The Monitor, May/June 2023

The Labour Issue: Rebuilding the working class
May 1, 2023
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On International Workers’ Day, we celebrate the power of workers—together, we have the power to fundamentally transform the economy.

That’s why this issue of the Monitor focuses on labour power.

In his lead editorial, CCPA Senior Communications Specialist Jon Milton writes about the need to rebuild the working class in the face of persistent attacks on organized labour’s strength

And there’s cause for hope. For instance, Jon references CUPE education workers who stared down Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s threat to invoke the notwithstanding clause to stifle their right to fair collective bargaining. Workers galvanized and won that round. In this issue, Jon interviews Laura Walton, the union local’s president who led the charge.

In her article, “A transformational time for labour?” former trade unionist and Member of Parliament Peggy Nash writes about how union leadership is beginning to reflect the diverse faces of labour in Canada—and why that’s a welcome departure from the past

On that subject, we celebrate the changing face of labour leadership in this issue—they’ll tell you what leadership means to them. Hint: grassroots power.

We also champion the rights of migrant workers. In this issue, meet: Gabriel, a migrant worker from Mexico who works with broccoli, Jess, a migrant worker from Jamaica who worked with strawberries and is now undocumented, and Stacy, a migrant worker from Jamaica who works in fisheries. They’re telling their day-to-day reality like it is—and asking for our solidarity.

Syed Hussan’s “A chance to win permanent resident status for migrants” is a call to action: “Now is the time for unions, progressives, and working-class social movements to push the federal government to deliver on their promises for increased permanent immigration as a way to increase the power of all workers.”

Tom Slee and Thorben Wieditz write about how Uber workers are still getting the short end of the stick and how better regulations are needed. Read their article “Gig work tensions are not going away soon.”

Maxim Baru writes about how non-union workers in Canada deserve the right to collective action too—and how they might win that right.

Adam D.K. King writes about how new union organizing is putting employers on notice.

Jon Milton weighs in once again with a brief explainer on inflation-busting with union contracts.

CCPA Senior Researcher Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood’s “The 10 commandments of sustainable jobs” is a must-read for anyone pushing for a just transition for workers into sustainable jobs in our quest to combat climate change.

And if you’re looking for a reading recommendation, we highly recommend CCPA Ontario Senior Researcher Ricardo Tranjan’s new book, The Tenant Class. In her review of the book, Sahar Raza says this is a class struggle, not a housing crisis—and it’s time to pick a side.

Read that—and much more—in this May Day issue of the Monitor.