November/December 2023 cover

The Labour Issue

In our annual Labour Issue, contributors write about work, unions, and the labour movement. Inside you'll find an investigation into the subminimum wage workers behind the newest AI technologies; a look inside baristas' fight to win a collective agreement with coffee giant Starbucks; an article on migrant workers push to unionize in the Yukon; B.C. labour advocates struggle for protections from extreme weather for front-line food-service workers; the dreams of disabled care receivers and migrant care givers on the future of home care; and more. 

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  • Magazine

    Labour against Big Tech

    As bosses and Big Tech push us to make every second productive, this issue’s articles show that we can take control of working conditions, from status for all, to a just transition, to Big Tech’s reach, if we’re willing to make those demands – and to act for them.

  • Magazine

    “Do it for yourself, your people, and your land”

    An interview with the judges of Briarpatch’s 13th annual Writing in the Margins contest: Helen Knott, Juliane Okot Bitek, and Kevin Settee.

  • Magazine

    How to start a worker-owned restaurant

    The Allium was a community hub with a vision for a more equitable service industry. Now closed, its success offers lessons for future worker-owned co-ops.

  • Magazine

    Inflation, bargaining, and worker power

    Workers are fed up with measly wages that don’t pay the rent while their bosses’ profit margins soar.

  • Magazine

    The battle to bargain with Starbucks

    Of the hundreds of unionized Starbucks locations in Canada and the U.S., only two have negotiated a collective agreement. Baristas fight against the coffee giant is just beginning.

  • Magazine

    The workers AI hides

    Behind the newest AI technologies are hundreds of Canadians labouring for a fraction of minimum wage.

  • Magazine

    Migrant workers’ fight to unionize in the Yukon

    Fed up with poor working and living conditions, migrant workers are organizing. The Yukon’s labour movement needs to step up and support them.

  • Magazine

    B.C.’s forgotten front-line workers

    Food service workers struggle under weak protections from extreme weather. B.C. labour advocates are fighting to change that.

  • Magazine

    Dreaming of home care futures

    Without a public home-care system, disabled people are forced to choose between living in a long-term care home, medical assistance in dying, and hiring an underpaid migrant home-care worker.

  • Magazine

    Media by and for workers: a reading list

    Not only do labour-focused publications and Labor Notes report on workers’ struggles – they help workers build a stronger labour movement. Here are a few articles for workers looking to organize more strategically.

  • Magazine

    Smash the machines

    As Big Tech unleashes new technologies increasing worker surveillance and eroding working conditions, workers can learn from the Luddites’ example.