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Michal Rozworski: No shortcuts: Jane McAlevey on organizing that can transform unions and society

Today’s epsiode was recorded live at an event with union organizer and author Jane McAlevey in Toronto last week to launch her new book, No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age. I was honoured to share the stage with Jane and Stephanie Ross, who teaches in labour studies at McMaster, to discuss . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: No shortcuts: Jane McAlevey on organizing that can transform unions and society

Michal Rozworski: Elites debate boosting the economy, but for whom?

Elites and the talking heads in the media are arguing about how to respond to Canada’s soured economic outlook. Who should try to boost the economy, the federal government via fiscal stimulus or the Bank of Canada via monetary policy? But while elites argue amongst themselves, the overriding context is a transfer and concentration of […] . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Elites debate boosting the economy, but for whom?

Michal Rozworski: Podcast: The return of the modernist left

  In the past few years, what has been loosely called the modernist left has seen some revival. Whether coming out of the ultimate failures of the Occupy movement, dissatisfaction with moralistic lifestyle politics or an attempt to analyze the current conundrum of moribound but hegemonic capitalism, some have returned to the idea of the […] . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Podcast: The return of the modernist left

Michal Rozworski: Podcast: The return of the modernist left

  In the past few years, what has been loosely called the modernist left has seen some revival. Whether coming out of the ultimate failures of the Occupy movement, dissatisfaction with moralistic lifestyle politics or an attempt to analyze the current conundrum of moribound but hegemonic capitalism, some have returned to the idea of the […] . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Podcast: The return of the modernist left

Michal Rozworski: Uber and the Luddites

The fight against the sharing economy, and Uber in particular, can be disorienting. Opposition is often painted as techno-phobia. The good guys in this story are Uber and progress; on the other side are opponents afraid of flexibility and smartphones, kicking and screaming against a future already here. In many ways, this is like the […] . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Uber and the Luddites

Michal Rozworski: Having the hard conversations: Interview with Jane McAlevey

My interview with Jane McAlevey has been published at Jacobin. The podcast is available here. Due to a lot of upheaval in my personal life (moving and a new job), there was no podcast last week and this will have to do in lieu. Normal podcasting resumes next week!

Michal Rozworski: You’ve argued that organized . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Having the hard conversations: Interview with Jane McAlevey

Michal Rozworski: Podcast: Jane McAlevey on organizing to win today

http://rozworski.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Podcast150831-Jane-McAlevey.mp3

 

I’m very happy to have an extended interview with Jane McAlevey this week. Jane is a well-known US labour organizer and author. During the 2000s, she worked for the SEIU, organizing mostly service and care workers. Much of her work was in right-to-work states, places where the labour movement has had limited . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: Podcast: Jane McAlevey on organizing to win today

Michal Rozworski: The case for a $15 minimum wage the NDP should make

A piece of mine published in Ricochet yesterday, making the best possible case for a $15 minimum wage in federally-regulated industries. Here it is in full:

Of all of the NDP’s campaign promises so far, one of the simplest has gotten the most press: the $15 minimum wage for workers in federally regulated sectors. This . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski: The case for a $15 minimum wage the NDP should make

Michal Rozworski » Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: A labor journalism resurgence?

http://rozworski.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Podcast150803-Labour-reporting.mp3

 

As unions and workers suffered defeats over the past few decades, so has labor journalism dwindled from a mainstay of major media outlets across Canada and the US to a relatively niche reporting interest. The past few years, however, have seen a still small but noticeable resurgence of labor reporting. Large media . . . → Read More: Michal Rozworski » Political Eh-conomy: Podcast: A labor journalism resurgence?

Political Eh-conomy: Nope, Alberta still needs to raise the minimum wage

Last night, Andrew Coyne published a column in which he champions introducing a minimum income over raising the minimum wage as a radical policy suggestion for Alberta’s new NDP government. Coyne couches the column in his typical pseudo-contrarianism. Here he is supposedly advocating socialism…gasp! In reality, however, Coyne gets it backwards: a minimum income in . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Nope, Alberta still needs to raise the minimum wage

Political Eh-conomy: Calling capital’s bluff in Alberta

The votes had barely been counted in Alberta when stories purporting to herald capital flight, particularly from the oil sands, were already appearing in venues like the Financial Post. As if on cue, the TSX fell 2%,the day after the Alberta election. What are we to make of this? Is Notley’s Alberta in the position . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Calling capital’s bluff in Alberta

Political Eh-conomy: Minimum wage workers not the only ones getting screwed

I have a populist piece in The Tyee this morning on how last week’s paltry $0.20 minimum wage increase in British Columbia actually reflects stagnant wages across the economy and why the Fight for 15 is everyone’s fight. Here it is in full.

