishing their work by ensuring liberation by abolishing white supremacy.”   

I made a short film about the “Solidarity Against Anti-Asian Hate” in Toronto (March 2021) and one of the key themes is understanding that anti-Asian racism is not new, it isn’t going anywhere, and it is directly tied to anti-Indigenous racism and anti-Black racism in upholding White Supremacy.

The doc can be found here: https://youtu.be/jO_DthA6wEo 

We need to know more about Chinese-Canadian labour history. Despite our exclusion for the Canadian labour movement, there are stories of resistance and examples of cross-racial solidarity. ACLA is currently working on a series of historic snapshots that celebrate our overlooked history.

There are structural reasons for the exclusion of Chinese-Canadians, Indigenous, and other racialized peoples from the labour movement. We must remember that the industrial relations framework is based on a White male worker who is employed full-time by a single employer (i.e. in a “standard employment relationship”). This concept of the White male worker who acts as the family “breadwinner”  is deeply connected to gender and heterosexual norms, a racialized division of labour, and rights based on citizenship. So, if this is your labour relations foundation, then it’s no surprise that Canadian labour unions actively viewed anyone who didn’t fit this model as a threat: women, racialized and Indigenous workers, non-citizens, part-time workers, etc. Though the labour market and workforce has changed, the impact of the active exclusion of those who were not considered the ‘norm’ is still felt today. This does not excuse the lack of union outreach to and opportunities for racialized and Indigenous workers today, or racist behaviours, but it does help to explain how some union cultures and values (e.g. macho militancy) do not resonate with  some people. 

I wrote more about this topic here: 

http://www.justlabour.yorku.ca/volume20/pdfs/08_chong_press.pdf

https://ourtimes.ca/article/sex-race-sacrifice

At my first union meeting, there were a bunch of men SHOUTING at each other. No joke. 

I would have dropped out of the labour movement if people like Winnie Ng and Mehdi Kouhestaninejad had not encouraged and supported my participation. Relationships matter. 

Likewise, I recommend that people who are interested in getting involved in the labour movement (unionized or not) can seek out organizations like the Asian Canadian Labour Alliance or the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists that are specifically geared towards encouraging, mentoring, and outreaching to racialized union activists.