Category: Labour

  • Digital Organizing Isn’t as Straight Forward as it Seems

    Over the past few years, digital organizing has become the hot new thing in unionization campaigns. Digital mobilization and engagement technologies have become essential to winning. However, while some unions have won remarkable gains utilizing these technologies, other unions have lagged behind, unwilling to embrace these new tools. Before the pandemic, I was already using … Keep reading »

  • The Electric Car Comes to Oakville

    A Closer Look at a Feel-Good Story Major auto bargaining has long been one of the most-hyped events in Canada’s labour calendar; historically rich in drama and closely watched for shifts in the flow of class conflict. Opening the latest round this summer, Jerry Dias, the head of Unifor, worked again to rev up interest in … Keep reading »

  • Not Completely a Company Town

    Peter Findlay’s documentary film Company Town provides a welcome opening to initiate discussion and debate about the closure of General Motor’s once massive (it had 23,000 workers at one time) and historically central auto and truck complex and supplier plants. Behind the film’s basic narrative is a countdown from the period between the announcement (November … Keep reading »

  • United Front or Bust

    People lie. People cheat. People steal. Some get punished. Some wind up taking the punishment for someone else. That’s the way of this wicked world. But a wise man once said that the prevailing ideology of a society reflects the ideology of its ruling class. So, when the president blatantly lies, cheats, steals and twiddles … Keep reading »

  • What Happened to PPE Production in Canada?

    Joint Statement on Domestic Production of N95 Respirators On August 21 the federal and Ontario governments announced major subsidies for 3M Canada to expand its Brockville plant, and starting in early 2021, to produce 50 million N95 respirators each year for five years. This is an important step toward addressing the existing shortage of this much … Keep reading »

  • Transit Workers Are Still Dying – With No End in Sight

    Though they’ve kept working in some of the most dangerous jobs, they’re now facing the prospect of furloughs and layoffs if there’s no more federal funding for transit. Keep reading »

  • Trade Unions Need New Strategies

    With employers on a decades-long offensive against labour, the balance of power which once secured social dialogue has been transformed. Keep reading »

  • Canadian Auto Workers Fight for Contract Transparency

    As bargaining at the Detroit Three automakers kicks off in Canada, union members are fighting back against a longstanding undemocratic contract ratification process. In an unprecedented development, the Solidarity Movement, a rank-and-file movement within Unifor, has launched a petition to demand full disclosure of the collective agreement before voting takes place. Since the launch in … Keep reading »

  • Political Openings: Class Struggle During and After the Pandemic

    For some on the left, the economic breakthrough brought on by the pandemic was the general consensus, not least among economists, for an astonishing increase in fiscal spending. Relative to the economy’s size, the stimulus introduced so far in the US is already double (in Canada triple) what it was during the 2008-09 crisis, with … Keep reading »

  • The GM Lands: Renaissance or Ongoing Catastrophe?

    Since 2010, the site of the former GM components plant on Ontario Street in St. Catharines has sat idle. The facility that once employed thousands was sold in 2014 to Bayshore Groups, a private land remediation company that later announced a $250-million redevelopment plan. But after having scrapped the plant and sold its parts, Bayshore … Keep reading »

  • Online Education and the Struggle over Disposable Time

    During COVID-19 times, the ‘social distancing’ catchphrase has invaded every aspect of our lives. Public space has been fragmented into individualized, quarantined units, transforming social relations into aggregates of their interactions. Unlike other pandemics of yesteryears, COVID-19 has given a tremendous push to technology to secure social distancing. In the field of education, the phenomenon … Keep reading »

  • Shocking but Not Surprising: COVID and Class

    A recent Toronto Star article, by Sara Mojtehedzadeh and Jennifer Yang, “More than 180 workers at this Toronto bakery got COVID-19,” and reproduced below, reveals a large COVID outbreak at FGF Brands, a major industrial bakery in Toronto, where 184 workers tested positive and one died. That outbreak began in mid-April, but we are only … Keep reading »