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NLR 2

Labour

  • Filipino healthcare workers are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic

    This pandemic has exposed Canada’s weaknesses and failings—in particular, how it has failed to care for the oldest and most vulnerable among us. Beyond flattening the curve, provincial policies must drastically change towards eliminating the disparities in Canada’s current publicly funded, privately delivered system that provides dysfunctional, two-tiered health care.

  • The Other Outbreak: Workplace Struggles During the Pandemic

    In the months ahead, Canadian employers and the political right will increasingly demand rollbacks, a fiscal reckoning for the emergency measures put in place, and a return to austerity. Preceding this struggle, however, is the current battle over workplace health and safety, workloads, staffing levels and the pace and intensity of work.

  • Struggles in the Shadow of the Pandemic

    The idea that a better world is possible can’t take hold if those who run the present one appear invincible. The pandemic has unleashed a crisis that poses the gravest dangers but opens up the real possibility of transforming the decades of defensive struggle against neoliberal attack into an offensive challenge to the whole capitalist system.

  • Under the Shadow of Contagion: Abuse of Filipino Workers in Alberta’s Largest COVID-19 Outbreak

    The outbreak has been blamed incorrectly on everything other than the employers, from a community conspiracy against authorities to the necessity of workers to carpool. Around 70 percent of workers at the Cargill High River plant, it turns out, are Filipinos; some of whom are recent migrants who were hired through the federal Temporary Foreign Workers (TFW) Program.

  • Canada’s Pandemic Response Threatens Worker Solidarity

    It doesn’t take careful analysis to determine that the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) was structured in a way that not only fails to protect the most vulnerable Canadians, but continues to sow the deep divisions among working people that have allowed capitalist interests to dictate Canadian policy and maintain power for more than a century.

  • Why the Response to COVID-19 Should Include Universal Basic Income

    With a UBI, Canadians out of work due to the pandemic would not be nervous about their prospects, knowing that their basic needs would be met. Life would go on–certainly with some trepidation and uncertainty, but Canadians would never fear losing their homes, being unable to feed their families, or terrified of needing to put themselves in vulnerable working conditions in the midst of a crisis.

  • Organizing the unemployed in Alberta: Lessons from past depressions

    The fate of the Unemployment Leagues will be familiar to any student of social movements. But just as their members cautioned it would, record unemployment is again about to return. If we as workers want more than an extension until the next reckless cycle can be set in motion, we need to take up the challenge posed by these prairie radicals, refuse to submit to the demands of capitalism and rebel against it instead.

  • The False Hope of a Pandemic Basic Income

    While we must embrace the most robust demands to win greatly improved and fully accessible income support systems in these harsh times, we don’t want inadequate solutions that extend a peace offering to the neoliberal order. We need radical alternatives and bold plans of action. The concept of a basic income fell short before this searing crisis and it has even less to offer us in the face of it.

  • Liberals’ COVID-19 support measures reveal crisis in Canada’s low-wage job market

    Inequality and class disparity have been on full display in the devastating coronavirus outbreak. On the one hand, Canada’s dependence on the work of undervalued and underpaid health care workers, cleaners and retail employees has been clearer than ever. On the other, these workers are bearing the brunt of the economic crisis. In March, one-third of workers earning $14 an hour or less became jobless or lost most of their hours of work.

  • 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.

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