World Socialist Web Site wsws.org 27 Mar, 2021 01:45 am

Quebec court throws out union lawsuit calling for greater protection from COVID-19 in schools

Justice Riordan issued his full-throated endorsement of the “open schools” policy of the Quebec government and Canadian elite amid a further surge in the pandemic, fueled by new more contagious and lethal COVID-19 variants.

The court’s staggering disregard for teachers and students, which is in keeping with the right-wing Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government’s stated policy of “herd immunity,” is underscored by the fact that Riordan issued his ruling even as COVID-19 cases are again spiking across the country.In September, the union filed an initial motion against the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government to demand that teachers have priority access to COVID-19 testing.It similarly suppressed opposition to the CAQ government’s push to resume in-class instruction after the November-December surge in infections had forced Premier François Legualt to re-impose some lockdown measures in late December and early January.Neither legal proceedings nor pleas from the union bureaucracy will change the determination of the CAQ government and big business to keep the economy running at full speed at the expense of human lives.

Ultimately, the legal maneuvers of the FAE, a union that claims to be more “militant” than the larger CSQ, serve only to justify its collaboration with the ruling elite in its drive the keep schools “open” so that parents can be sent back to work to produce profits for big business.Only the political mobilization of teachers and all school staff, independently of the big business parties and the pro-capitalist unions, can enforce the only solution to stop the contagion in schools and protect the lives and health of staff—the immediate closure of schools and halting of in-person teaching.

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