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 ...

Michal Rozworski: Canadian economists support $15, media round-up

53 Canadian economists, myself among them, have signed an open letter in support of the $15 per hour minimum wage. The letter follows on the immense bottom-up campaign in Ontario led by the Fight for $15 and Fairness, which has successfully pressured the provincial government to announce a move to $15 by 2019. It should also be a ...

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 ...

Michal Rozworski: Four (more) arguments against real-world basic income

With the Ontario Liberals rolling out their basic income pilot project to much fanfare this week, it’s an opportune time to dive into the debates around BI once again. 1 Political aspects of unemployment A few weeks ago I attended a debate on basic income and left in Toronto hosted by The Leap. During the ...

Michal Rozworski: Women on strike in the US and Poland

For International Women’s Day, two interviews on women’s protests and strikes, in the USA and in Poland. My first guest is Barbara Smith. Barbara is an icon of the US women’s movement, particularly it’s Black radical wing. She helped establish Black women’s studies as a discipline, was a founding member of the Combahee River Collective ...

Michal Rozworski: Trudeau’s Growth Council is back with more bad ideas

Justin Trudeau’s friends in finance, consulting and big business dominate the grandly named Advisory Council on Economic Growth. A few months after recommending a giant privatization scheme, the gang is back with more ideas, many very good for them but very bad for you and me. The biggest news: a recommendation to increase the retirement age from ...

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 ...

Michal Rozworski: Elites debate boosting the economy, but for whom?

Elites and the talking heads in the media are arguing about how to respond to Canada’s soured economic outlook. Who should try to boost the economy, the federal government via fiscal stimulus or the Bank of Canada via monetary policy? But while elites argue amongst themselves, the overriding context is a transfer and concentration of ...

Michal Rozworski: Podcast: The return of the modernist left

http://rozworski.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Podcast160118-Modernist-left.mp3   In the past few years, what has been loosely called the modernist left has seen some revival. Whether coming out of the ultimate failures of the Occupy movement, dissatisfaction with moralistic lifestyle politics or an attempt to analyze the current conundrum of moribound but hegemonic capitalism, some have returned to the idea of ...

Michal Rozworski: Podcast: The return of the modernist left

http://rozworski.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Podcast160118-Modernist-left.mp3   In the past few years, what has been loosely called the modernist left has seen some revival. Whether coming out of the ultimate failures of the Occupy movement, dissatisfaction with moralistic lifestyle politics or an attempt to analyze the current conundrum of moribound but hegemonic capitalism, some have returned to the idea of ...

Michal Rozworski: Uber and the Luddites

The fight against the sharing economy, and Uber in particular, can be disorienting. Opposition is often painted as techno-phobia. The good guys in this story are Uber and progress; on the other side are opponents afraid of flexibility and smartphones, kicking and screaming against a future already here. In many ways, this is like the ...

Michal Rozworski: Having the hard conversations: Interview with Jane McAlevey

My interview with Jane McAlevey has been published at Jacobin. The podcast is available here. Due to a lot of upheaval in my personal life (moving and a new job), there was no podcast last week and this will have to do in lieu. Normal podcasting resumes next week! Michal Rozworski: You’ve argued that organized ...

Michal Rozworski: Podcast: Jane McAlevey on organizing to win today

http://rozworski.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Podcast150831-Jane-McAlevey.mp3   I’m very happy to have an extended interview with Jane McAlevey this week. Jane is a well-known US labour organizer and author. During the 2000s, she worked for the SEIU, organizing mostly service and care workers. Much of her work was in right-to-work states, places where the labour movement has had limited success in new ...

Michal Rozworski: The case for a $15 minimum wage the NDP should make

A piece of mine published in Ricochet yesterday, making the best possible case for a $15 minimum wage in federally-regulated industries. Here it is in full: Of all of the NDP’s campaign promises so far, one of the simplest has gotten the most press: the $15 minimum wage for workers in federally regulated sectors. This ...

