contemporary problems in the labour movement in canada

How the integrity of the process is safeguarded, and how top leaders around the CLC Executive choose to uphold that integrity will be a test to our movement and may be an essential element to resolving this crisis. Because at the end of the day, all politics are local. The real issue, But some beginning steps of rebuilding workers’ confidence through successful grassroots campaigns and bold organizing drives are occurring. Effective Labour Councils are crucial to the power of our movement. The labor movement made efforts to stop child labor, give health benefits and provide help to workers who were injured ( Riggs, 2015, p. 1484 ). There is no reason for other unions to avoid an honest discussion on what is their obligation if the removal of Unifor from councils and federations results in crippling those crucial central labour bodies. 5. The topic of union renewal is full of landmines, but absolutely necessary. The Labour Program is responsible for protecting the rights and well-being of both workers and employers in federally regulated workplaces. 3 Credit Hours Levels: Undergraduate 1. Members of Parliament, MLAs and MPPs are elected in local ridings. Students may not hold credit for both LABR 1290 (153.129) and the former 153.128. It is the largest in the country, with resources and membership larger than many provincial federations. This open letter is intended as an urgent call for leaders in our movement, at every level, to strive to find a solution to this potential rupture before it becomes irreparable. As unions we can help to educate and empower our members so … In that role I have been afforded the opportunity to meet with my counterparts in labour councils of all sizes, across the geography of this country. American-based international unions dominated and heavily influenced how Canadian labour was organised in the pre-war years. I have bargained with multinational companies and family-owned shops, with public sector bodies and politicians at every level of government. In 1900, the Federal Department of Labour was established, putting William Lyon MacKenzie King as the first Minister of Labour. •. That was won in 1974 after fierce controversy over Canadian autonomy and workers leaving their internationals to form Canadian unions. They respond to pressures from their local constituents, not just rallies on Parliament Hill or provincial legislature. In a handful of cases workers left to join another union in an orderly fashion overseen by the CLC. Sadly, that decade also saw a massive attack on the building trades across North America that devastated union density in construction. Our affiliates committed to campaigns that brought decisive victories on a number of fronts, from defending public services and industrial jobs to building a strong equity agenda and being a key component in the Bill 148 victory. Fortunately, we have a different history, which includes a commitment to coalition work and a social democratic party that, despite its flaws, has been crucial to the extensive social policies and labour laws we enjoy. All content ©1963–2021 Canadian Dimension   |   Top of page, US fearmongering on China not rooted in facts, but racism, COVID long-haulers and the plight of unproductive bodies, Canada’s SMR ‘Action Plan’ banks on private sector nuclear pipe dreams, Socialism for today’s NDP, and today’s Canada, ‘Canada Since 1960: A People’s History’ Winnipeg book launch, Getting ready for the Tory storm in Manitoba. What happens if another union is intentionally supporting the application, hoping to be the beneficiary of a displacement application? As the working class of this country becomes truly multi-racial in every region, we have to examine the urgency of achieving equity within every institution in this country, including our own. I have a deep foreboding of where this division can lead. In a handful of cases workers left to join another union in an orderly fashion overseen by the CLC. Material of Interest to People on the Left, Dispatches From the Culture Wars - December 8, 2020, Secret Amazon Reports Expose the Company’s Surveillance of Labor and Environmental Groups, Rebirth of Auto? But there are clear examples of the best commitment – Steelworkers and Postal Workers require mandatory affiliation, as did CAW before the creation of Unifor. In the case at hand, the crisis is centred in Toronto and UNITEHERE Local 75, a large, diverse local with a militant history of organizing in the hotel and hospitality sectors in the Greater Toronto Area. This is hardly a time for internal division, a further entrenchment of competitive unionism, or ignoring the organizational impasse and strategic drift at the centre of the Canadian labour movement. Information is power. How can the Canadian workers’ movement push forward in this era when unions and workers are taking such a beating in a spirit of solidarity, when such divisions between unions are happening? If leaders let personal grievances or institutional rivalry dominate the discussion, we will fail, and it may take years to heal the damage. When and under what procedures do union members have a right to decide to change unions (given that the relevant articles in the CLC constitution and rulings of umpires in disputes clarify next to nothing)? Modern labour parties originated from an increase in organising activities in Europe and European colonies during the 19th century, such as the Chartist movement in the United Kingdom during 1838–50.. It is crucial for national unions that wish to enforce the removal of existing affiliates of labour council to ensure there is an alternative funding stream in place, by enforcing affiliation of all of their locals to labour councils. Some will opt to keep Unifor delegates and locals active, others will seek to remove them. And to allow time to explore solutions before hardening differences. At its core is the question of labour power, commitment to real social unionism, and equity. The legitimacy of North American labour unions is being called into question. If leaders let personal grievances or institutional