By DAVID MACARAY - May 09, 2012
One of the criticisms you hear about organized labor is that unions are too adversarial in their dealings with management. They’re too belligerent. People tell you that instead of seeing themselves as management’s “enemy,” unions would be better served by seeing themselves as management’s partners, because, in effect, that’s what they are. Labor unions being regarded as partners? Working people being treated as equals? Wow, those are great ideas. In fact, they could be the basis of an excellent science fiction story.
Annually on May 1 in dozens of countries worldwide, labor commemorates International Workers Day. It's now called May Day.
By Syed Hussan, Mary-Elizabeth Dill and Abeer Majeed - rabble.ca
In the midst of increasingly brazen, concerted attacks here in Canada and globally under governments pushing austerity agendas, it becomes absolutely imperative that we understand the struggle for migrant rights as a struggle for worker rights. Just as in Haymarket and Winnipeg, a concerted response to austerity will have to be rooted in im/migrant communities.
By Clara Weiss - 27 April 2012
Thirty-seven workers and political activists have been put on trial following a brutal intervention by police on December 16 in the Kazakh city Zhanaozen, which left at least 17 striking oil workers dead and hundreds wounded...The massacre was a response by the government to a month-long strike by thousands of oil workers in Zhanaozen. The demands of the workers included better wages for themselves as well as for local teachers and doctors, and the resignation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
By Syed Hussan, Mary-Elizabeth Dill and Abeer Majeed - April 24, 2012
...Canadian austerity policies follow the same pattern as those of the United States, the U.K., Greece, Spain and other countries...These policies involve massive transfers of wealth: from public services to corporations, prison-builds and the military; from the rest of us to those whose policies and institutions lock us up, make us sick and keep us poor. Policies that slash public services are accompanied by a ratcheting up of repression mechanisms, attacks on the right to strike, and on activists and organizers struggling for a decent livelihood...
By Carl Bronski - WSWS
“The NDP’s readiness to support the Liberal budget is not a matter of being ‘boxed-in’ by parliamentary arithmetic. The NDP has at most minor, tactical differences with the Liberal austerity measures. It agrees with the Liberals that the budget must be balanced by 2017-18 and that this must be done principally through spending cuts — that is at the expense of the public and social services upon which working people depend and by gutting public sector workers’ wages, pensions and other benefits.”
By STEVE FRASER and JOSHUA B. FREEMAN - Counterpunch
Sweatshop labor is back with a vengeance...The privatization of prisons in recent years has meant the creation of a small army of workers too coerced and right-less to complain...Prisoners, whose ranks increasingly consist of those for whom the legitimate economy has found no use, now make up a virtual brigade within the reserve army of the unemployed whose ranks have ballooned along with the U.S. incarceration rate.
May Day represents many things to many people. It is internationally recognized as a day where the working class mobilizes against the rich, appropriately named the ‘real’ labour day. It is a time to remember the Haymarket martyrs who died at the hands of the state. It also represents a time of change, as plants begin to produce their first fruits. May first is also known as beltane, a pagan holiday celebrating renewed fertility and life.
By DAVID MACARAY - April 18, 2012
So what happens these days in developing countries when a prominent, charismatic union activist...attempts to get the country’s underpaid, under-benefited workers to join a labor union? Answer: They kill him...It was reported Monday, April 9, that the body of Aminul Islam, the charismatic and widely respected union leader of Bangladesh’s garment industry, had been found...dumped along a side a road in Ghatail, a town approximately 60 miles northwest of Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.
By Carl Bronski - WSWS
A recently released report from the Montreal-based Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP) argues that the wages of auto workers in Canada should be reduced by $10 per hour or about a third, in order to more closely align them with the country’s average manufacturing wage. The report comes in the lead-up to the opening of negotiations this summer for new contracts between the Big Three Detroit automakers and the Canadian Autoworkers union (CAW).
Student Movement in Quebec: Rousing Speech by CLASSE Spokespeople After Historic 200,000+ Demonstration on March 22nd
This speech (linked immediately below, with recently-added english subtitles included in the video itself) was given by the co-spokespeople (Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois & Jeanne Reynolds) of the Coalition Large de l'Association pour une Solidarité Syndicale Étudiante (ie., the Large Coalition of the Association for Student Union Solidarity), or CLASSE, following the historic demonstration on March 22nd, 2012 that saw over 200,000 people take to the streets of Montreal against tuition fee increases.
By DANIEL KOVALIK, GIMENA SANCHEZ-GARZOLI & ANTHONY DEST - April 11, 2012
...[D]espite continued anti-union violence, the high rate of impunity, serious impediments to union organizing, and the dire conditions faced by workers, President Obama is now poised to announce at the Summit of the Americas that Colombia has complied with the Labor Action Plan...If Obama goes ahead with his plans...to green light the [U.S-Colombia Free Trade Agreement], Colombian and U.S. workers will lose their last bit of leverage to stem the tide of anti-union violence and defend the rights of Colombia’s most vulnerable populations.
By Roger Annis - rabble.ca
Government attacks against worker rights and the social wage are threatening hard-earned gains and advances for workers in Canada on many fronts and in many incremental ways. In this two-part series, we will look [at] some of these struggles and what is at stake...Part 2 takes a look at what must be done if we are to protect individual, public and social rights in Canada.
By Roger Annis - April 12, 2012
Government attacks against worker rights and the social wage are threatening hard-earned gains and advances for workers in Canada on many fronts and in many incremental ways. In this two-part series, we will look at some of these struggles and what is at stake, with Part 1 focusing on the teachers' union in British Columbia, airline workers and the public pension.
By Adrie Naylor - Znet Commentary
One of the key political and economic goals of neo-liberal capitalism has been to individualize and re-privatize the responsibility for caring, socially reproductive labour. The social supports that are currently provided by the state, victories of previous waves of feminist and working-class mobilization, have long been targets for rollback. When Margaret Thatcher proclaimed, "there is no society," she was articulating precisely this neo-liberal logic: there should exist no support, no caring labour outside the family.