by George "Mick" Sweetman
"Not since the days of the Industrial Workers of the World, since the days of Joe Hill and the battle for the eight-hour day, has a North American union movement been so dedicated to the tradition of revolutionary syndicalism." - Marcel Pepin (jailed President of the Confederation of National
Trade Unions, 1972)
Thirty-two years ago one of the largest working class rebellions in North American history exploded in Quebec. 300,000 workers participated in North America's largest general strike to that date, radio stations were seized, factories were occupied, and entire towns were brought under workers' control. What made the rebellion possible was not only an explosive mix of economic exploitation, national oppression, and government repression, but was also a strong, young, and radicalized rank and file of the Quebec trade union movement.