The Labour Movement and the Youth

by Rick Gunderman

In the midst of the capitalists’ economic crisis, organized labour in Canada has been seeking for several years now to reorient itself to meet the needs of the Canadian working class.

Canadian workers on the picket line

Attacks on the public sector include the imposition of a wage freeze in various jurisdictions, the designation of ever-more segments as “essential services” to undermine the right to strike, and back-to-work legislation. The response needs to be a determined, united and militant struggle of the working class. Continue reading

Debunking the Myth of the “Good Old Days”: Sexism, Racism and the Working Class in Canada After WWII, Part One

by Ryan Sparrow

Racialised and gendered work is a common feature of the development of capitalism. The need for a super-exploitable vulnerable group of workers is beneficial to the big business community as it helps bring about a much lower floor of wages and working conditions.

The historic 1945 Ford Strike in Windsor

In the post-war era, the overt racism and overt gender discrimination of workers was still around, although less prevalent.  Institutionalized racism and sexism, however, was still very widely practised.  Racialised and gendered labour therefore represented a super-exploited strata of the working class in the post-war era. Continue reading

CLC Welcomes Decision to Create New Union: Georgetti Says CEP, CAW Choosing Best Way Forward

Canadian Labour Congress

The President of the Canadian Labour Congress has welcomed a decision by the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada to create a new union along with the Canadian Auto Workers.

CLC President Ken Georgetti addresses delegates to the B.C. Federation of Labour’s 50th Convention.

“The members and leaders of the CEP and CAW are choosing the best way forward for their unions,” Georgetti says.

Delegates to the annual CEP convention meeting in the City of Québec voted in favour of a proposal to create the new union. Delegates to a CAW convention had earlier voted unanimously in favour of the same proposal at their August 2012 convention in Toronto. Continue reading

Unionized Workers Earn $5.11 More per Hour Than Non-Union Workers

Hamilton Labour Council

The Canadian Labour Congress has released a study showing that on average unionized workers in Canada earn $5.11 an hour more than do non-union workers. “That extra money in the pockets of individual workers means the union advantage is worth a cumulative $793 million per week added to our economy,” says CLC president Ken Georgetti.

The study, called The Union Advantage in Canadian Communities, shows the benefits that workers with unions bring to Canada as a whole, as well as 29 selected communities across the country. “Unions make a positive difference in the incomes and the quality of life of their members,” Georgetti says, “but beyond that they support a healthy middle class in Canadian society.”

Continue reading

PQ Minority Government for Quebec

by Johan Boyden

Quebec headed to the polls on Sept. 4 for a historic election. The Liberals, including leader Jean Charest, went down to defeat, as voters granted a slim minority government to the Parti Québécois (PQ) led by Pauline Marois.

Supporters of the Parti Quebecois celebrate their election victory

The PQ’s first act will be to cancel the tuition fee hike and abolish Law 78, which effectively criminalized the student strikers. Their platform also called to abolish tuition increases until 2018, eliminate the health tax, reconsider additional fees for Hydro Quebec usage, increase taxes and fees on natural resource exploitation, expand daycare spaces, and enact Employment Insurance reforms by repatriating EI to Quebec. Continue reading

Chicago Teachers Educate a Nation

People’s World

It was nine days that shook Chicago – and the nation. Twenty-five thousand public school teachers, guidance counselors, speech-language pathologists, social workers, nurses and other professionals, members of Chicago Teachers Union Local 1, stood up and said with one voice, “Enough!”

Rahm fix mess520x300

Left with no other choice by an intransigent Board of Education and a politically ambitious mayor, teachers took to the picket line, declaring that the strike was for the kids, the profession and public education everywhere. This was a strike that changed the city.

This red sea would not be parted

For those nine days, the city went red, symbolizing solidarity with the union. Mass protests felt like festivals with clever, and often funny signs (Rahm likes Nickelback), musicians – teachers and high school marching bands -playing drums, brass and woodwinds through the streets of downtown Chicago, chants and singing, passionate speeches describing the corporate-created problems in detail – and offering realistic alternatives, generations marching together from kids in strollers to elders with canes or in wheelchairs, banners from other unions, community organizations, parent and student groups waving to show solidarity. This was a red sea would not be parted. Continue reading

Submission on Bill 115 Putting Students First Act

Communist Party of Canada (Ontario)

September 6, 2012

The Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) calls on the Liberal government to withdraw Bill 115, the misnamed “Putting Students First Act”, as unconstitutional, an attack on free collective bargaining, an attack on the local autonomy and democracy of elected School Boards, and an attack on quality public education in Ontario.

If Bill 115 is passed, it will open up an attack on the collective bargaining rights of all public sector workers in Ontario, threatening the labour, democratic and civil rights of all citizens.

In the event Bill 115 proceeds to a vote, we call on MPPs across all parties who support quality public education to defeat it. Continue reading