This issue of Briarpatch is about work. Our cover story takes a critical look at the growth of unpaid internships, which are fast becoming an obligatory rung on today’s shaky career ladder. First-time contributor Andrew Stevens looks at the threat of “right-to-work” legislation in Saskatchewan, once the home of Canada’s most progressive labour laws, and return contributor Dave Bleakney pulls no punches in evaluating the current paralysis of the labour movement.

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  • Magazine

    Letter from the editor

    If the trend toward casualized labour is not vigorously fought by labour activists, we can expect the working conditions of all workers to further deteriorate.

  • Magazine

    Trespassers on their own land?

    Economic development based on resource extraction and other high- impact activities continues at the expense of traditional Indigenous land-based economies. While military, oil and gas, and uranium industry development in traditional Dene, Cree, and Métis territories offers some wage labour, it displaces traditional labour such as hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering.

  • Magazine

    Interns unite!

    If decent, full-time work is getting harder to come by, the same can’t be said for internships, whether unpaid or barely paid. From street protests to online campaigns, the emerging intern activism is one part of the wider effort by fresh actors to reformat labour politics for precarious times.

  • Magazine

    A crisis in migrant health

    In an era of cutbacks – particularly under austerity reforms like reducing migrant wages to 15 per cent below median regional incomes – a long-simmering migrant health crisis is exploding.

  • Magazine

    Women take on the trades

    Newfoundland is trying to encourage women to enter the professional trades. It can be a daunting challenge for a field in which women account for only 6.4 per cent of the workforce.

  • Magazine

    Conventions of labour

    Labour movements were created by the collective dignity and expression of human beings who took risks and action against capital.

  • Magazine

    Left behind

    In the long term, the fate of CAW-unionized workers is going to depend on their ability to organize unrepresented parts and autoworkers. The wider the wage gap grows between unionized and non-unionized workers, the more concessions CAW autoworkers will have to endure.

  • Magazine

    Constructed categories

    If labour is imagined outside of wage work and governmental categories, it gives us the tools to further a more collective struggle against the living legacies of dispossession, colonization, and exploitation.

  • Magazine

    ‘Right-to-Work’ legislation provides no rights and no work

    Will the comprehensive changes to labour legislation that unfold in Saskatchewan be a model for right-wing parties across Canada?

  • Magazine

    Revitalizing the Canadian labour movement

    Rethinking the politics of labour in Canada offers a sombre yet honest analysis of the current situation of labour politics

  • Magazine

    Tragic yet hopeful tales of inner struggle and solidarity

    Rock Reject shares the chance to share the stories of the ghosts of Cassiar, tales of inner struggle and political solidarity that are tragic but ultimately hopeful.

  • Magazine

    Unions need to get to school, and soon

    Unions need to know more to educate young workers the basic facts about unions: that they lead to higher wages, better working conditions, and more job security.