November/December 2011 cover

Striking back

The right to strike has been steadily undermined in recent years by coercive labour legislation. What is the future of the labour movement’s most time-honoured tactic? Is it time for the labour movement to start breaking the rules, as government and industry have been doing for decades?

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  • Magazine

    Letter from the editor

    As the Occupy movement continues to gather momentum, this moment presents an opportunity to re-evaluate the role of unions in social transformation and look beyond the reactive task of simply defending the working conditions of their members within the capitalist system, to which much of the labour movement has become resigned.

  • Magazine

    Homeplace as revolutionary front

    Homeplace is where we are grown and raised into social beings, where we receive our earliest definitions of humanity, where we first learn to recognize love, violence, justice and pain. Yet it has persisted in our imagination as a private sphere of emotional and material dependence, rather than as a front in revolutionary struggle.

  • Magazine

    From the jaws of defeat

    Whether we are planning a short-term campaign or the theoretical work of long-term, widespread and systemic social change, the process of strategy development is the same. To begin developing a winning strategy, we must first ask ourselves: what does victory look like?

  • Magazine

    The end of the strike?

    Less than two months into their majority mandate, the federal Conservatives passed legislation that left the labour movement reeling. The Harper government’s use of back-to-work legislation to force an end to labour disputes at Air Canada and Canada Post was just the latest blow, however, to the labour movement’s most time-honoured tactic: the strike.

  • Magazine

    The confines of compromise

    Has the labour movement become comfortable in a reactive, and even survivalist, mode of operating? What would a labour movement that strengthened and encouraged resistance and militancy, rather than managed it, look like?

  • Magazine

    Crisis in care

    As the pioneer of privatized care in Canada, Ontario has opened the doors for a corporate takeover of long-term care homes, resulting in chronic understaffing by profit-seeking multinational providers.

  • Magazine

    Armed with knowledge

    The Labour Issues campaign is broadening the base of people who can speak confidently about these issues, organize their communities, and ultimately make demands on government – regardless of which party happens to be in power.

  • Magazine

    The teacher trap

    While teaching duties undoubtedly exceed those of child care, how can teachers defend themselves without participating in the downgrading of “caring professions” more broadly?

  • Magazine

    From worker to worker

    Since the 2005 call for solidarity from Palestinian trade unions and civil society organizations, unions all over the world have responded with resolutions and actions to break ties with Israel’s apartheid regime.

  • Magazine

    “The best game you can name”

    Fifteen thousand people pack the seats of the sold-out MTS Centre in Winnipeg. They cheer wildly as the home team Jets rush the puck up through the neutral zone. Cheers erupt louder still as shots are fired on goal, bodies slammed brutally into boards, and pucks are buried deep in the visitor’s net.