Politics and its Discontents: The Life And Death Of Worker Resistance

When it comes to jobs, we live in very precarious times, with fewer and fewer people securing full-time work with benefits. Paradoxically, union membership continues to decline, while right-wing propaganda about the evils of such associations flourishes. As a society, we seem to have lost the will to fight for something better. So what has ...

Politics and its Discontents: Walmart’s Shameless Anti-Union Propaganda

This epitomizes why I don’t shop at Walmart. A training film was released yesterday showing the shameless propaganda the corporate giant uses to discourage those entertaining the seditious thought of starting a union drive at one of their stores. Originally located on You Tube, the video has been taken down, but another site offers it. ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Cudgel Resurrected

To the red-meat crowd (a.k.a. the Harper base et alia), few things can seem more gratifying than an attack on unions. Viewed as the enemy of all that is good and holy (i.e., unfettered profits), unions, we are often told, have had their day and really shouldn’t be disrupting our lives anymore. Anything that restrains ...

Politics and its Discontents: A Bit Of Anti-Union Hysteria From John Ivison

It’s funny, isn’t it, that the Harper regime can use our tax dollars to monitor us, manipulate us, and promulgate all kinds of propaganda, but somehow it’s not right, indeed downright unholy, according to the National Post’s John Ivison, when unions fight back. Said journalist suggests Mr. Harper should consider calling an early election, not ...

Politics and its Discontents: Poilievre Declares War on "Radical Unions"

Posted by MoS, the Disaffected Lib: Pierre Backpfeifengesicht Poilievre has declared Conservative war on Canada’s “radical” unions and their electoral meddling. The Parliamentary Punk has sent out a letter asking for 5-dollar contributions to help the CPC fight back the union menace in the next general election. Poilievre has singled out Sid Ryan and the ...

Politics and its Discontents: Too Good Not To Share

This one’s for you, young Tim. H/t Union Thugs Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: A Day Of Rest

Once again in my neck of the woods, we are experiencing punishing cold, cold that is predicted to remain throughout the week, so it seems like a propitious time to take a day off, get caught up on my newspaper reading, and complete a really interesting book by Oliver Sacks called Hallucinations. In the absence ...

Politics and its Discontents: Walmart: Skirting Around Labour Laws

Excerpted from a slide on how management should speak to employees to discourage union talk. As reported by ThinkProgress, the above is but one of the ‘clever’ strategies for ensuring that the world’s largest retailer keeps unions out. As well, here is a sample of advice to management during a slideshow presentation. Entitled “Early Warning ...

Politics and its Discontents: Hudak’s ‘Truth’ Exposed For The Lie It Is

In response to an opinion piece written by Stephen Skyvington espousing the Tim Hudak canard that mandatory union membership is one of the reasons Ontario is faring so badly economically, Hamilton Spectator readers weigh in with insights of their own: Hudak is no friend of the workers Spectator readers fooled by Stephen Skyvington’s opinion piece ...

Politics and its Discontents: Oh Tim, Why Don’t You Stop Bothering Us?

When considering the political motivations of Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak, the boy who would be premier, there seem to be only two possibilities: he is either an indefatigable demagogue appealing to the same kind of folks (a.k.a. Ford nation) who blindly support Toronto mayor Rob Ford, or he truly believes the nonsense he ...

Politics and its Discontents: On The Minimum Wage And Tim Hudak’s ‘Bold’ Plan For Ontario

Continuing on with the theme of the minimum wage, which groups in both Canada and the United States are demonstrating to significantly increase, The Star had a good letter in yeterday’s edition that points out the hidden costs of having so many working for poverty-level remuneration. Fight poverty, boost wages, Editorial Sept. 18 The Star ...

