Category: Labour

  • Health Workers: From Praise to Protection

    Crises sometimes bring out the best in society, and sometimes – or even at the same time – they clarify what is so darkly wrong within. In the particular case of the commitments and risks taken by the front-line workers that we apparently value so deeply now, the contrast lies in how little they were … Keep reading »

  • Green Jobs Oshawa Virtual Press Conference

    Green Jobs Oshawa held an online Press Conference and Public Forum to highlight the desperate need for more PPE for our front line workers, especially N95 masks. We are calling on our governments to use their emergency powers to ramp up domestic production, starting with the obvious location of GM’s largely empty Oshawa facility. Watch video »

  • A New Lucas Plan for Post-Pandemic Socially Useful Jobs?

    Online forum on how worker-led industrial conversion can deal with the coronavirus pandemic as a model for the future. Watch video »

  • Cabin Fever: Hope on the Edge of Despair at YYZ

    New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman infamously defended globalization with the comment, “No, most of our political elite has not realised that the world is flat.” His beloved neoliberal globalization has indeed helped flatten our world as we are all reading this in some form of quarantine. With lightning speed our lives came to a … Keep reading »

  • Producing Medical Equipment for Social Need

    Expand Production to Include N95 Masks at GM Oshawa On April 24, the Canadian government announced a letter of intent to convert a portion of the GM Oshawa complex for the manufacture of much needed medical masks (personal protective equipment or PPE). Green Jobs Oshawa welcomed this important step forward. However, it soon became apparent that … Keep reading »

  • Following Mexico’s Worker Strikes, the US Steps in to Keep Border Factories Open

    In Washington, D.C., President Donald Trump is trying his best to reopen closed meatpacking plants, as packinghouse workers catch the COVID-19 virus and die. In Tijuana, Mexico, where workers are dying in mostly US-owned factories (known as maquiladoras) that produce and export goods to the US, the Baja California state governor, a former California Republican … Keep reading »

  • Coronavirus threat to women workers

    Will the Pandemic Set Women Back?

    By sapping demand for garments and other goods produced in export-oriented developing and emerging economies, the COVID-19 pandemic poses an acute threat to women workers and progress toward greater gender equality. In addressing the economic fallout of the public-health crisis, policymakers must tailor their response accordingly. In April, the International Labour Organization (ILO) predicted that … Keep reading »

  • COVID-19 and ‘Actually Existing’ Unions

    The shut-down of non-essential work in response to COVID-19 has decimated labour markets. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 20.5 million more workers lost their jobs in April, as official unemployment skyrocketed to 14.7%. It is the largest single-month increase in unemployment since the data series started in 1948. In Canada, the news … Keep reading »

  • The Coming Precarity: Employment in Canada after the Crisis

    The immediate impact of Covid-19 on the national employment landscape has been nothing short of catastrophic, with Canada suffering unprecedented job losses over the early months of the crisis. More than a million Canadians lost their jobs in March, and an additional 800,000 had their paid hours reduced by over 50 per cent (Evans 2020). … Keep reading »

  • Conversion as Strategy: From GM to Workplace Plans

    In February 2019, shortly after GM’s announcement that its Oshawa assembly operations would be shut down, Sting was in Toronto. He was performing The Last Ship, his musical about the closing of a shipyard in northeast England that resulted in workers occupying and taking the yard over. Unifor leader Jerry Dias grasped the potential of … Keep reading »

  • May Day: Workers’ Struggles, International Solidarity, Political Aspirations

    For more than 100 years, May Day has symbolized the common struggles of workers around the globe. Why is it largely ignored in North America? The answer lies in part in American labour’s long repression of its own radical past, out of which international May Day was actually born a century ago. Keep reading »

  • The Anti-Union Virus Inside the Emergency Powers: Lessons for Workers

    While the Covid virus weakens immune systems, it fortifies the anti-union animus of right-wing governments. When it was clear that there was no way the coronavirus was going to exempt Ontario from its ravages, Ontario had to react. The problem was that, even though Toronto had been one of the epicentres of the SARS epidemic, … Keep reading »