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Labour

  • Safe jobs, fair pay and income recovery more important than ever amid COVID-19

    Workers ought to be made whole to mitigate their losses stemming from the current economic crisis. Systemic delays, inadequate resources, unpreparedness, crippled medical resources and, in some cases, outright indifference to the fate of hundreds of thousands of working people has compelled many to work in close proximity without adequate protection.

  • Disease and Direct Action: Organizing the Winnipeg General Strike and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

    The influenza outbreak experienced in Winnipeg over a century ago, described in detail in Esyllt Jones’ Influenza 1918: Disease, Death, and Struggle in Winnipeg, echoes many of today’s crises caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, but it also offers a rough guide for what may come next.

  • The Insanity of Making Sick People Work

    Coronavirus is putting extra burdens on workers, from health professionals to low-paid cleaning staff at the front line of combating infection. Yet many of these same workers don’t even have the right to sick pay – meaning they’ll feel compelled to work even if it risks spreading the virus.

  • Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

    Canadian economist and author Jim Stanford lists seven ways in which the evolution of work is reflecting a fundamental continuity with long-standing labour practices and relationships that are as old as capitalism itself. To improve the quality and compensation of work, we need to understand – and where necessary confront – those core features.

  • The GM Strike and the Historical Convergence of Possibilities

    The GM strike served as a reminder of two old lessons. Rank and file militancy is the foundation of working class struggles, yet it is not enough. And unions too – even the best of unions – though absolutely fundamental to workers having a more secure and all-round richer life, are by themselves insufficient.

  • A union of women’s hockey players looking for a league of its own

    The Dream Gap Tour of elite hockey players put the women’s game back in the news this fall. Some of the world’s best players — including more than 35 Olympians — played in the four-team exhibition tournament that travelled to Toronto, Chicago and Hudson, N.H. A few months earlier, professional women’s hockey seemed to be in crisis.

  • Canada’s Auto Workers: GM Closure and the Struggle for “Green Energy”

    The rationale that the wartime emergency made government ownership acceptable could be resurrected today. The possibility of producing electric utility vehicles at a nationalized GM Canada plant would open up truly exciting possibilities if we can get beyond our knee-jerk rejection of government entering the marketplace.

  • The United Auto Workers and the Big Three Automakers: A Tale of Corruption

    What follows is a somewhat complex tale of what happens when a labor union, structured to be unaccountable to the rank-and-file membership, embraces a system of labor-management cooperation rather than a class-conscious understanding that workers and their employers are adversaries with fundamentally opposed goals and desires. Unfortunately, what is true of the UAW is true for many US labor unions.

  • From 1919 to the Fight for $15: Working-class organizing in Winnipeg today

    As low-wage, marginalized workers, we are fighting the same fights that many who took to the streets of Winnipeg did 100 years ago. It is as clear today as it was 100 years ago that we need rapid and radical action to uproot the inequalities of capitalism. With Fight for $15 and Fairness, we aim to hold the door wide open and welcome people to the work of building a fighting workers’ movement.

  • German Unions and the Climate Crisis

    Despite all these positive developments within the union movement, Germany’s mainstream media continues to frame the emerging dialogue between Fridays for Future and the trade union movement in binary terms, as if the defense of jobs will inevitably act against the wider interests of the planet. This is exactly the narrative that unions need to explode.

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