By Peter Votsch “You don’t have a grievance” and “our members are apathetic” are two seemingly disconnected complaints heard at various times in unionized workplaces. A union executive delivers the first one to members seeking relief from an abusive manager or change in work rules. The other is muttered by local executives in frustration with Continue readingBuilding a strong union in the workplace: a few thoughts
By Ben Sichel A worker approaches a union staffer to discuss a problem in the workplace. The staffer has heard about this problem before. “We’ve brought this to the labour-management committee,” they sigh. “We can try to bring it up again.” The worker is disappointed. Is there something else we could do? Can the workers Continue readingBuilding a caucus to rebuild union power
About fifteen years ago, I was working with a union doing organizing work while on leave from my unionized job that I worked at to pay for my education. It was my first official role in a union other than being a steward on the floor. The union had paired ‘newbies’ with ‘experienced’ people. I Continue reading#MeToo in labour
Transcript of Rank and File Radio – Prairie Edition audio of Basia Sokal’s resignation at the Winnipeg Labour Council, Tuesday, March 19, 2019. (asides, audience reactions, some repetition, and speech fillers omitted). “I just wanted to talk about my report verbally. Normally, what I do is I report on what’s been going on in the Continue readingBasia Sokal Resigns as Winnipeg Labour Council President
By Denise Martins This week, the Ontario Federation of Labour will once again be debating whether or not to redefine young worker from “30 years old or under” to a vague definition that leaves it up to each affiliate to define. Young people need a labour movement that will stand up on their behalf more Continue readingYoung Worker for Life?
By Joe Fahey How many members attend your union meetings? And how do you feel about that? Whether it’s just a handful or a hundred, no activist is ever satisfied. But you can drop a whole load of frustration if you stop expecting a majority of members to travel to the union hall for a Continue readingBring the Union Meeting to the Members
By Joel Harden, CUPE 1281 At its best, the recent 28th Constitutional Convention of the Canadian Labour Congress demonstrated how far unions have come on Indigenous rights, Palestinian rights (more on that later), racism, queer or trans rights, mental health, and environmental justice. Delegates made passionate appeals to support these and other important struggles. Impressive Continue readingBeyond optics, towards politics: A report back from CLC Convention
By David Bush and Gerard Di Trolio On March 27, CLC Investigator Barry Thorsteinson submitted an 11 page report to CLC President Hassan Yussuff on the ATU Local 113 crisis. His report notes that with the March 17 withdrawal of Bob Kinnear’s request for the CLC’s justification proceedings, the case ends with the filing of Continue readingContentious CLC report on ATU crisis falls short
By Gerard Di Trolio With Donald Trump as President of the United States and nationalist and racist movements around the world gaining greater strength, now is not the time for the Canadian labour movement to fall back on nationalism. The crisis in ATU Local 113 demonstrates some disturbing trends. Rhetoric from Bob Kinnear and Unifor Continue readingNationalism does not equal workers’ power
By David Bush and Gerard Di Trolio On Wednesday of this week RankandFile.ca obtained a recording of a conversation between two executive board members at ATU Local 113, Tony Barbosa and John DiNino, occurring before the trusteeship. Both DiNino, who recorded the call, and Barbosa have confirmed the authenticity of the recording. In this conversation Continue reading“Who’s the big white shark?” A plot to raid the ATU?
By Mike Parker and Martha Gruell Membership meetings are not simply places for members to get information and cast votes, which could also be accomplished through newsletters and mail referendums. Meetings should give members a sense of power by bringing them together. They can see and feel that they are not alone, that others have Continue readingHow to make union meetings interesting and useful
By Alexandra Bradbury As of July 1, the challengers for Teamster leadership are officially nominated. Now their supporters are out seeking votes among the union’s 1.3 million members. Ballots will be mailed October 6 and counted November 14. The result will depend on how many hours volunteers spend leafleting at workplace gates—and how many phone Continue readingTeamsters United one step closer