Articles Labour

  • $15 and Fairness Shakes Up Ontario

    Labour

    Workers in Ontario are now realizing that they can fight and win significant changes in the workplace. The union movement should double down on this victory by putting its resources into organizing, effective contract campaigns and properly funding campaigns that speak to the broader working class. Passively sitting back and waiting for the election would be a fatal mistake.

  • Fifteen plus: the minimum wage & austerity in Québec

    Labour

    At a time when the people of Québec have been repeatedly demonized in English Canada for being more susceptible to racism and Islamophobia, it is critical to remember how deep class politics runs in Québec. The fight for decent wages and working conditions is part and parcel of the “trampoline” of resistance to the capitalist agenda in Québec and the scapegoating politics of those who benefit from exploitation and racism.

  • Unions are critical in youth fight against precarity

    Labour

    But are established unions working hard enough to organize more precarious, low-wage workers? Many are criticized for wilting at the — admittedly great — challenge. But now, considering just how bad things are getting for these workers, the responsibility of the labour movement towards the most precarious and exploited is greater than ever.

  • Shortchanged in the restaurant kitchen

    Labour

    Cooking attracts passionate and skillful workers, but the discrepancy in pay between kitchen jobs and other skilled trades is staggering. According to Statistics Canada, certified entry-level tradespeople earn an average hourly wage of more than $22, six per cent higher than other occupations. Cooks work like labourers, yet earn an artist’s wages. A typical full-time salary barely tops $35,000 a year.

  • Would a maximum wage law work for Canada?

    Labour

    A maximum wage (like a minimum wage) is no panacea, failing as it does to address both the content and conditions of work or the overall way in which society’s wealth gets distributed. However, depending where it was set and how vigorously it was enforced, it could help to revive public finances and tame the trend towards galloping inequality.

  • Toronto’s ‘gig economy’ fueled by young workers starved for choice

    Labour

    Of the roughly 2,300 GTA residents surveyed, around one in 10 had worked in the gig economy at some point. Block called that figure small but significant — roughly equivalent to the percentage of people currently employed in the province’s manufacturing industry. Her research, conducted with CCPA Ontario director Trish Hennessy, identified 100 different businesses offerings services through online platforms in the region.

  • Fighting for union justice on the streets

    Labour

    In Windsor, Ontario, when the Downtown Windsor Business Improvement Association paid to install iron-spiked railings where panhandlers sit, the organization which called attention to it was the Street Labourers of Windsor (SLOW). They also took a stand when the city intended to install “care meters,” in which people can drop change, instead of giving directly to panhandlers.

  • What we need is a working-class politics

    Labour

    Is the labour movement better positioned today to influence and affect meaningful change than under Harper?There is no doubt that unions have much to celebrate with his defeat just over a year ago. The Liberal government has reversed the most offensive of Harper’s anti-labour legislation and, in rhetoric at least, seems to have a more positive relationship with the labour movement.

  • The Crisis in the ATU: Labour Shoots Itself in the Foot

    Labour

    Working class sovereignty can only have legitimate meaning if it starts with the Canadian rank and file as the final arbiters of changes in Canadian structures. It demands building the working class in both Canada and the U.S. through bringing more workers into unions rather than fighting over dues. And it means collectively struggling with how to reinvent our unions.

  • Bob White, Union Organizer, Union Leader: April 28, 1935 – February 19, 2017

    Labour

    The story of Bob White will only provide a living legacy if it inspires workers and unions to draw on elements of his achievements to figure out anew how, in this particular era, unions can once again mobilize their members and their communities and lead the more general struggles for equality, justice, solidarity and a more meaningful democracy.

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