Articles Labour

  • 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”

    Canadian Business

    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.

  • Transforming Capitalist Power: From the Streets to the State


    A purely extra-parliamentary politics has proven as unable to challenge capitalism from outside of the state as is any predominantly parliamentary politics from the inside. Indeed, it has been the case historically that both of these tendencies have not sufficiently heeded each other’s critiques, bending the stick so far in their own directions that they turn it into a dull boomerang capable only of glancing the arguments of the other side before returning to their own. Surely, this is the most narcissistic of weapons.

  • 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


    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


    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.

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