rivalry dominate the discussion, we will fail, and it may take years to heal the damage. No group of workers should be held captive to an organization that does not serve their needs or respect their voice. Nobody doubts that there must be penalties to stop raiding but instead of immediately forcing Labour Councils into a divisive action, the CLC should allow time for everyone to digest the implications of this split before imposing an administrative answer to a deeply political problem. These donations help to pay our bills, and honorariums for some of our writers, photographers and graphic artists. John Cartwright / January 28, 2018Syndicated. We cannot reverse the decline of union density and power unless far more resources – staff, money and leadership time – are devoted to organizing unrepresented workers. In reflecting on the current crisis, I draw on these experiences to suggest some key areas that need to be addressed by our movement. There is an urgent need to create an organizing culture in the Canadian labour movement. John Cartwright is President of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council. Canada’s labour movement has a long history of improving workers’ everyday lives. My first full-time union position was not with my own union, but as a CLC Representative travelling the province trying to stop the split in our movement after the international Building Trades unions withdrew in 1981. No group of workers should be held captive to an organization that does not serve their needs or respect their voice. Only a handful have full time officers or staff – most are run by committed volunteers who juggle responsibilities in their own locals as well as try to run collective campaigns on a wide variety of issues. That was won in 1974 after fierce controversy over Canadian autonomy and workers leaving their internationals to form Canadian unions. But as the most recent Ontario election results suggest, the Tim Hudak-style attack on organized labour can easily backfire. Unifor, the largest Canadian (mostly) private sector union has organized a campaign to convince the membership of Local 75 to break with the International and join it. This is not caused by a lack of rhetoric. We need to fight for more labour law reform, including broader based bargaining so that precarious workers can have a vehicle in which to achieve dignity and economic justice. At the launch, the class direction became clear. Surveying the continental scene, we find conservative politicians in multiple jurisdictions attacking union security. Unions in Canada suffered some setbacks in 2017. Our first priority must be organizing workers and reversing the decline of union density in our country. Labour Relations refers to the relations between employers and employees. Some will explain how they have a culture of local autonomy and cannot force people to belong. As journeymen artisans moved out of what has been called “economic clientage” to master craftsmen, they found their interests in conflict with those of their employers. There will be some bruises and setbacks along the way. Our mission at Portside is to seek out and to provide information that empowers you -- that empowers the left. It was bitter and divisive. Non-union workers and their families see our collective impact in their own cities, towns or regions. We are part of the Employment and Social Development Canada portfolio. OPSEU reimburses 95% of the per capita any local pays to a labour council, while OSSTF has built a strong network of support for labour council engagement. Are the reasons given by UNITE’s International leadership for the trusteeship valid (internal divisions and the alleged meddling of Unifor)? Since its adoption, the Article 4 process has generally worked, but there is always the pressure by powerful affiliates to limit its application. Labour Councils themselves will have to grapple with how they react. My union was locked into a jurisdictional war with Labourers Local 183, a bitter fight that broke out into all-out raiding many times over three decades. 2. What larger concerns remain with the operation of international unions? the invulnerability of Canada's private sector union movement because it failed to distinguish private from public sector markets, union movements, and industrial relations systems.2Therefore, instead of diverging, trends in private sector density have been similar in Canada and the United States except that the US 'led the way'. In Western Canada the idea of the Union became very strongly represented in labour and political movements. They respond to pressures from their local constituents, not just rallies on Parliament Hill or provincial legislature. It will take courage on all our parts to get through this. Local 75 has been placed into trusteeship by the U.S.-headquartered International. 6. 5. My union was locked into a jurisdictional war with Labourers Local 183, a bitter fight that broke out into all-out raiding many times over three decades. As part of leadership of central labour bodies for a quarter century, I have seen the best and worst of our behaviour, and learned how hard it is to build and maintain solidarity among diverse unions and competing interests. Since then, many internationals have gone through a process of creating Canadian structures, which has led to those unions being able to authentically represent the interests and distinct union culture of Canadian members. I have been both an antagonist and on the receiving end of raids, and both the Carpenters and Labourers have come under CLC sanction for raiding. Some will explain how they have a culture of local autonomy and cannot force people to belong. As part of leadership of central labour bodies for a quarter century, I have seen the best and worst of our behaviour, and learned how hard it is to build and maintain solidarity among diverse unions and competing interests. However, movements like the Fight for $15 and Fairness show a potential way ahead. On January 17th, 2018 the Canadian labour movement was plunged into a crisis with the exit of Unifor from the Canadian Labour Congress and the launching of raids on bargaining units of UNITEHERE Local 75. A vision of a powerful, effective, inclusive union movement of the future needs to be developed. At the national level NAFTA calls for our urgent attention. Desmond Morton argues that the economic downturn was caused by overproduction, dismissing the common explanation of insufficient manufacturing ability. It will take courage on all our parts to get through this. There have been few actual raids since its adoption. The recent split in the Canadian Labour Congress over organizational issues will inhibit the search to renew trade unions. How much power do U.S.