By Doug Nesbitt On Saturday, April 2, 900 workers went on strike at the massive Metro Distribution Centre in Etobicoke. The facility supplies all of the Metro and Food Basics stores between Windsor and Kingston, including the Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton and Niagara. That’s 10+ million people. It’s the latest fight by union workers to Continue readingLabour tensions are rising as inflation cuts wages
strategy & tactics
Increasingly, unions in Canada have embraced strategic voting as a preferred strategy to defeating Conservative politicians. But does it really work? While the specific calculus for strategic voting changes with each election, and the results are mixed at best, evidence suggests the strategy offers very little to the labour movement over the long term. Union-led Continue readingDo union-backed strategic voting campaigns really work?
An in-depth essay on the union response to Phoenix payroll crisis, and the challenges facing federal public service unions and their members.
By Gerard Di Trolio There has been a modest but not insignificant revival of the strike in the United States. After all, it is the ultimate weapon of workers and its decline alongside that of the American labour movement has had a disastrous impact on economic inequality and working conditions. Teacher strikes have been a Continue readingBook Review: Red State Revolt
by Lesley Jamieson President of the Kingston & District Labour Council The morning of Saturday, March 23rd, Andrea Loken (president of OSSTF Limestone local) got word from a reliable source that Doug Ford would be making an appearance in Napanee, a small city of 15,000 near Kingston, Ontario. This would be his one stop between Continue readingHow we kicked Doug Ford out of Napanee
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 Matt Noyes Union power requires democracy, that’s because unions need active members to be strong—and people won’t stay active for long if they don’t have a meaningful say. But “be democratic” is easier said than done. What does democratic organizing look like in practice? How can your efforts be made more inclusive? Start with Continue readingAre You Organizing Democratically?
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 David Bush The election of a majority PC government led by Ford in Ontario will unleash a new wave of attacks on public services, workers and the oppressed. It will be a familiar picture of austerity for the many and gifts for the rich, but couched in right-wing populist rhetoric of being for the Continue readingTaking on the Ford agenda
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 Doug Nesbitt The prospect of a Tory majority is looming. The last time the Tories took power under Harris, we responded with nearly three years of intense protests, including city-wide general strikes, a province-wide walkout by childcare workers, and a two-week illegal teachers strike. The Tories promised a better Ontario with the Common Sense Continue readingFour labour lessons from the Harris years
By Nora Loreto The thing about the Ontario Liberals is this: they’re clever politicians. They understand what is popular and how to win elections. When you’re a social movement activist, this means two things: it’s near impossible to force their hand in years two and three of a mandate, but in years four and one, Continue readingThe political anemia of the Ontario NDP will be their demise