Tags – Labour

  • Turning the tide

    A conservative majority and the coming wave of austerity

    The Conservatives won a majority in the recent federal election with a very simple core message. On the basis of their economic agenda and tough-on-crime program, Stephen Harper presented his party as the safe choice in difficult times.

  • Safer sex work

    The case for decriminalization

    “In my view the law plays a sufficient contributory role in preventing a prostitute from taking steps that could reduce the risk of such violence.” With these concluding remarks by Justice Susan Himel, the laws that kept sex work illegal in Ontario were struck down in November 2010. The ruling, however, has been stayed, pending an appeal by the federal government that’s scheduled to begin in June, 2011.

  • Letter from the editor

    Crisis and collective action

    This summer marked the 75th anniversary of the Regina Riot, a landmark in the history of Briarpatch’s hometown and an event with political reverberations well beyond the city itself. On June 3, 1935, at the height of the greatest crisis of capitalism in the country’s history, 1,200 striking workers departed relief camps in British Columbia aboard eastbound boxcars to deliver demands for employment and fair wages to the federal government of R.B. Bennett

  • Reinventing resistence

    How the mobile workforce is mobilizing

    Globalization has propelled neoliberalism across borders, not just as an ideology or system of commerce, but as the primary determinant of the daily realities of where people live, what they eat, how they work, and what rights they enjoy.

  • Discipline and punish

    Welfare, workfare, and the punishment of the poor

    The dream of a benevolent welfare state may live on in social work theory, conference papers and mission statements, but as far as front-line bureaucracy goes, welfare is dead. Only its image remains, as faint as chalk on a sidewalk. No longer even pretending to be a right or social safety net, social assistance has mutated into a series of manipulative tactics to prod and intimidate its clients into jobs that no one wants. In other words, welfare has become workfare.

  • Reorganizing the workplace

    Economic emancipation in 3 (not-so-simple) steps

    In a society where we must work to live, work is at the very core of our existence. Without work, we are deemed meaningless — non-citizens, outcasts. In the face of such dogmatic, almost religious, devotion, putting forward an alternative perspective on how to organize production and exchange seems almost heretical. It is no small task, but it is a necessary one

  • Pubs, pulpits and prairie fires

    Book review

    Between 1929 and 1935, the Great Depression triggered Canada’s descent into what remains the worst economic downturn in the country’s history. By 1935, the number of jobless had topped one million. On June 3, 1935, over 1,200 unemployed and single men from British Columbia relief camps left Vancouver to “ride the rail” to Ottawa and deliver demands for work and wages to the Conservative government of Prime Minister R.B. Bennett.

  • Reluctant renegade

    Why I quit my job and became a stay-at-home mom

    Four years ago I left my job and, overnight, became a “stay-at-home mom.” If I ever say these words out loud, my toes curl under. A stay-at-home mom is something I never expected, or aspired, to be. I had grown up thinking that my mother’s generation had blasted a hole through the glass ceiling, and I always thought I would waltz along the path they had cleared to the highest levels of my chosen field.

  • Letter from the editor

    At the borders of human rights

    I’ve undergone 19 years of schooling, but I’d say my real education came the summer after I finished my graduate degree. I spent that growing season, and the next, as part of a frontline literacy program in Ontario, working and living on farms alongside migrant workers from Mexico and the Caribbean, picking tomatoes and sweet corn, priming tobacco, harvesting ginseng.

  • Creative class struggle

    Gentrification and sex work in Hamilton’s downtown core

    Two downtown neighbourhoods in Hamilton, Ontario – James St. North and Landsdale – have recently been the site of several skirmishes in a gentrification war waged in the media, art galleries and on the streets themselves.