Amazon tripled its profits during the pandemic while its workers experienced sickness and stress. Workers at the company are fighting back by launching a unionization drive that could reshape Canada’s labor movement.
Mitchell Thompson is a writer, researcher, and occasional radio producer in Toronto.
In the 1940s, Canadian workers were essential to the nation’s war effort, but the government and employers used the war to justify a clampdown on labor rights. In Windsor, Ontario, workers fought back, securing gains that lasted decades.
Canada’s federal election replaced a Liberal minority government, with nothing on offer for workers with . . . a Liberal minority government, with nothing on offer for workers. Neither establishment party offers working-class communities a brighter future.
Justin Trudeau has called a general election in the fall to give his Liberals a stronger mandate to shape the country’s post-pandemic future. But his promises of a just recovery shouldn’t be trusted.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are strengthening their commitment to tech entrepreneurialism as they scale back Canada’s COVID-19 benefits. This is not a road map to recovery; it is a path to austerity and precarity in the workplace.
Mining multinational Vale is trying to strip its workers in Sudbury of vital benefits using the pandemic as cover. They’ve responded with strike action, building on a long tradition of militant trade unionism in the region.
It’s a century this week since the Communist Party of Canada was founded. Historians often dismiss the party’s importance for the Canadian labor movement — but early on, it helped organize workers against steep odds.
There was an energized left bloc at the 2021 convention of Canada’s New Democratic Party. Svend Robinson, a veteran leader of the NDP’s left wing, spoke to Jacobin about the role NDP members can play in challenging the party’s centrist timidity and popularizing socialist ideas.
The COVID-19 support programs introduced by Canada’s Liberal government might seem like a break with neoliberal austerity. But while the pandemic still rages, the Liberals are putting profits above public health by trying to drive workers back into low-wage jobs before it’s safe.
The recent NDP convention passed several important left-wing motions, and Canada’s conservative pundits lined up to ridicule the prospect of a left turn by Jagmeet Singh’s party. Beneath the bluster, they’re clearly worried that left ideas have the potential to gain wide support.
Beneath the shiny rhetoric, Uber’s Flexible Work+ program is just another bid by the company to deny its employees their legal rights, like California’s Prop 22. For all its riches, however, Uber is vulnerable to a challenge from workers who know what they’re due.
A US firm, Positive Management Leadership, is teaching some of Canada’s leading businesses how to snuff out union organizing before it gets off the ground. Their investment in union-bashing shows how much those companies fear organized and empowered workers.