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Politics, Re-Spun: Vancouver’s Co-Working Co-op Stimulates Worker Empowerment

Tuesday night in the back room of The Tipper bar/bistro/restaurant on Kingsway at Victoria we are holding our Inception Meeting for a new kind of co-working space in Vancouver, one structured as a co-op.

You can read about the project in The Georgia Straight piece last week, and on the project webpage at Incipe, the . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Vancouver’s Co-Working Co-op Stimulates Worker Empowerment

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Recently, with the WEF spending the last few years acknowledging global income inequality is a problem, I’ve declared a kind of victory for the Occupy Movement: getting the lexicon on the 1% and inequality on the tongues of the sly gazillionaires who rule the world, and into mass consumption.

Now we see that the CEO . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Has Changed the Narrative, But We’re Not Done

Politics, Re-Spun: Honing In On Friday’s #WaveOfAction

We need to think about two things for this Friday’s Occupy Movement reboot in the Worldwide #WaveOfAction:

When thinking about pursuing social, political and economic equality, what is the list of things we need to change, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally? Who do we need to build coalitions with to listen to them, support them, . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Honing In On Friday’s #WaveOfAction

Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy IKEA’s #HouseRules

IKEA’s #HouseRules = union busting!

Oh, IKEA, you’d think you’d learn from all the past corporate attempts to create a Twitter hashtag to promote your brand, attempts that have been subverted by culture jammers.

Maybe IKEA will get away with this one, #HouseRules, but in the spirit of the Occupy Movement rebooting on . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Occupy IKEA’s #HouseRules

Politics, Re-Spun: Stop. Obeying. The. Rich. NOW!

Once upon a time, we were taught to envy and respect our “betters,” like the rich.

No more.

They’re taking our money and throwing us under the bus every day. And it’s not even just the super-rich or those in America, it’s the aspirational rich; they’re just as toxic.

This stops now, it’s time to . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Stop. Obeying. The. Rich. NOW!

Politics, Re-Spun: Yes, Your Parents’ Standard of Living Was Better

Ugh. We’re so much poorer than our parents!

Yes, your parents’ standard of living was better, so what are you going to do about it?

When I was growing up in the 1970s, most [maybe 80%?] of my friends had a mom who stayed home and didn’t work.

Over the last 40 years . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Yes, Your Parents’ Standard of Living Was Better

Politics, Re-Spun: Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage

Now, stop tolerating ignorance! And smile, TGIF.

Hello.

It’s Friday.

For many people it’s TGIF. But for many people who aren’t even teenagers, the work week isn’t ending today.

We often THINK minimum wage is for the new entries to the job market. Maybe it was one day. Maybe just for one day.

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Don’t Tolerate Ignorance About the Minimum Wage

Politics, Re-Spun: Do the Rich Think a Class War Isn’t Already Happening?

You’d think we were building guillotines. The rich, however, are starting to feel antsy and they want our pity and compassion.

Here are some of the ludicrous fears they are spilling out to the masses, to avoid a genocide against the rich:

It’s almost like there hasn’t already been a class war going on . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Do the Rich Think a Class War Isn’t Already Happening?

Politics, Re-Spun: Build Worker Solidarity Now or Suffer the Wrath of the 1%

Working people need to seek out solidarity opportunities.

Unions and unionized workers need to reach out to non-unionized workers and seek legislative improvements for all, like improvements to the EI and doubling the CPP and renegotiating the Canada Health Accord and expanding Medicare and getting a national pharmacare program and starting a national childcare program . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Build Worker Solidarity Now or Suffer the Wrath of the 1%

Politics, Re-Spun: SUPPORT: Auto Unions in the US and Canada are on a Roll

With all the union busting and union bashing going on by the 1% and their compradors in government, it’s nice to see the labour movement getting some traction.

The next few days in Tennessee and Ontario could move workplace democracy and the 99% ahead significantly, with thousands of new unionized jobs to support families and . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: SUPPORT: Auto Unions in the US and Canada are on a Roll

Politics, Re-Spun: Canada’s Growing Income Gap Between the 99% and the 1%

The rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer, and the gap between them is growing.

This is the test of whether we can be content in our complacency. Here’s why.

In 2010, a tax filer required an annual income of $201,400 to be in the top 1%. This was 37% higher than . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Canada’s Growing Income Gap Between the 99% and the 1%

Politics, Re-Spun: Capitalism: Swing Your Sledgehammer

It’s all about vision and hope, in an effort to envision how economics and markets can exist after the toxicity of capitalism is gone, gone gone. Are you up for it?