-based International unions still have over their Canadian locals or sections? With Bill 148 in Ontario we have a unique opportunity to utilize tools that can dramatically change the reality of life for hundreds of thousands, and in the process help shape the politics of the coming decade. What is most vital is that we continue to work together on key issues and campaigns, and maintain the strongest possible personal relationships with every union activist in our community. What gives an outside union like Unifor (Canadian-based or not) the right to try to sign-up members of another union? Many students in Canada will be heading back to school after Labour Day. The Labour Movement in English Canada During the Great Depression, about 1 in 4 workers in Canada were unemployed so the federal government under Prime Minister R.B. As the working class of this country becomes truly multi-racial in every region, we have to examine the urgency of achieving equity within every institution in this country, including our own. Labour Councils themselves will have to grapple with how they react. Without involvement of the regional structures, the labour bureaucracy imposed an "interim" national executive drawn largely from the … What happens when a parent union disrupts the process and carries out reprisals against the member applying? There is an urgent need to create an organizing culture in the Canadian labour movement.We cannot reverse the decline of union density and power unless far more resources – staff, money and leadership time – are devoted to organizing unrepresented workers. With the return of Gerald Yetman to the Presidency of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, the words of the movement will again reflect the real tradition of militancy. No matter how passionate or committed people are when they undertake raiding activity, at the end of the day it draws incredible resources away from our real task. It is a cautionary tale. I can honestly say that despite the tens of millions of dollars squandered in those efforts, the lives of workers have seldom been improved as a consequence. She also shares the various challenges facing … There needs to be an honest assessment of what we should look and feel like a decade from now. On the other hand, when we were able to undertake multi-union organizing drives in the construction industry during the 1990s, we succeeded in bringing union standards to thousands of members, and Toronto now enjoys the highest level of unionization in construction anywhere in North America outside of Quebec. Now is the time to have a fierce debate across the entire CLC family about what “organizing to scale” would actually look like in the face of dramatic changes to the nature of work. John Cartwright is President of the Toronto and York Region Labour Council. The history of the Canadian labour movement is a history of fragmentation. Bennett as an attempt to provide emergency relief, created unemployment relief camps where single men were offered room-and-board for physical labour [i]. It is a cautionary tale. If we do it right, we will emerge with a movement that is ready for the immense challenges of the years to come. Please help. We need to fight for more labour law reform, including broader based bargaining so that precarious workers can have a vehicle in which to achieve dignity and economic justice. Union democracy is a fundamental principle of our movement. Unifor and the Detroit Three. The Great War is an undoubtedly important turning point in world history.Beyond the obvious casualties and resultant shifts in power, the Great War profoundly affected the colonies of the great powers involved. What happens if another union is intentionally supporting the application, hoping to be the beneficiary of a displacement application? I have bargained with multinational companies and family-owned shops, with public sector bodies and politicians at every level of government. But there are clear examples of the best commitment – Steelworkers and Postal Workers require mandatory affiliation, as did CAW before the creation of Unifor. They were assigned to a task force appointed after the convention, but at some point we should allow a full debate on this contentious issue. Many of us know the benefits of working closely with our American colleagues who are leading tremendous struggles against overwhelming odds. This by contemporary standards could not be termed as labor movements. We all have a part to play. On the eve of the war, Canada was suffering an economic depression, resulting in high unemployment. I can honestly say that despite the tens of millions of dollars squandered in those efforts, the lives of workers have seldom been improved as a consequence. And to allow time to explore solutions before hardening differences. The Effect of WWI on the Indian Independence Movement. Some will opt to keep Unifor delegates and locals active, others will seek to remove them. Many of us know the benefits of working closely with our American colleagues who are leading tremendous struggles against overwhelming odds. On the other hand, when we were able to undertake multi-union organizing drives in the construction industry during the 1990s, we succeeded in bringing union standards to thousands of members, and Toronto now enjoys the highest level of unionization in construction anywhere in North America outside of Quebec. We fought for and won many of the rights enjoyed by all workers today – minimum wages, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, maternity and parental leave, vacation pay, and protection from discrimination and harassment. In the coming months, every union in Ontario should be dedicating its full attention to helping bring union voice to hundreds of thousands of unrepresented workers using the tools of Bill 148. On January 17th, 2018 the Canadian labour movement was plunged into a crisis with the exit of Unifor from the Canadian Labour Congress and the launching of raids on bargaining units of UNITEHERE Local 75. However, a union being Canadian is by itself no guarantee of progressive or effective practice. In 1914, the Workmen’s Compensation Act was established in Toronto. Non-union workers and their families see our collective impact in their own cities, towns or regions. 