Defend Public Healthcare: Public Sector Unionization Grows

The composition of the abour movement has fundamentally changed over the last twenty years. The article below reviews dramatic changes in public and private sector unionization and some surprising differences that have emerged between Ontario and the rest of Canada. Potential for growth is possible, even in the public sector.Ontario has 1.3 million public sector ...

Alberta Politics: Unionization campaign at the National Post is steeped in irony, and not just because hell has frozen over

PHOTOS: A couple of strikers picket the Calgary Herald Building, proudly bearing its National Post sign, in 1999 or 2000. You’ll probably recognize one of them. The other is my friend, the late Brock Ketcham. The building is now for sale and its tiny journalistic staff is holed up, appropriately enough, in the single room ...

Michal Rozworski: What do we do when we Fight for $15

On this episode, three guests provide some perspective on the politics and the economics of the Fight for $15. First, I speak with Jonathan Rosenblum, campaign director at the first Fight for $15 at SeaTac Airport, just outside Seattle, Washington. Workers there won an immediate raise to $15 via a municipal ordinance in 2015. Jon is also an ...

Alberta Politics: Finally, early in the 21st Century, NDP braves Opposition outrage to drag Alberta labour law into the late 20th Century

PHOTOS: Alberta Labour Minister Christina Gray. Below: Opposition MLAs Greg Clark and Richard Starke, who contributed amends to the act passed in the wee hours of yesterday morning. In the wee hours of yesterday morning, the NDP MLAs in the Alberta Legislature dragged the province’s labour laws into the late 20th Century – with MLAs ...

Susan on the Soapbox: Bill 17: A Unicorn or a Chimera?

Last week the NDP government introduced the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act (Bill 17).  It’s intended to update workplace legislation that became increasingly outdated under Progressive Conservative rule. Premier Notley describes Bill 17 as a balanced middle of the road approach.  The Opposition is says it’s a “union-friendly omnibus bill” that should be split in ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Petty, Self-Serving Teachers Taking Sick Days

A timely local article (timely for what I’m going through) in the Record, discusses the horrors of teachers who are allowed to have paid sick days – or that’s how it’s being read by a vocal group of commenters. The facebook rants following it are so routine that the insults are having less effect, which is ...

A Puff of Absurdity: More Doctors and Nurses, Less Waiting

I went to the CCAC yesterday after my surgery on Tuesday – the Community Care Access Centre – an agency I only heard about when they had a local whistleblowing scandal a couple years ago questioning the decision to reduce case managers instead of front line therapists, and then more recently, when they spent money to send ...

Michal Rozworski: Neoliberalism restructures work and pensions

On today’s show, two sociologists talk about aspects of neoliberal restructuring. First, Nicole Aschoff, sociologist, author of The New Prophets of Capital and until very recently managing editor of Jacobin magazine speaks with me about the auto industry, Trump and why globalization shouldn’t be solely blamed for the destruction of good jobs even while it ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget

An Alberta-based volunteer working group, of which I’m a part, recently released a document titled Foundations for an Alberta Alternative Budget (for media coverage, see this Metro article).  Working group members include staff from Alberta’s non-profit sector, labour movement and advocacy sector. While our long-term goal is to emulate the great work of the Alternative ...

Views from the Beltline: Repeating history—the new need for unionization

For all Donald Trump’s failings, and they are profound and many, he deserves credit for one thing. He acknowledged the anger and despair of those Americans in the Rust Belt states and elsewhere who have seen stable, well-paid manufacturing jobs disappear in the millions. In their place are often low-paid, precarious jobs in the service ...

Views from the Beltline: Repeating history—the new need for unionization

For all Donald Trump’s failings, and they are profound and many, he deserves credit for one thing. He acknowledged the anger and despair of those Americans in the Rust Belt states and elsewhere who have seen stable, well-paid manufacturing jobs disappear in the millions. In their place are often low-paid, precarious jobs in the service ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Requiem for the American Dream

This is Chomsky’s last long-form documentary. It came out in January, but I hadn’t heard about it until recently. I paraphrased/transcribed the 72 minute video liberally with links to further readings below. It’s about the American Dream: the idea that you can be born poor but work hard enough for a home and car and ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Requiem for the American Dream

This is Chomsky’s last long-form documentary. It came out in January, but I hadn’t heard about it until recently. I paraphrased the 72 minute video liberally with links to further readings below. It’s about the American Dream: the idea that you can be born poor but work hard enough for a home and car and ...

