The History of Wildcat Strikes

The continued “maturation” of late-stage capitalism saw multiple societal trends intersect violently in the 2020s. The Covid-19 pandemic intersected with real-time climate collapse and ongoing state violence against Indigenous, black, and other racialized people, which triggered spontaneous mass mobilisations against these multiple oppressions. That spontaneous display of anger towards the status quo spilled over into the labour movement as well. With decades of neoliberal austerity and outsourcing, union representation in Canada has fallen to only 30%. At the same time, the pandemic killed off and disabled a record number of workers and forced even more into early retirement. Workers now wield more economic leverage while being less organised than earlier periods of labour struggle. This combination of material factors built up to “The Great Resignation,” where individual workers eschew any company loyalty to take advantage of a labour shortage to maximise individual gains. But bubbling under the surface of this hyper-individualised approach to bargaining with the bosses is a resurgence in strike action of multiple flavours. Unions in multiple sectors struck for safer work conditions, better pay, an end to two-tiered contracts, and more. Yet many non-unionised workers, particularly front-line workers, also stood up and collectively struck in illegal job actions known as wildcat strikes. Given historic levels of worker upheaval and societal crisis combined with low levels of union representation, it is imperative to understand the wildcat strike as a tactic. By looking at important wildcat strikes in North American history, from the Pullman strike of 1894 to the 2020 wildcat of Albertan healthcare workers, we will highlight important lessons for the labour movement going forward

May Day 2022 — Reds and Labour Take to the Streets En Masse in Toronto

On Sunday, May 1, 2022 Socialist Action spokesperson Daniel Tarade addressed hundreds of workers and allies at Toronto City Hall Square.  J.P. Hornick, the newly elected president of OPSEU/SEFPO, along with representatives of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, the Toronto and York Region Labour Council, the Canadian Union of Public Employees, an Indigenous activist and several socialist organizations also took the microphone. 

Signal Operators Walk Off Job at Union Station Rail Corridor!

96 signal operators with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) will walk off the job at midnight on Tuesday, Apr. 19. These workers operate and maintain the complicated system of tracks and switches around Toronto Union Station.

I won't cross their picket line and undoubtedly, other workers will also refuse.

In times of inflation and crisis, these workers are fighting for a fair contract. It's a fight that all workers benefit from, and we need to support them in this job action.

Toronto Sewer Workers Need Strike Mandate

The current contract for the Greater Toronto Sewer and Watermain Contractors will end on April 30, 2020.

That agreement provided only a 3 to 4 dollar increase to wages and benefits over a 36-month term.

The astonishing reality of capitalist-driven inflation: rapidly rising house prices, energy prices and expenses in all other industries reliant on the trucking supply chain, like fresh fruit and vegetables, have driven the day-to-day cost of survival beyond the means of a great part of the working class across Canada.

Privatization: The Vampire of Public Service

The word "Vampire" may seem harsh or macabre when speaking about economic issues, but when looking at privatization objectively, it becomes clear how striking the similarities are. Both feed off systems that are not their own, stealing what isn't theirs to grow fat and powerful. Both lie to lull you into a false sense of security, making their targets vulnerable and too passive to resist them. If privatization is a Vampire then austerity is the scent of blood that draws the predator in. In Newfoundland and Labrador, Canadians are facing another round of cruel and needless austerity.