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New Canadian International Labour 10-Minute

South Africa, a Dream Betrayed:
Understanding the Political Crisis in South Africa

Toronto – 20 April 2017.


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Since 1994, the political leaders of South Africa have attempted to solve the national question through the ‘de-racialization’ of the economy and society. How to remake the state without addressing the benefits and misfortunes of capitalism and racism in South Africa? The ANC-led governments linked the struggle against racism to the national task of creating and strengthening a black capitalist class. This was an integral part of their attempt at de-racialization within the class and property relations of capitalism. But the misfortunes of capitalism and racism in South Africa continue to take the form of mass poverty for the majority of its people. And in post-apartheid South Africa the wealth and privileges of the beneficiaries of apartheid have been protected even with apartheid's end. Only a tiny minority of blacks have entered into the capitalist class, often through connections to the state and the governing group.

The current government of President Jacob Zuma is witness to major brawls between rival elite factions, amidst growing corruption scandals. The historical alliance between the ANC, the SACP and COSATU is fracturing. Protests and demonstrations calling for Zuma to resign are growing. Out of this ruin, a new South African working class movement may yet emerge.

Eli Kodisang has been involved in South African left politics and struggle for almost thirty years. He was a local and national organizer and educator in various COSATU unions, and then moved to Khanya College, a left NGO that provides support and political education for community and informal worker movements. He is currently organizing informal waste pickers and completing a Masters in Education and Work.



Basic Income: A Way Forward for the Left?

Toronto – 13 April 2017.


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The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been championed by both progressives and conservatives. Not everyone on the left, however, is behind the idea. Is the UBI a means of redistributing wealth, attacking poverty and protecting workers from technological displacement? Or will basic income serve to advance an agenda of austerity and privatization? This important debate features two speakers speaking in favour of the left support for Basic Income and two against.

Opening remarks: Kikélola Roach, Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice & Democracy, Ryerson University. Moderator: Avi Lewis, The Leap.

Hosted in partnership with: OCAP, OPIRG-Toronto, OPSEU Local 586, Ryerson Centre for Policy Innovation and Public Engagement, The Leap, Unifor Sam Gindin Chair in Social Justice and Democracy.

Resources:



Allies at Every Stop

Organizing Passengers and Building Power


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The essential training for understanding what is at stake for transit unions, learning how to mobilize their members and riders, and learning how to mount campaigns to save jobs and the transit systems that our communities depend on.

These two videos are sections of a two-part on-line training course, produced by the International ATU, for use by ATU locals in the U.S. and Canada. The goal is to help members to build alliances between transit workers and transit users, to collectively challenge the common agenda of business and its allies to privatize, deregulate and cut needed social services (such as public transit), and attack the rights of those who deliver the service, in the transit unions. It includes one video that identifies the agenda, and features a discussion about who and what is driving it, as well as the commonalities workers across the board are facing. The second video concentrates on the nuts and bolts of how to build a common movement.

Resources:


LS #Date PublishedTitle 
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207. 2 March 2014 The Coup D'État in Haiti: Ten Years Later
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202. 26 January 2014 Book forum: Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan
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201. 19 January 2014 Trade Unions, Pensions, Corporations, and the State
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200. 12 January 2014 The Rise of Finance
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199. 5 January 2014 Anarcho-Syndicalism Burns, Taodhg and Marc Young
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197. 22 December 2013 Global Labour Migration
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196. 8 December 2013 Launching the Socialist Register 2014: Registering Class
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195. 1 December 2013 Socialism and Feminism Bakan, Abbie; Sue Ferguson
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194. 24 November 2013 Pension Funds and Privatization Mehra, Natalie; Brian O'Keefe; Graham Cox
Nearly all of the largest pension funds in Canada have moved aggressively into financing what they call infrastructure, or alternative asset classes that include various kinds of public infrastructure that have been either privatized outright or restructured into a partnership structure which, critics argue, produces guaranteed (and monopolistic) profits for private owners and managers of infrastructure, with many of the risks still borne by government or public sector entities.
193. 23 November 2013 Afghanistan: Perils and Possibilities Podur, Justin
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192. 10 November 2013 The Hidden History of Workplace Resistance: U.S. Autoworkers Speak Out Shotwell, Gregg; Sean Crawford; Scott Houldieson
Three prominent UAW shop floor activists (Sean Crawford, Scott Houldieson, and Gregg Shotwell) describe current life on American assembly lines and keeping resistance alive. Organized by the Labour Committee of the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly. Recorded in Toronto, 26 October 2013.
191. 3 November 2013 Fiduciary Duty: A legal shield for corporate capitalism? Weststar, Johanna; Simon Archer and Murray Gold
Session 3 of the "Pension Fund" series -- this panel focuses on those situations where trade unions have the power to name trustees to pension trustee boards, and examine more closely what the expectations are of both nominating unions and the trustees themselves.
190. 27 October 2013 Understanding Globalization Gindin, Sam; David McNally
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189. 20 October 2013 Trade Union and 'Progressive' Strategies Soederberg, Susanne; Jim Stanford
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