Articles Labour

  • Basic income: libertarian wedge or a plank towards a socialist future?

    Labour

    In recent years, the popularity of a basic Income (BI), has grown. Fittingly, the topic has garnered thoughtful debate and analysis from across the Canadian left, including in the Summer 2016 issue of Canadian Dimension, where the concept was explored both as potential policy, but also as part of a broader philosophical and ideological discussion.

  • Unifor and Big Three Bargaining

    Labour

    The militant demand that Unifor has advanced in these negotiations offers a challenge to the fundamental terrain of corporate power through mobilizing members to strike for investment, and should be applauded by progressives and seen for what it is: a victory for autoworkers and a basis for further mobilization. Ultimately, I remain convinced that workers know what they’re doing.

  • After big election promises, Trudeau Liberals sell a future without job security for young Canadians

    Canadian Politics

    The Liberals need to be clear with Canadians where their long term outlook lies. Is it with the election 2015 idea that we can offer a decent life for young workers, or is it with the idea that job security is a luxury we can no longer afford? After a year of observation, my suspicion is that the latter is their genuine belief, while the former was a tactical choice to win votes.

  • Big Three Bargaining: Different Ways of Making History

    Labour

    The time seemed ripe to lead a reversal in the labour movement’s trajectory – but this was not even tried. That failure defines what was in fact ‘historic’ about the 2016 agreement: it was not the highly overblown claims of the union’s achievements, but the confirmation of the end of the union’s leadership legacy within the labour and social movements.

  • Jim Naylor: The Fate of Labour Socialism

    Labour

    Professor James Naylor talks about his exciting new book: The Fate of Labour Socialism: The Co-operative Commonwealth Federation and the Dream of a Working-Class Future. The book is a fundamental reexamination of the CCF and Canadian working-class politics in the 1930s, one that will help historians better understand Canada’s political, intellectual, and labour history.

  • The sharing economy blues

    Labour

    Today, it seems like this interpretation of the Sharing Economy is everywhere, as journalists, pundits and politicians have lined up to praise its “innovative” promise. Yet is there something more sinister lurking behind the communitarian facade that so often accompanies descriptions of the peer-to-peer online sector?

  • The blind alleys of “Generation Screwed”

    Labour

    Much has been made about the experience of millennials in the contemporary economy. And this isn’t without reason: wages are low, education is expensive, housing is inaccessible and finding secure employment is increasingly difficult. There does need to be a discussion in our society about intergenerational inequality, including within labour unions and left movements.

  • More smoke than substance in Canadian plans

    Labour

    While media attention in the global North has focused on the Swiss referendum, some of the most interesting BI projects and plans are in the global South, from Brazil to South Africa. And not all are government initiatives. The GiveDirectly.org charity is planning on distributing a BI to 6,000 Kenyan villagers over 10 years in a historic program expected to cost $30 million.

  • Taking Basic Income beyond the market: The Unconditional Autonomy Allowance

    Labour

    The concept of a partially demonetized Basic Income disbursed in the form of vouchers for goods and services in addition to cash amounts in both national and local currencies is an interesting angle on Basic Income that warrants further consideration as a roadmap for how to “free our time and minds from subjection to capitalism” while moving in an ecologically sustainable direction.

  • A friendly disagreement

    Labour

    The Left has long been divided on the issue of Basic Income. The argument recurs every generation or so. In the last few years it has resumed throughout much of the global North, especially in the wake of campaigns and initiatives in Switzerland and Finland, for example. And the debate is now ablaze in Canada.

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