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Manufacturing crisis hits Brockville area hard

Ontario can now be considered to be in the middle of a manufacturing crisis. Over 300,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost in just a few short years; decent jobs that people can build lives, families and communities on. Those living in the Ottawa valley and Thousand Islands area felt the harsh impact of the so called Free Trade Agreement, with huge plant closures and job losses in the early 90's. Now round two is upon us.

Workers’ Control at Canada Post

Workers at Canada Post are facing an uncertain future. A quick glance at the publicly owned corporation shows that we’re sailing in troubled waters. We have a CEO who is hell-bent on pushing down wages and working conditions and privatizing the company. The Conservative government would certainly not put a stop to this. Canada Post itself has a massive bureaucracy that is incapable of doing anything quickly or efficiently. All the while, workers are being forced to sort and deliver more mail in less time. It is becoming abundantly clear that this model for a publicly owned company is a failure, but what is the alternative?

Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign launches in Canada

Over a dozen people attended a meeting on the recent fraudulent elections in Pakistan on a cold blustery Toronto evening. The meeting was hosted by Canadian supporters of the Pakistani Trade Union Defence Campaign (PTUDC), the first such meeting to date in Canada.

Organizing in the Retail Trade – Loomis Workers Gain Important Victory

Workers at Loomis Art Store in Vancouver recently won an important victory by organizing a union in the service sector. Some in the labour movement believe that service sector workers cannot be organized or that it is not worth the effort. Typically, the most oppressed, young, immigrant and women workers are concentrated in the service sector. Worker-organizer Kevin Bell details his experiences and shows that only a militant approach can win victory for retail workers.

Fightback Demands the Immediate and Unconditional Release of Alison Bodine!

Near midnight on Thursday September 13, 2007 Alison Bodine, political organizer and social justice activist was arrested by RCMP and Citizenship & Immigration Canada. Alison, a US-citizen, was arrested when she attempted to cross the border at Peace-Arch border crossing, traveling from Canada into the United States. She was handcuffed, detained, and her passport taken away from her, with no information given about the basis for her arrest, or the charges that she was facing.

Teamsters Strike at IKEA Richmond

On Monday August 20th, workers at the Richmond BC Ikea store hit the picket lines in their first ever strike. Teamsters local 213 members are on the picket line in what is turning out to be a very important strike. This struggle carries with it the possibility, not only to raise the living standards of workers at Ikea’s flagship store in Canada, but also to spread the union to other stores. It has the potential to deal a decisive blow to the two-tiered wage system that has been plaguing unionized retail workers for years. This battle must be won.

Vancouver Library Workers Fight for Pay Equity amid Wider Civic Strike

Vancouver is in the midst of a widespread strike of civic workers. CUPE Locals 15 (inside workers), 1004 (outside workers) and 391 (library workers) have been on strike for approximately four weeks, since talks broke down and the City bosses walked away from the table. For the library workers in Local 391, this is their very first job action. The city’s unwillingness to bargain, coupled with their flagrant hypocrisy around wages and benefits and painfully transparent spin leads us to believe that this will be a very long strike.

High strike rate and factory occupations in Canada

Today the major industrialized country with the highest proportion of working days not worked due to strikes or lockouts is Canada, the only OECD country with a higher rate is crisis-ridden Iceland. The high strike rate in Canada is now leading to further radicalisation as workers in the manufacturing sector begin factory occupations against plant closures. Canadian workers are setting the pace; the world will follow.

Canadian Auto Workers occupy parts plant in Scarborough, ON

Over the last 5 years, the Big Three automakers have laid off tens of thousands of autoworkers to protect their profits.  On 31st March, workers at the Collins & Aikman (C&A) parts plant in Scarborough occupied their plant when the employer refused to pay their severance package.  This occupation can be seen as a tremendous step forward for the labour movement in Ontario and Canada and a sign of things to come.

What Boom?... Ontario closures mean thousands more will lose their jobs

Daimler-Chrysler announced in mid-February that they were eliminating 2,000 jobs at their plants in Windsor and Brampton. This is just the latest assault against beleaguered Ontario workers. Not that long ago, many workers in Ontario enjoyed one of the highest standards of living in North America, gained from years of struggle and living in Canada’s financial and industrial heartland. Now, in capitalism’s period of decay, those gains have nearly disappeared and the situation looks to be getting even bleaker.