PHOTOS: Unifor President Jerry Dias (Photo: Unifor Local 591-G). Below: Canadian Labour Congress President Hassan Yussuff and former Ontario Federation of Labour President Sid Ryan.Continue reading
The latest from the federal NDP’s leadership campaign. – Sid Ryan’s endorsement of Niki Ashton both answers one of the more persistent questions as toContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Charles Smith and Andrew Stevens examine how Brad Wall’s slash-and-burn budget is intended to exploit a crisisContinue reading
This and that from the NDP’s leadership campaign. – Among the coverage of the first leadership debate which I hadn’t linked before, Karl Nerenberg offersContinue reading
This and that for your Sunday reading.
– Saqib Bhatti and Stephen Lerner point out that the struggle for power between labour and capital is far from over, and that the next step may be to engage on wider questions of economic control:
For too long most unions defined their mission narrowly as winning higher wages and benefits for unionized workers without challenging how companies were managed or how capital was invested and controlled. Unions accepted that it was management’s job to run companies and the broader economy, and that the unions’ primary job was to get as much as possible for their members.
This still dominates labor’s thinking: we focus on income inequality but not wealth inequality; we focus on how to raise the bottom, but not how to stop wealth from concentrating at the top; we deal with our direct employers, but not those who really control the broader socioeconomic conditions in which our members work and their families live.
We have bought into the notion that the boss is entitled to endless profits and should be allowed to have control of the business and the economy as long as our members win incremental improvements in every contract. But that bargain no longer works.
(U)nions don’t typically enter into negotiations with the investors. They deal with their direct employer, even though in many major companies investors, even the CEOs, are ultimately constrained by the pressures put on them by investors.
Unions need to start looking to these actors higher up the food chain, to the people who control the money in the public sector as well as the private sector.
In the public sector, state and local officials accurately decry the fact that there is not enough money in public coffers to properly fund public services. However, the reason why there isn’t enough money is that corporations and the wealthy have waged a sustained war on taxes over the past forty years to avoid paying more.
Increasingly, these corporations are owned by Wall Street investors seeking to cut taxes in order to increase their return on investment. These wealthy few have a large part of their wealth tied up in the financial sector.
By trying to squeeze pennies out of public officials while letting the billionaires and bankers off the hook, public-sector unions are fighting with one hand tied behind their back.
– Gabriel Winant also offers a noteworthy look at the state of the U.S.’ labour movement. And Tom Parkin points out how a larger self-identified working class may be an increasingly important force in Canadian politics, while Sid Ryan comments on the state of the relationship between Canadian labour and the NDP.
– Mersiha Gadzo identifies plenty of the ways in which Justin Trudeau has combined a sunny disposition with the same dark actions we’d expect from the Harper Cons. But Nora Loreto argues that progressive activists will need to develop new strategies to address Trudeau rather than Harper.
– Finally, Sir Michael Marmot discusses the social causes of economic inequality, while pointing out the need to ensure a greater focus on all social determinants of health.Continue reading
This and that for your Thursday reading. – Jim Stanford discusses how the Trans-Pacific Partnership is renegotiating NAFTA – and taking away what little CanadaContinue reading
Given the odious, intrusive and likely unconstitutional nature of Bill C-377, the ‘private member’s’ bill covered with the indelible palm prints of Stephen Harper thatContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Jim Stanford writes that Tim Hudak’s combination of austerity and indiscriminate tax slashing represents a recipe for lessContinue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Jim Stanford discusses the OECD’s findings that job protection actually improves better employment outcomes – while “flexible” labourContinue reading
This and that for your Tuesday reading. – Michael Harris rightly points out that a steady stream of scandals and incompetence from the Cons saysContinue reading
Assorted content for your Friday reading. – Zoe Williams questions when being poor became grounds for deliberate discrimination and ritual public humiliation (h/t to MoundContinue reading
Assorted content for your Sunday reading. – Plenty of commentators are using the Labour Day weekend to discuss the place of workers in Canadian society.Continue reading
Assorted content for your weekend reading. – Jonathan Chait points out how the gap between the citizens hardest hit by a weak economy and aContinue reading
Assorted content to end your week. – Sid Ryan takes on the Harper/Hudak double-team effort to prevent workers from having any voice in our politicalContinue reading
Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading. – Sid Ryan rightly criticizes Tim Hudak’s anti-labour plans as a push toward poverty rather than prosperity. – ViaContinue reading
There’s been a showdown building at the OFL between recently elected president Sid Ryan and five of the affiliated unions that fund the labour federation and have all cut their dues payments forcing the OFL to layoff several of its staff. It also appea…Continue reading