Some 1,000 British Columbia General Employees’ Union (BCGEU) workers went on strike chiefly to obtain a cost of living allowance (COLA) to match inflation. More than 86,000 members of the BCGEU work in both the public and private sectors across the west coast province. The bargaining committee for the public sector component, representing 33,000 members, gave a 72 hour strike notice on August 15 after months of unsuccessful bargaining.
The global political situation is sobering, even dire, but its very volatility is pregnant with radically progressive potential outcomes.
Efforts to rebuild the New Brunswick New Democratic Party as a socialist, labour-based, working class party made considerable progress at a convention held at the Lions Club Community Centre in Moncton, July 22-24, 2022. It was the first NB NDP convention in five years. It attracted over thirty delegates, both in-person and online, plus several observers. In the struggle to organize and convene the gathering, the NDP Socialist Caucus played a leading role, spear-heading efforts to overcome resistance by the provincial NDP leader who resigned rather than comply with the party’s decision to proceed.
It was a mockery of workers' democracy.
The zoom conference hosted by the labour bureaucracy on June 20, it's so-called review of the June 2 Ontario election, along with a look at the future of the unions, allowed no grassroots workers to speak. Only a panel of NDP cheerleaders and labour hacks offered versions of the same opinion -- that it is necessary to work harder in order to win the next provincial election. If any further proof was needed, this echo chamber exercise demonstrated that there will be little progress until the conservative bureaucrats are replaced by class struggle militants, from the bottom up. The urgency of building a chapter of WAM in every union and allied workers' mass organization is very clear.
In this episode of The Red Review, brought to you by Socialist Action, Emily and Daniel talk with Isabelle Moreton of Brisbane, Australia. Isabelle provides analysis and commentary on various political struggles, including disability justice, queer and trans liberation. With the Labor Party winning the majority of seats in the recent election, who better to speak to about what this actually means for the exploited and oppressed masses in Australia and for the international labour and socialist movement. Expect a more banter-y conversation with striking similarities drawn between the Canadian and Australian political context.
The Socialist Action 2022 International Education Conference was held on Saturday, June 4.
In the lead-up to the June 2 provincial election, Conservative and Liberal leaders are scrambling to align with public opinion by professing ‘progressive’ policies. Tory Premier Doug Ford hopes voters will forget he spent years attacking workers’ rights, broke a teachers’ strike early in 2020, privatized nursing homes and grossly mishandled the pandemic. Claims by Liberal leader Steven Del Duca that he will hike funding for healthcare and education are belied by his record as a cabinet minister in the Kathleen Wynne government which watched hospital services and schools deteriorate drastically, and sold off Ontario Hydro for a pittance.
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
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.
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.
by Mark Freeland A strike mandate is needed for Toronto sewer workers as the current contract for Greater Toronto Sewer and Watermain Contractors will end on April 30, 2020. That agreement provided only a 3 to 4 dollar increase to…
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.
I want YOU to die for the economy!
1+1 Ep 123 Yuri & Barry Weisleder of Socialist Action Canada on NDP issues, NDP-Liberal Pact & covid
Toronto – After nearly two weeks on strike, the bargaining team representing roughly 160 LifeLabs couriers and mailroom clerks in the GTA has reached a tentative agreement with the employer.
If a majority of the 160 OPSEU/SEFPO Local 5119 members vote to accept the tentative agreement, the strike will be over. The vote will take place electronically on Saturday, March 26, and the workers will soon be sent the voting information.
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh found a way to avoid a federal election, and to gain a vague promise of health service reforms – likely at the cost of huge increases in military spending. The Liberal-NDP deal paves the way for Justin Trudeau to stay in power until 2025, at least. That goes to serve capitalist political ‘stability’ in the relentless march to climate catastrophe, growing social inequality and the horrors of inter-imperialist war.
In this bonus episode of The Red Review, brought to you by Socialist Action, Daniel talks with comrade Yvonne from Vancouver about what happened on the streets when the anti-mandate convoy came to town. This episode includes audio recordings from the anti-mandate convoy in Toronto.
Enjoy Socialist Action's wonderful webcast for the 2022 celebration of International Women's Day!
The technology of blockchain continues to gain in popularity. It’s been advertised as disruptive, even revolutionary. Proponents believe it will change the world economy for the better, making it a more fair and equitable place. From the rooftops they shout, “Decentralization! Immutability!”
But is the hype all it’s cracked up to be? Is this a fad destined to fizzle? Or, even worse, is the blockchain push just a smokescreen for something much more sinister?