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Fernwood 2021/22 leaderboard

Labour

  • Alexa McDonough and the Third Way

    Alexa McDonough began and ended her time as federal NDP leader presiding over the defeat of a left challenge. Her record with the Third Way was not one of resistance or subversion, but of alliance and collaboration with the steady rightward march of the party. Rather than mend ties with organized labour, she made an open turn to the business class.

  • America’s new class war

    There is one last hope for the United States. It does not lie in the ballot box. It lies in the union organizing and strikes by workers at Amazon, Starbucks, Uber, Lyft, John Deere, Kellogg, the Special Metals plant in Huntington, West Virginia, the Northwest Carpenters Union, Kroger, teachers in Chicago, and the members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees.

  • Labor unions, environmentalists, and Indigenous people unite to defeat mining interests in Argentina

    A zoning law would have opened up the southern Argentinian province of Chubut to large-scale mining by multinational corporations. But the law was defeated in just five days by an alliance of environmentalists, workers, youth, and indigenous people. Their fight points the way forward for other movements around the world.

  • Swords into ploughshares

    Simon Black, lead organizer with Labour Against the Arms Trade, speaks to Sam Gindin, former research director of the Canadian Auto Workers and co-author of The Making of Global Capitalism (with Leo Panitch), about the promise of repurposing the Canadian arms industry’s resources for socially useful production—and winning a just transition for arms industry workers.

  • The neglected toll of violence against health care workers

    When health care workers call a Code White, it’s an emergency response for a violent incident: a call for help. But it’s one that goes unanswered in hospitals, clinics, and long-term care homes across the country. In this excerpt from their new book, researchers Margaret M. Keith and James T. Brophy expose a shocking epidemic of violence that’s hidden in plain sight.

  • No, unions aren’t job killers

    On Monday, November 8, Matthew Lau, a right-wing writer who works for the Fraser Institute and Montreal Economic Institute, wrote a piece titled “Conservatives are wooing unions and killing jobs as a result” for Postmedia’s flagship paper. The piece suggests that Canadian conservative parties have abdicated traditional right-wing economics by cozying up to labour unions. This couldn’t be more mistaken.

  • Loblaw sees ‘profit improvements’ in wage and benefit cuts

    Twice since the pandemic began, the billionaire CEO of Loblaw Companies Ltd. has risked job action by the company’s low wage workers in a bid to cut their $2 pandemic premium pay. More than just cutting costs, this is about keeping workers desperate or—in the company’s words, “flexible.” Desperate workers tend to tolerate wage cuts to make them more desperate still. Every cut won will be used to aid the next one.

  • Federal pandemic assistance on the chopping block—another way to ‘discipline’ workers

    The Trudeau government’s willingness to curtail Employment Insurance eligibility and throw unemployed workers off its key pandemic benefit programs, prior to employment even fully recovering, is a reminder that leaving people behind remains a feature of Canada’s social assistance regime—not a bug. Effective October 23, barring any unexpected intervention, Canada’s main support programs for workers thrown into unemployment by COVID-19 will end.

  • Bill Davis’s anti-worker legacy

    According to many pundits, former Ontario Premier Bill Davis deserves credit for having “ushered in Ontario’s modern era”—one marked by underfunded hospitals, schools in disrepair, and enormous restrictions on the rights of workers to organize. In the end, Davis did what he had to to remain in power and maintain the status quo as best he could. But that status quo always required keeping the working class down.

  • Time for craft brewery workers to organize

    It is imperative that the impetus created by the public response to the sharing of allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and discrimination within the craft brewing industry builds into an enduring movement that extends beyond the current moment. The possibility for a necessary shift away from a toxic workplace culture comes from the increased support and solidarity that a labour organization or union can provide.

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