by Barry Weisleder
The sh*t has hit the fan. COVID-19 now afflicts multitudes. World War C. It has triggered the shutdown of all but ‘essential’ production, leaving millions without jobs and income. In Canada, the ‘value’ of stocks plunged more than $1 trillion in a month, severely undermining pensions and retirement funds. A record nearly 1,000,000 workers applied for employment insurance benefits just in the third week of March, compared to the usual 35,000 for that time of year. This is just the tip of a deadly iceberg. Economists predict up to 35 per cent unemployment, far above the peak joblessness rate of 27 per cent in 1933 during the Great Depression. It seems the term Recession just doesn’t cut it anymore.
And let’s be clear: the current economic downturn preceded the virus. It was already underway in December. GDP growth, capital profitability, capacity utilization, volume of working hours, etc., indicated the onset of a recession. In 2019, countries like Germany saw the lowest growth rates since 2009, the peak of the global financial crisis. In addition, mass layoffs in the global automobile industry were no longer simply the result of computerization or the transition to e-mobility, but reflected a slump in economic activity. Capitalism and crisis are inseparable.
Continue reading COVID-19 and Trudeau’s Sick Priorities
Join us this evening for a socialist perspective webcast on COVID 19! Starts at 7pm Toronto time!
Speakers include Dr. Robbie Mahood, MD, SA Montreal; Daniel Tarade, Scientist, SA Toronto; Basia Sokal, Postal Workers and former President of Winnipeg Labour Council; and Janna Pratt, Sasktel worker deemed essential and member of UNIFOR.
#covid19 #socialism #SocialistAction #capitalism #revolution #pandemic #generalstrike #NotDying4WallStreet
#socialism #revolution #trotsky #cdnpoli #workingclass #socialistaction #socialistactioncanada
The United Front with Socialist Action. Live video starts at 7pm Toronto time.
by Barry Weisleder
Dozens of activists gathered on March 8, or watched from afar live-streamed portions of the Workers’ Action Movement (WAM) Conference held at the Ontario Public Service Employees’ Union Toronto Region Membership Centre. The theme was “Fight Austerity, Precarious Work, Inequality and Concessions Bargaining! The alternative is Union Democracy and Class Struggle! No to ‘strategic voting’ for Liberals. Victory to PSAC! Seize GM and convert it to electric vehicle production. For a General Strike to Dump Thug Ford! Build on the gains of WAM at the OFL Convention. On to the Canadian Labour Congress Convention!”
The opening panel addressed “The State of the Labour Movement”. Speakers Sandra Griffith-Bonaparte, President of Public Service Alliance of Canada/UNDE Local 70607 in Ottawa, Nigel Barriffe, Toronto Teachers’ Executive Member, Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario, and Barry Conway, V.P. of CUPE Local 5167 in Hamilton, and past WAM candidate for President of the Ontario Federation of Labour presented the topic. A lively discussion ensued.
Kurt Young, member of Sheet Metal Workers’ union, and this writer, a member of the Substitute Teachers’ Action Caucus, OSSTF, spoke on the next panel “For an Action Program and a Rank and File Team to run for top executive positions at the Canadian Labour Congress Convention, May 4-8, Vancouver.” The text of my speech is appended below.
Continue reading WAM Fights for Change in CLC