"There is a new militant spirit in the American labour movement."
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October 15, 2021

Hey Shift Workers,

Yesterday, Good Morning America breathlessly declared "There is a new militant spirit in the American labour movement." U.S. labour organizers are calling it #Striketober.

In the biggest strike in two years, ten thousand John Deere workers walked off the job yesterday in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas to fight for better wages.

They follow 2,400 health care workers and nurses who are also on strike at Kaiser Permanente, as well as 1,400 Kellogg's factory workers.

On Monday, 60,000 IATSE film workers may strike for better pay and working conditions - which could also disrupt Canadian productions.

To keep up with labour activity in the U.S., check out Jonah Furman's newsletter Who Gets the Bird? Furman is also covering the John Deere strike for Labor Notes.

- Emily

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Top Headlines
Workers protest Doug Ford's rollback of Ontario's minimum wage increase in 2018. Photo via the Toronto Star.

  • The Canadian Labour Congress is calling for the Trudeau government to extend the Canada Recovery Benefit for workers - which is set to expire this week. Meanwhile, the business lobby is asking the feds to change the CRB to "ensure it does not incentivize workers to stay at home rather than returning to the labour force."

  • However, the Manitoba Court of Appeal also ruled the PC government "substantially interfered" with faculty bargaining at the U of M in 2016 when it gave administration a secret wage freeze mandate. The Faculty Association has been fighting the wage freeze ever since, and has a strike vote set for this weekend.

  • After a worker-led campaign, the Alberta UCP government has backed away from privatizing the Land Titles, Personal and Corporate Registeries.

  • After thousands of public sector CUPE workers attained a strike mandate for higher wages in New Brunswick, the PC government transferred 1,900 Licensed Practical Nurses to a different union - a move CUPE called "union busting at its worst."

  • More than 180,000 workers have left the restaurant sector. Most became white collar workers - and they're not coming back, a new CCPA study finds.

  • After months of intense negotiations and mediation, AUPE and the Alberta UCP government have reached a tentative deal. AUPE says all concessions are off the table.

New Organizing
Photo via Milton Transit.

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

Picket Shifts
Quebec daycare workers on strike. Photo via Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press.

  • Gig Workers Collective says it expects 70% of Instacart workers - in the U.S. and Canada - to walk off the job tomorrow in a bid for better working conditions.

  • BC hotel workers, members of UNITE HERE Local 40, remain locked out of Pacific Gateway and Hilton Metrotown hotel chains, fighting for extended recall rights.

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

Before You Go...
Divided: Populism, Polarization and Power in the New Saskatchewan via Fernwood Press.

  • Gig Workers United organizers discuss why fighting worker misclassification matters for the future of the labour movement on the Tech Won't Save Us podcast.


Shift Work Culture

On the inaugural episode of the Anti-Girlboss Socialist Club, Paniz and Tamsyn are joined by Rinaldo Walcott, a professor at the Women and Gender Studies Institute at University of Toronto. They talk about the university as a site of struggle, the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) industry, private property, and the connections between the three.

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