Unions are critical in youth fight against precarity
But are established unions working hard enough to organize more precarious, low-wage workers? Many are criticized for wilting at the — admittedly great — challenge. But now, considering just how bad things are getting for these workers, the responsibility of the labour movement towards the most precarious and exploited is greater than ever.
Fighting for union justice on the streets
In Windsor, Ontario, when the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association paid to install iron-spiked railings where panhandlers sit, the organization which called attention to it was the Street Labourers of Windsor (SLOW). They also took a stand when the city intended to install “care meters,” in which people can drop change, instead of giving directly to panhandlers.
The labour movement and the housing crisis: Long-separated struggles
This raises important questions for the labour movement. The traditional focus on the workplace clearly doesn’t help workers, and the working class in expensive cities like Metro Vancouver. A union can increase wages, ensure job security, and empower workers in their shops, but that won’t protect anybody from being the victim of gentrification and ballooning rents.