Michal Rozworski: No shortcuts: Jane McAlevey on organizing that can transform unions and society

Today’s epsiode was recorded live at an event with union organizer and author Jane McAlevey in Toronto last week to launch her new book, No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age. I was honoured to share the stage with Jane and Stephanie Ross, who teaches in labour studies at McMaster, to discuss this important and ...

The Progressive Economics Forum: Ten things to know about the CPP debate

This fall, Canada’s Parliament will debate a proposal to expand the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).  And over at the Behind the Numbers web site, I’m co-author of a blog post titled “Ten things to know about the CPP debate.” The blog post’s other co-authors are Allan Moscovitch and Richard Lochead. Points raised in the blog ...

Alberta Politics: Never mind the evidence! Full speed ahead! An expert unpacks Alberta’s unending experiment in health care staffing

PHOTOS: Nursing professional responsibility advisor Joshua Bergman addresses UNA’s annual general meeting in Edmonton Wednesday (Dave Cournoyer photo). Below: Conservative premier Ralph Klein, whose government began the province’s long experiment in health care staffing mixes as part of an ideologically motivated attack on social programs. For nigh on 20 years, health care workers in Alberta ...

The Canadian Progressive: VICTORY: Parliament Repeals Harper’s Anti-Union Bills C-377 And C-525

The Trudeau government’s promise to repeal former prime minister Stephen Harper’s vicious anti-union laws is fulfilled as Parliament votes to adopt Bill C-4. The bill repeals Bill C-377 and Bill C-525, two of Harper’s most vicious laws. The post VICTORY: Parliament Repeals Harper’s Anti-Union Bills C-377 And C-525 appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Politics, Re-Spun: Jokers to the Right

It’s time we learn more lessons from Archie Bunker. While the right wing continues to become increasingly clownish, we need to go back to Norman Lear’s classic 1970s sitcom, All in the Family, to get re-acquainted with Archie Bunker’s willful embrace of ignorance and bigotry to learn where he’s coming from and how to protect ...

cmkl: Dear Canada Post, settle. Don’t be as stupid as I know you can be

Wherein I plead with Canada Post to do the sensible thing and settle. As if corporations are guided by rational thought. Read more

The Progressive Economics Forum: Working in the Homeless-Serving Sector

Over at the web site of the Calgary Homeless Foundation, I’ve reviewed an excellent new book written by Professor Jeannette Waegemakers Schiff.  The book is written for people who do ‘front line’ work with homeless persons. The link to the English version of my review is here, while the link to the French version of ...

Michal Rozworski: Podcast: Where is Quebec going after the strikes, where is Canada’s economy going after the oil crash?

http://rozworski.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Podcast160210-Canada-and-QC-updates.mp3   I have two Canadian updates this week. The first is from Nora Loreto on what’s happening in Quebec after the fall’s anti-austerity strikes. Nora is a Quebec City-based journalist and labour activist. She gives an account not only of what happened during the strikes in Quebec, but also what to expect in their wake (see ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Unions and Boycotts

The elementary schools in our board have decided to boycott the local paper because one columnist has been known to take a decidedly negative view of teachers. So a local MPP, Michael Harris, petitioned Sandals, the Education Minister, to… I’m not really sure what he wants her to do. But he wrote her a letter ...

The Canadian Progressive: Liberal government moves to repeal Harper’s anti-union bills C-377 and C-525

This week, the Trudeau government moved closer to fulfilling its promise to repeal Stephen Harper’s vicious anti-union bills C-377 and C-525. They introduced introduced Bill C-4, An Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act, the Public Service Labour Relations Act and the Income Tax Act, The post Liberal ...

The Canadian Progressive: Trudeau Government Blocks Harper’s Draconian Bill C-377

The Liberal government has announced what appears to be Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first step towards repealing Harper’s Bill C-377, a draconian law that sought to weaken Canada’s labour movement. The government has waived reporting requirements for unions under Bill C-377. The post Trudeau Government Blocks Harper’s Draconian Bill C-377 appeared first on The Canadian ...

Alberta Politics: Former Tory labour minister and deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk enters the farm safety fray with ‘Bill 6 Taskforce’

PHOTOS: Thomas Lukaszuk in the summer of 2014 when he was running for the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party of Alberta. Below: A group of farmers and their supporters unhappy with Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, protest the legislation at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton a few days ...