Politics and its Discontents: Joseph Stiglitz On Income Inequality

Nobel Memorial Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz recently gave a powerful speech at the annual AFL-CIO convention in Los Angeles. Watching this video leaves one little choice but to feel a deep dissatisfaction with the status quo: Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: On Tasers And Tim

As usual, Star readers offer their penetrating commentary on recent events and the benighted Tim Hudak. Enjoy! 80-year-old woman tasered a day after rules changed, Sept. 4 I find it extremely disturbing that Peel Region police officers called to Thomas St. and Erin Mills Parkway on Aug. 28 around 3:30 a.m. were unable to “talk ...

Politics and its Discontents: Another Union-Busting Eatery I Will Not Patronize

Several days ago I commented on a story from The Star about the unsavory labour practices of Richtree Market, a Toronto restaurant that ‘closed’ its business, terminated all of its unionized staff, only to reopen this coming Monday a few doors down from its prior location. None of the old staff was rehired, and all ...

Politics and its Discontents: So Many Stories, So Little Time

Most days that I post a blog entry, I choose my topic based on my reaction to news stories. Today, two disparate pieces seem particularly noteworthy, one that confirms what all but the profoundly naive know about government, the other about yet again another police incident that, thanks to the blanket of secrecy that encases ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Struggle For Dignity

All of us have a right to respect and dignity. Many of us do not receive it. Having been ‘educated’ in the Catholic system at a time when the application of both verbal and physical abuse was regarded as proper corrective methodology, I experienced many times in my younger life situations where respect and dignity ...

Politics and its Discontents: On Tim Hudak’s Evangelical Political Fervour

Crazed clerics are not the only ones possessed of an evangelical fervour. Young Tim Hudak, leader (at least for now) of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, is well-known for wanting to bring back some of that old-time religion in the form of union-bashing and dismantlement, something he likes to describe eupehmistically as workplace democracy. Happily, ...

Politics and its Discontents: Is Pierre Poilivre Related To Joe Oliver?

They certainly seem to be singing from the same hymn book. Orwellian and hypocritical are inadequate descriptors of this little twit: And speaking of Orwellian, how else might one describe the “Working Families Flexibility Act?” The Harperites must be salivating. Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Porter Air, Pension Funds, and Invisible Strikers

Many years ago, in the midst of my teaching career, there was a movement by a group of us to try to get the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to divest itself from Maple Leaf Foods when it was in the process of reducing its workers’ wages in Burlington by about one-third, the threat being that ...

Politics and its Discontents: No Free Ride

I do hope young Tim Hudak enjoys this brief video, directed by Bruce McDonald: Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: Unions Are To Blame For Impeding Consumer Access To Low Prices

At least Fox News believes that is true. H/t Media Matters Recommend this Post

Politics and its Discontents: A Timely Reminder From Linda McQuaig

Fanned by a corporate-dominated media, it is hardly a surprise that anti-union sentiment seems to be rampant today. Everywhere we look, there are articles decrying the ‘unchecked power’ of union ‘bosses’ and strident rallying for more ‘workplace democracy’ and ‘right-to-work legislation,’ thinly veiled euphemisms for the ultimate dismantling of unions, and standard fare from politicians ...

Politics and its Discontents: Some Star Readers Respond To Anti-Unionism

I have to confess that my last few blog posts have felt singularly uninspired. I therefore yield to one of my favourite sources for perceptive analysis, the readers of The Toronto Star, who offer a panoply of thoughts on the dangerous anti-unionism trend evident in Canada at both the federal and provincial levels. All offer ...

Politics and its Discontents: With Some Ambivalence

In light of the unspeakable tragedy in Connecticut yesterday, in some ways it seems manifestly disrespectful to write a regular blog post today. Yet, to become paralyzed with despair over the evil in the world is not the answer either. Far better it is, in my mind, to try to confront and combat the evil ...

Politics and its Discontents: Workers of the World Unite- You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Union Shackles!

That perhaps might have been the call in Michigan yesterday, as it joined 23 other states in enacting so called ‘right-to-work-legislation’ that ‘liberates’ workers from mandatory union membership and union dues. Passed by a Republican-dominated House of Representatives, the new law was proudly proclaimed by Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger in the following terms: “This ...