THE CSN: A PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT
The history of the CSN, founded in 1921, is also the history of thousands of workers who, over the years, have constantly fought, and continue to fight, against social and economic inequality. These battles, which have marked our history for more than a hundred years, aim to improve living and working conditions, as well as to create a just society.
At the CSN, unionism is based upon the organization of autonomous unions, which choose the rules that govern the life of their union. The unions in the CSN federation make their own decisions. Being close to their members and their communities, they are committed to negotiating collective agreements with a vision of responsible economic development that respects the environment and social rights.
The CSN is recognized as an important institution in Québec because of the activism of its members, which has created a progressive movement that exists at the heart of Québec’s development, at the local, regional, and national levels. Our approach to activism is modern, networked, and oriented toward the future and the improvement of daily life.
The CSN is resolutely in favour of a just and equitable society, in which collective wealth is used to narrow the gaps between the most privileged and those left behind by the economic system. In its public interventions, the CSN takes the side of the common good, in support of a community, and a state, that is responsible to its population for the services it provides and in which its citizens can participate in democratic life.
For the CSN, solidarity is the central element stimulating and supporting collective life. It is through solidarity on the part of the individuals who make up our society that the spaces and resources necessary for each individual’s fulfillment may be developed. At a time when we talk about the rise of individualism, we must remember that it is possible to achieve personal wellbeing while promoting union and social solidarity. This combination remains, even today, the best guarantor of social justice. Through collective struggle, the members of the CSN, and Québec society more generally, have won vital union and social advances that have helped Québec to evolve.