It is important to recognize how much work and labour is at the centre of our politics. The rail strike, teachers disputes, crown strikes, coop, strikes in universities and colleges, and dozens of smaller regional strikes. Also, organizing going on across #cdnpoli #canlab
This is good as working people are voicing their anger after decades of cuts, wage freezes and clawbacks, pension clawbacks and others. Now we see work places that are so dangerous that CN workers have to strike just to be safe at work! #canlab
All of this suggests we might be standing at the precipitous of a new era of labour activity. That is good news as when workers are organized and willing to defend their rights, there are so many other benefits: more equitable division of wealth, more working people politicized
which historically means more working people entering political life, who challenge elite privilege. And because today’s organized working class are more diverse and willing to fight for more equitable public spaces, it can lead to greater democratization of public life.
For all these reasons, we need to understand these struggles and work to assist them. It would be nice to start seeing more dedicated labour reporting. Today we rarely find good reporting on work issues (the one, amazing exception is @SaraMojtehedz at the @TorontoStar).
Take the CN strike. The media have essentially fallen back to the talking points of right-wing premiers who care about “the economy” (which is code for supporting business at all costs) rather than ask hard questions about 1) why these workers are striking 2) what is the history
of this dispute and how dangerous is this work (it is really really really dangerous). And 3) why working people are fed up with always having to make concessions in the face of rising company profit. We need better coverage and better understanding. The stakes are high.
Working people are leading the way. I am looking forward to seeing where there struggle takes us. History suggests that when working people agitate for better lives, we all do better.