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BTL 4

Labour

  • Grocery’s long war: Part II

    Following the corporate attacks of the 1980s and 1990s, and their attending defeats, grocery workers across the country ended the century in a workplace radically different from the one that existed several decades earlier. Workers who spent years making careers at supermarkets watched as their former world unraveled in a few short years and was replaced by a new low-wage, low-benefit, part-time reality.

  • Right-wing populism and the realignment of working-class politics in Canada

    We can expect the Conservative Party to wrap itself in the Canadian flag and fire-up the culture wars. The hotter it gets, the better, for Erin O’Toole. To respond to this political challenge, now more than ever, those on the left need to find ways to bridge the politics of recognition and redistribution—and to re-engage with working-class communities.

  • CLC breaks solidarity with labour movement by endorsing Bill Morneau for OECD’s top job

    On October 30, the Canadian Labour Congress issued a joint statement with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in support of Bill Morneau’s candidacy for the position of OECD Secretary-General. This is an unprecedented gesture, one that risks discrediting the CLC in a period of a mounting neoliberal offensive in which the trade union movement is struggling to make gains.

  • Prop 22 portends dismal future for gig workers in America

    Last week, all the richest liberals in California were celebrating—and not just Joe Biden’s victory. On November 3, Golden State residents voted on a ballot measure called Prop 22, a proposal which will have an enormous effect on the livelihoods of thousands of gig economy workers in the state. This means that, in California, many workers at Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates are no longer considered “employees.”

  • Why we need to resurrect the ‘syndicalism’ of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

    Capitalism has changed very little over hundreds of years, and general strikes, now as in 1919, remain the most powerful form of anti-capitalist action. Amid ever-worsening inequality, progressives of all stripes must shift away from electoral politics and focus on organizing general strikes, as workers did more than a century ago in the streets of Winnipeg.

  • The electric car comes to Oakville

    To suggest that Unifor’s GM campaign served as a warning to Ford Motors is far-fetched. Unifor’s GM campaign was a sign of union weakness not strength, and if the outcome of closing 95 percent of the GM Oshawa plant was a lesson of any kind for Ford, it would have been that they could look good even with a minor investment in electric vehicle production in Ontario.

  • Grocery’s long war: Part I

    The story of grocery’s aggressive low-wage, part-time restructuring is a broader history of the vicious rollbacks of the 1980s and 1990s. But it’s also partly a history of labour bureaucracy and of how a bill had come due. The result was a mostly unchecked assault across the entire industry that decimated the key benefits that characterized grocery work for half a century prior. But the story is still being written.

  • Political openings: Class struggle during and after the pandemic

    After the pandemic, the challenge confronting the left is whether it can take advantage of the spaces capitalism has not completely conquered and the contradictions of life under capitalism that have blocked the full integration of working people, to remake the working class into one that has the interest, will, confidence, and capacity to lead a challenge to capitalism.

  • Basic income is on the table in Canada. Is it the fight we want?

    As unemployment remains high, CERB remains an important way to keep Canadians afloat. We should continue fighting for its survival. But the long-term idea of converting CERB to basic income, both as a policy and strategy for the left, is less a matter of principle and imagining the possible than it is a gamble with conservatives and free market fetishists.

  • Canada’s post-pandemic response: Socialism for the rich, austerity for the poor and working class?

    The ideas raised at the recent Courage press conference urge government officials and journalists to consider the importance of essential workers and vulnerable communities, not only during the pandemic, but in Canada’s economic recovery. Only by taking stock of their concerns and demands will Canada be better prepared for future crises.

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