Are Unions Obsolete?
Around the world, unions are in decline. For the first time since the 1960s, the proportion of Canadians who belong to unions has fallen below 30 per cent. Private sector union workers, once the bastion of organized labour, are down to 14 per cent. Those employees whose numbers are growing the fastest in Canada — the young, immigrants, the private service-sector wo… Keep reading…
Adapt To Change
I read the article “Organizing at a Crossroads” with great interest. I think the author, Bill Murnighan, might have been less pessimistic about the labour movement’s future if he were more familiar with the remarkable organizing momentum of unions such as UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers), the union I am interning with this summer. ... Keep reading…
Forget The Numbers
I should admit up front that, in 30 or more years of having a chequing account, I have never had a properly balanced chequebook. Numbers, columns, rows and totals all drive me crazy. What I like most about Bill Murnighan’s piece is that it’s forward-looking and balanced. We have the benefit of having watched what’s happened ... Keep reading…
10 Ways Bosses Break The Law To Try To Stop You From Unionizing
Canadian laws say that workers have the right to join a union, free from interference by their employers. But that is not the way it always works: employers regularly cross the line. Here are 10 common ways that employers break the law during organizing drives (and if they do any of the following, let your union representative know): ... Keep reading…
Pssst! Wanna Join A Union?
A Short Story About How to Unionize
Jenny worked in a restaurant franchise and was fed up with her low pay and the unfair way she was treated by her supervisors. Jenny got no benefits, either, which made it really hard for her when she had to go to the dentist. She and her co-worker Mohamed had complained to each other, and to their friend Serena, for months. At the restaurant where Serena worked, the employees had formed a union.Finally, Jenny’s frustration boiled over one day when she was having coffee with Serena and ... Keep reading…
Organizing At A Crossroads
A Good News, Bad News Story
For most of the last 10 years, management at the Freightliner Sterling truck plant in St. Thomas, Ontario, was none too pleased with the idea of the plant’s 1,100 workers joining a union. In fact, the company let its feelings be known, and organizing attempts were successfully fought off. But the plant is a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler, which, in the fall of 2002, was negotiating a new agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers union. The CAW found itself in a respectful negotiating relationsh… Keep reading…