Articles Labour

  • Never mind the yuppies: Vancouver’s wealthy elites driving away workers who keep the city safe

    Canadian Politics

    Solutions to Vancouver’s unaffordability crisis should prioritize accommodating the city’s working people and emergency service staff. Will the city, provincial and federal governments continue passing the burden of unaffordability in Vancouver onto nurses, paramedics, firefighters and other working people, or take decisive steps to end the destructive inflow of speculative international capital, and properly invest in social housing and adequately raise the pay and conditions of workers who keep the city’s essential services safe and operational?

  • Labour a Key Partner in a Canadian Green New Deal

    Environment

    Well over a decade ago, we were involved in the creation of Blue Green Canada — an initiative that emerged to address historic mistrust between trade unions and environmentalists. In the years since, friends and allies on both sides of the equation have worked hard to strengthen relations. Once a novel idea, co-operation between union and environmental activists has entered the mainstream. In the emerging climate discussion, those bonds can become frayed once again or they can be strengthened for a new century.

  • MMA’s Norma Rae

    Labour

    Leslie Smith is a mixed martial arts (MMA) athlete and a former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) top-ten fighter. But the biggest fight of her career isn’t in the octagon — it’s the fight to unionize the sport she loves. Smith is interim president of Project Spearhead, a fighter-driven effort to organize the UFC. Smith also recently gave a speech during a conference for the Economic Policy Institute regarding Project Spearhead. CD sports writer Simon Black’s interview with Leslie printed here has been edited for length.

  • Ontario labour: fight or flee?

    Labour

    It is no exaggeration to say that Ontario has elected the most right-wing government in its history, one that is far more to the right than the Mike Harris government of the 1990s. While both governments belong to the same socially conservative, neoliberal strand, the Ford government is far more populist and connected to far-right, white-supremacist fringe groups, with far more negative implications for racialized people who make up the majority of exploited and marginalized workers in Canada’s most populace province.

  • Oshawa and Postal Workers: Big and Small Lies We Accept

    Labour

    In 1979, Canada’s postal union (CUPW) bargained and bargained with the employer. Eventually, having exhausted all possibilities, it made the decision, supported by a huge majority of its voting members, that its members would no longer provide their services on the basis of the existing terms and conditions of the now expired collective agreement. Workers had determined, democratically, not to sell their labour power on those terms. In a liberal democracy, they had every right to take such a decision. Only a slave society would deny them this right.

  • Taking on the GM Shutdown: Unifor, Oshawa and Community Control

    Labour

    General Motor’s plan to end production at its Oshawa plant at the end of 2019 is a callous, cynical act by the U.S.-based multinational auto giant that needs to be challenged. After accepting $13.7-billion bailout offered by the Canadian public to the big automakers back in 2008 to keep GM and Chrysler alive, the company plans will leave 2500 workers at the plant out of work, with perhaps further spinoff losses of jobs and taxes. This is a brutal blow for the home of industrial unionism in Canada and one of the long-time centres of Canadian auto production.

  • The Google Walkout

    Labour

    Thousands of Google employees around the world walked off their jobs on November 1, “to protest sexual harassment, misconduct, lack of transparency, and a workplace that doesn’t work for everyone.” Beginning in Singapore and working its way around the globe the movement closed Google offices from California, in Boulder and New York, as well as in London, Dublin, Zurich and Berlin.

  • Ford Takes on Bill 148: But There is Resistance

    Labour

    But with such a hostile government, the tactics will have to become more confrontational in order to leverage the pressure needed to make Ford and the Tories retreat. There were several missed opportunities in the fightback against Harris where the government looked like it was going to reverse course, but the pressure was throttled in favour of negotiation and electoralism. Now, we must learn from our past mistakes and build a broad and militant front in order to protect what we have already gained. Without that we won’t be able to make gains in the future.

  • 100 Years After: Winnipeg General Strike

    Labour

    What made the Strike “general” was that it mobilized an entire class. This included Winnipeg’s unionized workers who voted overwhelmingly to risk hunger, permanent dismissal and perhaps violent repression to support their colleagues. But perhaps half of the strikers were not union members at all. Most remarkably, the Strike mobilized in large numbers those who had benefitted little from a labour movement dominated by skilled men of mostly British origin who appeared primarily interested in defending their own relatively privileged place in the labour market.

  • The tipping point

    Labour

    Until last year, the only acknowledgment of this historical moment was a plaque hidden in the underground walkway beneath city hall. With renewed investment in public art by the Winnipeg Arts Council, who are overseeing this project with help from Heritage Canada, myself and sculptor Bernie Miller set out to create a memorial streetcar in bronze adjacent to the site of Bloody Saturday, on the present day Pantages Plaza at Market and Main St., one of the city’s busiest intersections.

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