"Now more than ever, as go unions, so goes democracy."
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January 7, 2022

Hey Shift Workers,

"Now more than ever, as go unions, so goes democracy," writes labour organizer Jane McAlevey for The Nation.

These are words I am taking into 2022.

McAlevey explains how the collective bargaining process provides opportunities for political education to cut through far right messaging:

"[T]he majority of workers sit up and pay attention to collective action when their contracts are going to expire. And given the cynicism most people rightly have toward electoral politics, it takes contract and strike mobilizations to engage in meaningful political education about which set of politicians is connected to which set of corporate leaders."

McAlevey will host a new series interviewing labour organizers from around the world on January 27 to understand What Winning Looks Like.

- Emily

2021 in Review
Worker Struggles that Shaped Canadian Labour Relations in 2021
From the minimum wage, to precarious work to unemployment benefits, 2021 was a year of intense struggle.
Six Times Manitobans Forced the PC Government to Scrap Bad Legislation.
From wage freezes, to school board overhauls, to privatization, 2021 saw the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives introduce and then retract a host of bad ideas.
18 charts that show how we'll work and make money in 2022.

Another year of COVID and workers are no better off, argues Adam D.K. King for Passage's Class Struggle newsletter.

40% of workers went to work sick during the pandemic, poll suggests.

Class, COVID and the economy in 2022, via Spring magazine.

15 movement victories in 2021 you may not have heard about via The Breach.

CEO pay increased during the pandemic while workers lost their jobs, via The Maple.

24 key developments in Canadian labour and employment law in 2021.

‘They care about their plants and not us’: for migrant farmworkers in Ontario, COVID-19 made a bad situation worse

At a fork in the road on gig work, Ontario went the wrong way, argues Jim Stanford for the Toronto Star.

An inside look at how the COVID-19 vaccine mandate became the breaking point for TTC's largest union.

After Glasgow: Canadian Labour Unions Confront the Most Exclusionary COP Conference in History.

How casual workers won paid sick days at the University of Toronto.

Voting ends tonight at midnight for's 2021 Scumbag of the Year awards.

Top Headlines
Manitoba Rolling River School Division custodians were on strike over the holidays. Photo via CUPE.

  • Doug Ford’s temporary truce with union leader shows the enemy of my enemy is my friend, writes Star columnist.

New Organizing
Metrotown janitors ratify first collective agreement. Photo via SEIU.

  • Thinking of organizing your workplace? Here's what you need to know!

Picket Shifts
Concordia University Faculty Association member Linda Jo on the picket line.

  • Alberta's Concordia University Faculty Assocation walked off the job on January 4 for higher wages, setting a precedent for the province.

  • Quebec SAQ warehouse workers and CUPE members ratified a deal, ending weeks of strikes and winning higher wages.

  • 160 workers and PSAC members at the Office of the Auditor General of Canada have been on strike since Nov 26 for pay equity.

  • Napanee shelter workers and Unifor members remain on strike to address staffing levels and low wages.

  • Quebec Unifor members at industrial manufacturer Prelco are on strike demanding wage increases.

  • BC IG Machines and Fibres Workers and IAM Local 692 members have been locked out since July 12, 2021.

  • Alberta CESSCO workers and members of Boilermakers Local 146 have been locked out for over a year.

  • BC construction workers with IBEW 213 have been on strike for two years fighting union-buster Ledcor.

Before You Go...
Photo via Brano/Unsplash.

  • The historic Finnish Labour Temple in Thunder Bay tragically burned down.

Graphic via the Global Labour Research Centre.
  • January 20, 5 PM: Inside the movement to Organize Media and Culture: Labour journalist and author Sarah Jaffe hosts a virtual CWA forum on organizing in the media and cultural sectors, featuring worker-organizers from Canadaland Union, The New Yorker Union, The HuffPost Union, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Shift Work Culture
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