As Canadian workers face down rising living costs on stagnant wages while corporate profits soar, the country’s financial press is raising the alarm over a coming “labor Armageddon.” Such a reckoning would be both unsurprising and fully warranted.
Mitchell Thompson is a writer, researcher, and occasional radio producer in Toronto.
Less than two weeks ago, Ontario education workers ended a strike and came to the table to negotiate with the province. Now, in a fight not just for wages but for classroom conditions, 50,000 workers are set to strike again on Monday if a new deal is not reached.
Due to walkouts and the threat of a general strike, Ontario’s premier has walked back a bill that would have robbed workers of the right to strike. But Ontario labor’s willingness to defend working-class livelihoods will be needed in forthcoming negotiations.
Canada’s former finance minister Bill Morneau has recently moved from cabinet to the board of a multinational bank. This business as usual is a reminder that Liberals are totally at home among Canada’s rich and powerful.
The dreaded wage-price spiral, the price hikes thought to be the result of wage increases, is the explanation for inflation preferred by bosses. The logic behind the idea is simple: bosses’ rights to profits can never, ever be infringed on.
Justin Trudeau’s Canadian government has eagerly embraced NATO’s new “strategic concept”: expansion. The strategy is a return to the Cold War — and a recipe for more frequent military conflict.
Even though most Canadians would prefer an elected head of state, Charles III is the country’s new king. But enduring monarchism does suit Canadian elites, whose worldview is sustained by the idea of inherited privilege and power embodied by the crown.
Justin Trudeau’s Infrastructure Bank is facilitating private investment in the water sector. But municipalities’ water systems will not be improved by the good-heartedness of private investors — they will take their pound of flesh by hook or by crook.
The wealth of Canada’s new billionaires is the result of speculation, subsidies, low interest rates, and leveraged investment. Money that could be used for the public good in this time of crisis is instead being hoarded by racketeers and profiteers.
The fight against renewed Progressive Conservative rule in Ontario will be an uphill battle. New Democratic Party MPP Joel Harden, hot off his reelection, is ready to rumble.
Attacks on universal public education are rooted in a belief that working-class children don’t deserve quality schooling. That’s the mindset of Ontario premier Doug Ford, who will keep up those attacks if reelected next week.
Canadian conservatives present their animus toward social spending as nothing more than fiscal prudence. But a review of the think tanks’ arguments informing this frugality reveals a deeply misanthropic racism.
Pierre Poilievre, backed by anti-vaxxers, crypto bros, and far-right populists, is the leading candidate for Canada’s Conservative Party. If elected, Poilievre, who has described Canada’s welfare state as “horrific,” will wage war on social programs.
Ted Byfield, the founder of the far-right Alberta Report, left an indelible mark on Canadian conservatism. He was responsible for emboldening the most racist and anti-worker elements of the Right.
Canada’s ruling class is fond of praising the Westons for representing an ethical form of capitalism. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The Westons made their fortunes by ruthlessly exploiting workers.
In New Brunswick, 22,000 public-sector workers are struggling against austerity measures put in place by Tory premier Blaine Higgs. His actions are a portent of the austerity measures to come in a post-COVID world.
For Canada’s third-richest family, the Westons, the pandemic has meant windfall profits. Now, workers at Loblaw-owned supermarket chain Real Canadian Superstore are threatening a strike for better pay and conditions.
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.
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.