Michal Rozworski » Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: A labor journalism resurgence?

http://rozworski.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Podcast150803-Labour-reporting.mp3   As unions and workers suffered defeats over the past few decades, so has labor journalism dwindled from a mainstay of major media outlets across Canada and the US to a relatively niche reporting interest. The past few years, however, have seen a still small but noticeable resurgence of labor reporting. Large media outlets, ...

Political Eh-conomy: Nope, Alberta still needs to raise the minimum wage

Last night, Andrew Coyne published a column in which he champions introducing a minimum income over raising the minimum wage as a radical policy suggestion for Alberta’s new NDP government. Coyne couches the column in his typical pseudo-contrarianism. Here he is supposedly advocating socialism…gasp! In reality, however, Coyne gets it backwards: a minimum income in Alberta today would almost certainly ...

Political Eh-conomy: Calling capital’s bluff in Alberta

The votes had barely been counted in Alberta when stories purporting to herald capital flight, particularly from the oil sands, were already appearing in venues like the Financial Post. As if on cue, the TSX fell 2%,the day after the Alberta election. What are we to make of this? Is Notley’s Alberta in the position of Rae’s Ontario 25 years ago, ...

Political Eh-conomy: Minimum wage workers not the only ones getting screwed

I have a populist piece in The Tyee this morning on how last week’s paltry $0.20 minimum wage increase in British Columbia actually reflects stagnant wages across the economy and why the Fight for 15 is everyone’s fight. Here it is in full. Last week, the B.C. government reacted to the increasing push for a higher ...

Political Eh-conomy: Some notes on precarious work

Here’s a few more notes on a point that seems to be made with increasing frequency: working for a wage has always been precarious. The current focus on precarity as a defining feature of our age is not unwelcome; indeed, its popularity shows that it clearly harmonizes with the everyday experience of many. The question is ...

Political Eh-conomy: Stagnant wages for over 80% of Canadian workers

Are wages in Canada stagnant or growing? The short answer is another question: do you live in an oil boom province? There’s a fairly common meme that while Canada, like the US, saw wages stagnate, this is no longer true. Indeed, overall wage growth has picked up since the last crisis. “Stagnant real wages” is yet another ...

Left Over: Any Cardboard to Spare?

  Affordable housing in Vancouver within reach: Michael Geller Michael Geller says innovative design and financing ideas are key to creating more affordable Vancouver homes By Margaret Gallagher, CBC News Posted: Feb 02, 2015 7:29 AM PT Last Updated: Feb 02, 2015 7:29 AM PT   Yes, let’s crowd those poor people into micro-style sardine tins, ...

Political Eh-conomy: Robots, migration and the future of work (Briarpatch Magazine)

I have a longer read in the newest issue of Briarpatch Magazine, which is dedicated to the world of work. If you don’t know Briarpatch, be sure to check out the other articles in this issue and consider subscribing; this is one of Canada’s oldest independent left publications and definitely worth supporting. My piece has ...

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Focus on China

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/podcast-141102-china.mp3   The focus of today’s podcast is China: its development over the past several years, the situation of workers and unions as well as future directions. To get some perspective second largest economy in the world and one still expanding at breakneck, albeit slower, pace, I spoke with two guests: Minqi Li and Cathy Walker. ...

Political Eh-conomy: On the hunt for good jobs

There’s lots of talk about “good jobs” these days. At the same time, the expectations for what makes work not only “good” but even a “job” keep falling. It’s hard to fight for better (and less) work in light of decades of defeat for workers as an organized force, years of lingering post-crisis fallout and ...

Political Eh-conomy: Someone is making slightly more than you and this report says it’s time for it to stop!

Here’s a familiar refrain: “Someone’s wages rose faster than someone else’s: report”. This depersonalized version sounds about as cynical as it should especially since the first someone is usually not a CEO whose wages are actually rising faster than everyone else’s – it’s that fat cat across the street, like you know, the garbage collector ...