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Labour

  • COVID-19 and Mass Unemployment—the NDP and Beyond

    Where is the independent voice for working people in this pandemic? Humanity is battered by both COVID-19 and a deep economic depression. We are not in this together. Canadian workers need a party that speaks for them. This is supposed to be the New Democratic Party. This article reviews the NDP’s actions in Canada and draws the conclusion that we need much better.

  • Novel Virus, Old Story

    The health crisis unfolding around the globe has already had monumental impacts. News media report the pandemic is an unprecedented event. However, casting this crisis as exceptional narrows the focus. While the COVID-19 virus is unprecedented in its transmissibility, the lack of preparedness and inadequate protection for health-care workers is an old story.

  • Brave New Workforce

    The powerless and atomized workforce that the Financial Post would like to take as the model for the future can and must be rejected. Working class solidarity must not merely be nurtured but taken to a whole new level in the struggle for a socially just post-pandemic future shaped by our collective resistance.

  • Health Workers: From Praise to Protection

    Crises sometimes bring out the best in society and sometimes—or even at the same time—they clarify what is so darkly wrong within. In the particular case of the commitments and risks taken by the front-line workers that we apparently value so deeply now, the contrast lies in how little they were valued before.

  • COVID-19 and the Racialized Dimension of Seafaring Work

    Seafaring work is uncertain, demanding and, at times, dangerous. The pandemic has offered paramount, real-time lessons for the labour behind international trade and tourism. Workers deemed disposable steer the world’s flow of wealth, and Filipino overrepresentation in this sector is not accidental.

  • StatCan says 13% of Canadians aren’t working—but the true number is more like 30%

    Canada is already experiencing Depression-level unemployment. The true rate is 2.5 times higher than the ‘official’ rate — which itself is frighteningly high. We don’t want another Depression. To avoid one, we will need a long-term plan to mobilize investment, directly create jobs, and provide crucial services and infrastructure.

  • The Pandemic From a Lawyer’s Perspective

    If people in need had a right to be rescued by others who have more talent or more wealth, then the owners of the means of production might have to share their wealth. There would be a push toward honouring Marx’s aspirational slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. This is unacceptable to capitalism and will remain so after this pandemic is over.

  • Filipino healthcare workers are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic

    This pandemic has exposed Canada’s weaknesses and failings—in particular, how it has failed to care for the oldest and most vulnerable among us. Beyond flattening the curve, provincial policies must drastically change towards eliminating the disparities in Canada’s current publicly funded, privately delivered system that provides dysfunctional, two-tiered health care.

  • The Other Outbreak: Workplace Struggles During the Pandemic

    In the months ahead, Canadian employers and the political right will increasingly demand rollbacks, a fiscal reckoning for the emergency measures put in place, and a return to austerity. Preceding this struggle, however, is the current battle over workplace health and safety, workloads, staffing levels and the pace and intensity of work.

  • Struggles in the Shadow of the Pandemic

    The idea that a better world is possible can’t take hold if those who run the present one appear invincible. The pandemic has unleashed a crisis that poses the gravest dangers but opens up the real possibility of transforming the decades of defensive struggle against neoliberal attack into an offensive challenge to the whole capitalist system.

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