Workplace activism

In this special focus on workplace activism, Briarpatch looks at unions’ increasing use of social networking tools, assesses the prospects for the Canadian labour movement heading into a recession, travels with solidarity activists to Colombia and Haiti, asks why CanWest can’t take a joke, and more.

  • Magazine

    A SLAPP in the face for free speech

    There’s something particularly disheartening when a media corporation abandons free speech principles. Journalists are supposed to be the good guys when it comes to freedom of expression, right? Shouldn’t media managers, of all people, support these principles?

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    Haiti and the Canadian labour movement

    Trade union activists in Canada have initiated a project to deepen ties of solidarity with the people of Haiti and popular Haitian organizations. The Haiti Union Solidarity Fund was launched in January of this year by union members in the Canada Haiti Action Network.

  • Magazine

    Northern exclusion

    Nunavut, “our land” in Inuktitut, was the result of more than 30 years of negotiations and planning by the Inuit of the Eastern and Central Arctic. So why are these original inhabitants, the overwhelming majority of people in the territory, not the principal beneficiaries of their land’s economic development?

  • Magazine

    Canada does Colombia

    Canada is very close to jumping into bed with one of the worst human rights violators in the hemisphere, and almost no one seems to have noticed.

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    Union organizing 2.0

    The shift in people’s media habits away from top-down broadcast media like television towards more interactive network media opens up interesting possibilities for grassroots democracy and political organizing. Labour unions are increasingly taking notice, and beginning to adapt the technologies to their own uses.

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    Adventures in coordinated bargaining

    There are no prepared documents. There’s no agenda. Your job, along with the other hundred front-line members of the Ontario University Workers Coordinating Committee (OUWCC), is to set priorities for the sector for the next three years, to tackle obstacles to that work, and to look for concrete ways to build the group’s capacity.

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    Too little too late?

    Canadian labour leaders and activists will need to be proactive and creative in the coming months and years if they hope to avoid the fate of those Oshawa auto workers.
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    Liliany Obando

    Liliany Obando was arrested — in front of her two children and elderly mother at their Bogota apartment — on August 8, 2008 by the Anti-Terrorism Unit of the Colombian National Police.

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    The butterfly in the classroom

    At last fall’s University of Toronto conference on academic freedom, Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Teach, James Turk, executive director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, offered some useful reminders about the intersection of schools with free expression.

  • Magazine

    Economics for everyone

    Book review of Jim Stanford’s Economics for everyone: A short guide to the economics of capitalism.