Last week, the B.C. government reacted to the increasing push for a . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Minimum wage workers not the only ones getting screwed

Political Eh-conomy: Some notes on precarious work

Here’s a few more notes on a point that seems to be made with increasing frequency: working for a wage has always been precarious. The current focus on precarity as a defining feature of our age is not unwelcome; indeed, its popularity shows that it clearly harmonizes with the everyday experience of many. The question . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Some notes on precarious work

Political Eh-conomy: Stagnant wages for over 80% of Canadian workers

Are wages in Canada stagnant or growing? The short answer is another question: do you live in an oil boom province? There’s a fairly common meme that while Canada, like the US, saw wages stagnate, this is no longer true. Indeed, overall wage growth has picked up since the last crisis.

“Stagnant real wages” is . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Stagnant wages for over 80% of Canadian workers

Left Over: Any Cardboard to Spare?

 

Affordable housing in Vancouver within reach: Michael Geller Michael Geller says innovative design and financing ideas are key to creating more affordable Vancouver homes

By Margaret Gallagher, CBC News Posted: Feb 02, 2015 7:29 AM PT Last Updated: Feb 02, 2015 7:29 AM PT

 

Yes, let’s crowd those poor people into . . . → Read More: Left Over: Any Cardboard to Spare?

Political Eh-conomy: Robots, migration and the future of work (Briarpatch Magazine)

I have a longer read in the newest issue of Briarpatch Magazine, which is dedicated to the world of work. If you don’t know Briarpatch, be sure to check out the other articles in this issue and consider subscribing; this is one of Canada’s oldest independent left publications and definitely worth supporting. My piece has . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Robots, migration and the future of work (Briarpatch Magazine)

Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Focus on China

https://politicalehconomy.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/podcast-141102-china.mp3

 

The focus of today’s podcast is China: its development over the past several years, the situation of workers and unions as well as future directions. To get some perspective second largest economy in the world and one still expanding at breakneck, albeit slower, pace, I spoke with two guests: Minqi Li and . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Political Eh-conomy Radio: Focus on China

Political Eh-conomy: On the hunt for good jobs

There’s lots of talk about “good jobs” these days. At the same time, the expectations for what makes work not only “good” but even a “job” keep falling. It’s hard to fight for better (and less) work in light of decades of defeat for workers as an organized force, years of lingering post-crisis fallout and . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: On the hunt for good jobs

Political Eh-conomy: Someone is making slightly more than you and this report says it’s time for it to stop!

Here’s a familiar refrain: “Someone’s wages rose faster than someone else’s: report”. This depersonalized version sounds about as cynical as it should especially since the first someone is usually not a CEO whose wages are actually rising faster than everyone else’s – it’s that fat cat across the street, like you know, the garbage collector . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Someone is making slightly more than you and this report says it’s time for it to stop!

Political Eh-conomy: Industrious immigrant vs idle Indigenous meets reality

Here’s a familiar trope: immigrants are industrious and hard-working. Here’s another, opposite trope: First Nations are idle and lazy. And here’s a graph that beautifully calls into question this neat pair of stereotypes.

Source: Angella McEwen, Progressive Economics Forum.

It turns out that off-reserve First Nations workers and recent immigrants face the same unemployment . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Industrious immigrant vs idle Indigenous meets reality

Political Eh-conomy: The pension fight: on the picket line or in regulations?

It’s relatively common knowledge that employer-run pensions have been scaled back over the past few decades. I’ve decided to dig some data on pensions for this post to see just how this has taken place in Canada, motivated by a just-released analysis of US pension reform that finds contradictions in how US workers have come . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: The pension fight: on the picket line or in regulations?

Political Eh-conomy: Supermanagers and the social psychology of wealth

By now, Thomas Piketty’s U-shaped graphs of wealth and income concentration are well known. What has received less attention are the differences between the last, early-20th-century inequality peak and today. One important difference is that the composition of wealth and income has changed: more of the income of the wealthy today comes from (ostensibly, at . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Supermanagers and the social psychology of wealth

Political Eh-conomy: On talking about priorities: Oil spills and teachers strikes

On the same day one week ago, teachers in British Columbia began a full strike and the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline was approved by the Canadian government. With such telling coincidences, it is hard not to juxtapose the two broad social conflicts in which BC has become a flashpoint: that over the quality of public . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: On talking about priorities: Oil spills and teachers strikes

Political Eh-conomy: Pension trade-offs and democratic deficits

Forget houses as a source of secondary income – that’s so 2007. After the latest recession, Americans are increasingly dipping into their retirement savings to fund on-going consumer expenses. Many private 401(k) plans have rules that allow workers to withdraw some amount of saved funds before retirement and such early withdrawals are on the rise.

. . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Pension trade-offs and democratic deficits

Political Eh-conomy: Hudak’s plans to cut teachers in statistics and politics

It’s election time in Ontario and that means graphs and statistics, facts and factoids, some stale, some new come out of the woodwork. Take the tweet below as an example, one that riffs on the old theme of an exploding public sector encapsulated in Tim Hudak’s promise to cut 100,000 public service jobs:

Hudak promises . . . → Read More: Political Eh-conomy: Hudak’s plans to cut teachers in statistics and politics