Last night, John Holloway, author of Crack Capitalism, was the SFU Institute for the Humanities‘ guest lecturer, skyped in from Mexico. He was full . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Capitalism: Swing Your Sledgehammer

Politics, Re-Spun: BC Is Actually “Missing” More Than 94,000 Jobs #SpinAlert

It’s not unusual to see unemployment rates of around 6-8% these days. But if you have always had the feeling that more than one in sixteen people is unemployed, you’re right. The capitalist machine likes to use that low number to avoid the greater reality that almost 30% of British Columbians from 15-64 are not . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: BC Is Actually “Missing” More Than 94,000 Jobs #SpinAlert

Politics, Re-Spun: Cheap T-Shirts Keep Harper in Power

Whenever I read stories about corporations wanting to do the right thing, I never hold my breath. Clothing corporations, the sector where “sweatshops” originates, want us to believe they care. They don’t.

Read what nonsense they are trying to peddle to get us off their back for exploiting people so we can have cheap t-shirts. . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Cheap T-Shirts Keep Harper in Power

Politics, Re-Spun: Come On, Let’s Really Increase Taxes on the Rich

Well, here’s something you don’t see [ever] in corporate media: a review of tax measures in the USA since the crash in 2008 that have succeeded in increasing taxes on the rich. And it turns out, tax increases that are regressive [sales taxes, etc.] or include the non-rich, seemed to fail quite . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Come On, Let’s Really Increase Taxes on the Rich

Politics, Re-Spun: Economic Growth? I Prefer Steady State

Economic growth suggests that infinite growth is possible. Even with a growing earth population and increasing climate breakdown, people still think we can continue growing.

I like using the seasons analogy to describe that human economic activity ought follow the cycle of seasons, with a steadying imperative. This is why I like the Steady . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Economic Growth? I Prefer Steady State

Politics, Re-Spun: Fried Squirrels

It’s a crisp, foggy November Saturday morning in the south side of the city. Seventeen people sit in the large open area at the back end of an organic fair trade coffee shop run by a workers’ co-op inspired by the Mondragon movement in Spain. Meet-ups like this are quite common in this shop.

The . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Fried Squirrels

Politics, Re-Spun: Practice CrimeStop: You Are the New Terrorist

Balloons are a threat to civil order. The police must protect themselves from you with riot gear. You are a bad person.

You. You enemy of the state. You radical environmentalist. Or worker rights advocate. Or whatever cause you are promoting.

You. You are a threat to order. When you gather, you are . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Practice CrimeStop: You Are the New Terrorist

Politics, Re-Spun: IKEA: Swedish for Discrimination Against Workers

Values, discrimination, the Swedish way: all these ideas are in the mix as stakeholders of IKEA’s treatment of workers express how they feel about IKEA’s plan to break its union in Richmond, BC.

We’ve been writing about this new front line in Canada’s war against workers for months now. But the members of Teamsters Local . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: IKEA: Swedish for Discrimination Against Workers

Politics, Re-Spun: Why the Rich Want You to Hate Your Union

Greed is a powerful thing. It motivates the greedy to convince workers that they should hate any efforts to make their work better and reduce the level of abuse and oppression they suffer.

If you’d like a list of why they want us to hate our unions, click through to enjoy this brilliant cartoon.

. . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Why the Rich Want You to Hate Your Union

Politics, Re-Spun: Untangling the Temporary Foreign Worker Knot

Banks as predators? Surely, no!

Temporary foreign workers have become a lightning-rod topic in Canadian labour in recent months with the high-profile news of the Royal Bank of Canada replacing staff with TFWs. But the issue is not about RBC, which is merely the latest flashpoint. The temporary foreign worker issue is . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Untangling the Temporary Foreign Worker Knot

Politics, Re-Spun: Labour Day 2013: Say Hello to the Pavement!

Workers in Canada and around the world have been under assault for decades, but most of our recent tactics to stop the bleeding have been ineffective. Are we lazy, complacent, overworked, obedient, compliant, subdued, afraid, docile, or fully tamed and intimidated by the one per cent?

If we don’t get a lot . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: Labour Day 2013: Say Hello to the Pavement!

Politics, Re-Spun: The Hudson’s Bay Retail Sweatshop

Sweatshops ‘R Us!

Ripping off employees by paying them less than a living wage [the Metro Vancouver 2013 living wage is $19,64], all to pad shareholder profits, is the glory of exploitative capitalism!

Long live capitalism!

Oh wait, what happens when your own employees can’t afford to shop at your own store?

That’s . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Hudson’s Bay Retail Sweatshop

Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Vs. Maquiladoras

Workplace justice: a pipe dream, or something to build solidarity to fight for?

I had the distinct, and creepy, pleasure of sitting in front of a group of fellows yesterday in, ironically, the cheap seats at the Seattle Mariners game. They were discussing business.

One fellow, who of course may have been speaking . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Occupy Movement Vs. Maquiladoras

Politics, Re-Spun: The Red Wings Fiddle While Detroit Burns

The new iconic photo of post-crash Detroit. Listen, can you hear the footsteps of Robocop?

We can’t really blame just the Red Wings. We have to blame the Tigers and the Lions too, but really the 1% who own them.

Detroit is bankrupt. Services will be privatized to privateer leeches. Human beings will . . . → Read More: Politics, Re-Spun: The Red Wings Fiddle While Detroit Burns