By Mike Parker and Martha Gruelle The difference between a truly democratic union and one that follows a servicing model is stark when it comes to grievance handling. In a strong democratic union there may not even be many grievances; members organize to convince supervisors to stop violating the contract without having to use the Continue readingHow to Use Grievances to Organize
By Ellen David Friedman We know good organizers when we meet them. They’re accessible. They listen and show respect. They react calmly to all kinds of people, take their time to size up a situation, and engage people on their own terms. They brim with suggestions for action, but they’re open to new ideas. They’re Continue readingWhere do good organizers come from?
By Alexandra Bradbury “How can we get young workers involved?” That’s the question on everyone’s lips, with union density at near-record lows. Many unions have begun holding summits for young members or forming local committees, which is great. But too often they’re missing a step that’s more essential: don’t sell young workers out. When you Continue readingHere’s the Secret to Getting Young Workers Involved
By Daniel Tseghay When workers at the Original Cakerie in London, Ontario, who manufacture frozen desserts, showed an interest in joining the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, they prepared for the usual challenges to forming a union. However, these workers were also supposed to benefit from recent legislative changes in Bill 148, the Continue readingLondon employer flouts new labour laws during union drive
Sorry to Bother You (2018) Boots Riley, director and writer Annapurna Pictures 105 minutes Review by Patrick Corbeil Sorry to Bother You doesn’t do subtlety. Its comedy is broad and in your face, and the movie wears its inescapable political message proudly on its sleeve – or as enormous, sloganeering earrings in the case of Continue readingSorry To Bother You. See this movie.
By Doug Nesbitt Going viral this week was a video of a white man in a London, Ontario Sobeys grocery store blocking a young brown man from leaving the store. Pushing him and and threatening a “citizen’s arrest” for being an “illegal alien”, the racist attack is now being investigated by police. With nearly two Continue readingOrganizing against racist attacks in your workplace
By Auriana Fabricatore Fear is one of the most potent tools that bosses use against us. Fear that we’ll be disciplined, have our hours reduced, get fired—they rely on it to keep us from stepping out of line. By taking group action, workers can turn the tables and aim that fear back at our employers, so Continue readingHow We Marched on Our Boss
By Ryan Olds Marches on the boss come in different flavors. Some are spontaneous, as in Auriana Fabricatore’s story where a “mini-march” got great results. She was smart to encourage her co-workers to confront their manager immediately, while they were fired up with righteous anger—if they had set a date for next week, nervous jitters Continue readingPlan Your March on the Boss
By Bob Barnetson Last week, CBC ran an article with some preliminary data about how Alberta’s new labour laws are affecting unionization. In 2017, Alberta allowed organizing drives with the support of 65% or more of workers to be certified without a vote (called card-check certification). Previously, any organizing drive required a vote of all the Continue readingOrganizing increases in wake of Alberta labour law changes
By James Napier Unifor claims to be the “largest private sector union” in Canada. It would be more accurate to describe them as the largest union-raiding organization in Canada. Unifor now spends more time and money raiding other unions than they do organizing un-organized workers. Almost 60% of “new” members in the first 3 months Continue readingRaiding over organizing for Unifor?
Brad Walchuk On a cold and snowy February day, some 250 Teaching Assistants in the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 3902, one of the oldest teaching/graduate assistant unions in North America, held a rally in support of their bargaining team on the last day of negotiations before they expected to trigger a countdown to Continue readingNeoliberal campuses have millenials going union
By Doug Nesbitt, David Bush and Gerard Di Trolio For the last week Ontario has been ground zero over the struggle for a higher minimum wage. On Wednesday workers struck back against greedy employers and inequality with 17 coordinated protests across the province. The actions were directed at the most high profile offender, Tim Hortons, Continue readingBad boss, no donut: Workers strike back