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Our Times 3

Labour

  • Canada Goose workers fight for fairness in Winnipeg

    Canada Goose Union is the latest iteration of a movement pushing for unionization among Winnipeg garment workers, calling out the luxury garment maker’s union busting practices, and shining a light on the hypocrisy of majority owner Bain Capital. For all the national pride associated with the “made-in-Canada” product, the company has been majority owned by the Mitt Romney-founded private investment firm since 2013.

  • Organizing in the face of crisis

    The pandemic will continue to shape our lives for a long time to come yet. However, even when it is finally behind us, the economic fallout and deeper problems of global capitalism will be left in its wake. As workers and as members of communities under attack, we are going to have to be able to assert the popular will through powerful and united social movements.

  • Indentured immigrants: Recent failures to curb migrant exploitation in Canada

    Desperate for sponsorship, Canadian newcomers often pay recruiters to find employment. This process can not only be costly, but it can lead to employment characterized by exploitation. With immigration targets set at record numbers, migrant exploitation will be more widespread in the coming years, enabled by flaws in current immigration policy and a lack of government oversight that make exploitation possible.

  • Learning from the mistakes of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike

    Strikes remain the most powerful tool available to regular people under capitalism, and the general strike is the most powerful kind of strike. Even if it takes a half century or more, it is better to begin today than tomorrow in working towards the point at which the working class “shall demand, not the half-loaf which is said to be better than no bread, but the whole bakehouse.”

  • Brian Pallister’s long war on workers must mark a new era for labour in Manitoba

    The Pallister government expects Manitoba’s workers to pull themselves up by the bootstraps while it actively steals their boots from under them. The labour movement has been losing its war with employers and the state since the radical wings of Canadian unionism dissolved. Reformism lacks the leverage needed to earn a seat at the negotiating table. A better world is possible, but it is achievable only through direct action from below.

  • Failure to protect essential prisoner workers undermines public safety

    As COVID-19 continues to rage and safety for essential workers remains a central issue, the Correctional Service of Canada must be held accountable for failing to protect some of the most vulnerable essential workers in the country—working prisoners. CSC policy is endangering those to whom they owe a “duty of care” and threatens to undermine public safety by exacerbating the pandemic.

  • COVID long-haulers and the plight of unproductive bodies

    The attitude towards COVID long-haulers exemplifies the treatment that the capitalist state has always reserved for bodies with disabilities. It also gives the lie to the appreciative and caring posture adopted by employers and the Canadian government towards frontline workers, and shines a light on the realities of a society that has historically stigmatized and marginalized those who cannot work for pay.

  • Stage left: Fighting precarity in the cultural industries

    For the past several years, worker organizing and strike action in the cultural sector have been on the rise throughout North America. While cultural workers with greater strategic leverage have carried out successful strike actions, those working in precarious situations have faced greater obstacles. This is particularly true for freelance and other arts workers with less stable forms of employment—which is to say the vast majority.

  • Grocery’s long war: Part II

    Following the corporate attacks of the 1980s and 1990s, and their attending defeats, grocery workers across the country ended the century in a workplace radically different from the one that existed several decades earlier. Workers who spent years making careers at supermarkets watched as their former world unraveled in a few short years and was replaced by a new low-wage, low-benefit, part-time reality.

  • Right-wing populism and the realignment of working-class politics in Canada

    We can expect the Conservative Party to wrap itself in the Canadian flag and fire-up the culture wars. The hotter it gets, the better, for Erin O’Toole. To respond to this political challenge, now more than ever, those on the left need to find ways to bridge the politics of recognition and redistribution—and to re-engage with working-class communities.

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