Articles Labour

  • Canadian labour in crisis: the way forward

    Labour

    Unity does not come at any cost and trade unions should have the option of withdrawing from a central labour body on principled, political grounds, just as workers have a right to change their union if they feel their interests are not being served. Critical issues and principled class politics can legitimately divide central labour bodies and may even lead to the creation of several competing labour centres, as is the case in most parts of the world, where there is legitimate political basis for such splits.

  • Professional Sport as Sacrifice

    Culture

    Athletic labour provides an important part, although not the only part, of the emotional sustenance fans need. There is a tremendous cost to the athlete who performs this social reproductive labour. The body becomes so damaged that it is unlikely to ever fully recover its former capacities. The toll is also mental/emotional, for the loss of the physical capabilities that once served as the foundation for the athlete’s identity is profoundly dispiriting.

  • Fragmentation in Toronto’s Hotel Sector

    Labour

    Indeed, for hotel workers – largely immigrants, women, and people of colour – raiding is an expensive distraction that divides workers and gives employers an advantage. What several of these commentaries fail to acknowledge is that in the current structure of organized labour, fragmentation is actually the norm and unity is the exception. Fragmented union representation in the hotel sector is a prime example of this reality and has been this way for some time.

  • Workers strike back: Ontario’s minimum wage

    Labour

    The business backlash to the minimum wage increase has sparked a desire to broadly organize those in low-wage, precarious work, and to reform legislation so as to make that process more feasible. And while the developing news around UNIFOR’s disaffiliation from the Canadian Labour Congress could stymie the collaborate efforts of local activists to push back against the bosses, there is hope that a new era of organization might be just beginning.

  • Amazon Is a 21st-Century Digital Chain Gang

    Globalization

    When Amazon announced plans to locate a $5 billion complex as its second headquarters somewhere in North America, state governments fell over themselves offering billions in tax abatements and corporate subsidies to secure the prize. It might behoove the remaining 20 cities that have made the final cut to heed the warning from Virgil’s Aeneid: “I fear the Greeks, even when they are bearing gifts.” Especially when the gifts come in the form of a modern-day digital chain gang.

  • Crisis in the Canadian Labour Movement

    Labour

    On January 17th, 2018 the Canadian labour movement was plunged into a crisis with the exit of Unifor from the Canadian Labour Congress and the launching of raids on bargaining units of UNITEHERE Local 75. This open letter is intended as an urgent call for leaders in our movement, at every level, to strive to find a solution to this potential rupture before it becomes irreparable.

  • Skip the Dishes: Poster child for precarious work

    Labour

    Low pay and instability keeps workers wondering if there isn’t a better deal somewhere else. Capitalism from the beginning has been driven by monopoly, efficiency and the elimination of expenditure. The digital job brokers of the sharing economy embody that same ethos. So while companies like SkipTheDishes suggest the inevitability of indentured digital labour, it’s up to the rest of us to organize and demand a future where technology and work are not needlessly contradictory terms.

  • Precarious workers fight for their rights!

    Labour

    Unhappy about a potential loss of earnings and increased precarity, angry Deliveroo drivers gathered outside the company’s London headquarters to protest. Bosses maintained this new contract offered increased flexibility and opportunity to boost wages, but due to the over-employment typical of gig economy companies, workers feared they could end up earning less than half the National Living Wage (the United Kingdom minimum wage for workers 25 or over).

  • Why is Canadian labour so slow to support BDS?

    Human Rights

    In the South African anti-apartheid struggle, the tide turned when rank and file activists organized in union halls and on convention floors in support of the international boycott movement. Today, Palestine solidarity activists within the labour movement must come together, chart a strategy to educate, mobilize and organize workers to support the Palestinian people

  • Defending the rights of injured workers

    Labour

    The struggle for decent work and workers’ compensation are inextricably linked. We must fight for employment standards that treat workers with dignity and respect, and we must also struggle for workers’ compensation that supports people through their injuries. This is a powerful moment for the injured worker movement and $15 and Fairness to join forces in the rising tide against austerity.

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