• 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.

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    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.

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    ‘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?

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    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

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    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.

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    Why strike support isn’t enough

    In the current climate of government attacks on the public service and on collective bargaining across Canada, the need for community organizers to build relationships between workers is now, more than ever, an essential part of mounting an effective challenge to austerity.

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    United against austerity

    At the same time, the austerity assault continues in Toronto and across Canada with slashes to social services ranging from libraries to daycares, emergency services, and public transit.

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    Walking papers

    Kelly is tragically reliable. When she is laid off from her government job, she finds another, more lucrative, way to pay the bills.

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    Living the HyLife

    Over the past 40 years, increasing numbers of Prairie towns and villages are “dying” as people leave in droves to find work in the city. But aggressive recruitment campaigns by the hog industry are now re-populating and transforming the demographics of some of Manitoba’s smaller urban centres. What do these changes mean for these once-stereotypical Prairie towns and the growing populations of economic migrants who now call them home?

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    On to Ottawa in marvelous, meandering prose

    In June 1935, hundreds of unemployed men took to the rails in what was dubbed the On to Ottawa Trek. The Time We All Went Marching is the story of one woman on the cusp of change.

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    Same fight, new foes

    In the summer of 1962, Saskatchewan was beset by a doctors’ strike intent on preserving physician privileges and opposing public health care. Fifty years later, Canada’s medicare system is again under threat.

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    Meeting austerity with creativity

    In the face of drastic social service cutbacks, community organizers and volunteers are stepping up to fill the void. For the optimistic, this represents opportunity for building the capacity of communities to become more independent of the state. Others critique the impact this offloading has on longer term organizing for social change.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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?

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    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.

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    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?

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    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.

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    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.

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    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?