1. A crisis has suddenly erupted within the Canadian labour movement, falling along old divisions of the movement’s archaic organizational structure, and assisted by the lack of any strategic focus or signs of even modest political ambitions beyond self-preservation in either the labour central or any of its affiliates. But in reality, instead of the labour party demanded by worker militants, a popular front movement was set up. We are a long way from building the class struggle unionism and socialist movement needed in Canada to reverse the defeats of neoliberalism and democratize our society. 3. But the disturbing events around the application for justification procedures by ATU 113 President Bob Kinnear showed a fatal flaw. A crisis has suddenly erupted within the Canadian labour movement, falling along old divisions of the movement’s archaic organizational structure, and assisted by the lack of any strategic focus or signs of even modest political ambitions beyond self-preservation in either the labour central or any of its affiliates. Since its adoption, the Article 4 process has generally worked, but there is always the pressure by powerful affiliates to limit its application. labour movement has been, to an equivalent degree, a failure in its pursuit of working class interests in the province. The letter, reproduced here, opens up space for a necessary and difficult dialogue. Article 26 of the CLC Constitution says there will be minimum standards of self-government. I am cautiously optimistic that the foundation of our labour movement is solid enough to allow us to survive, and grow. In that role I have been afforded the opportunity to meet with my counterparts in labour councils of all sizes, across the geography of this country. I was elected as a Representative of Carpenters Local 27 in December of 1982. After long and painful debates on how to end raiding, Article 4 was developed to offer workers a realistic option of fixing problems within their unions instead of seeking another home. There was no national unity a… What happens when a parent union disrupts the process and carries out reprisals against the member applying? Nationalism and the Labour Movement in Canada Michael McDonell 301087870 Pol 222 Instructor Andrea Migone TA Nigel Kinney 28/07/12 1 Nationalism and the Labour Movement in Canada The founding of nation-states since the 17th century has been a decisive correlate to the rise of the capitalist mode of production. 6. Effective Labour Councils are crucial to the power of our movement. Sign up for our email newsletter and get our news and analysis delivered on the regular. Before the war, unions were present throughout the country, but exercised only limited power. It was bitter and divisive. ; August 1940 – The first compulsory national unemployment insurance system in Canada is introduced; it comes into operation in July 1941. By what authority does Unifor act other than its own internal executive decisions in intervening in the affairs of another union? But the disturbing events around the application for justification procedures by ATU 113 President Bob Kinnear showed a fatal flaw. More than 75% of our operating budget comes to us in the form of donations from our readers. The topic of union renewal is full of landmines, but absolutely necessary. 4. In the coming months, every union in Ontario should be dedicating its full attention to helping bring union voice to hundreds of thousands of unrepresented workers using the tools of Bill 148. I am cautiously optimistic that the foundation of our labour movement is solid enough to allow us to survive, and grow. The key issues in that split 37 years ago were similar to what we face today. They live on a shoe-string budget, and seldom receive institutional support from staff of national or international unions who live and work in their communities. Since then, many internationals have gone through a process of creating Canadian structures, which has led to those unions being able to authentically represent the interests and distinct union culture of Canadian members. During pre-industrial Canada, there existed very few trade unions. How the integrity of the process is safeguarded, and how top leaders around the CLC Executive choose to uphold that integrity will be a test to our movement and may be an essential element to resolving this crisis. labor movement in the industrial revolution A labor union is a group of people within a particular job or industry that join together to fight for improved working conditions. A crisis has suddenly erupted within the Canadian labour movement, falling along old divisions of the movement’s archaic organizational structure, and assisted by the lack of any strategic focus or signs of even modest political ambitions beyond self-preservation in either the labour central or any of its affiliates. This open letter is intended as an urgent call for leaders in our movement, at every level, to strive to find a solution to this potential rupture before it becomes irreparable. Raiding has rightly been identified as a cancer in our movement. There have been few actual raids since its adoption. Yet it is clear that those practices are not universally applied. The ill-fated CLC review of organizing carried out some years ago had no real mandate, and offered no solutions because the political will of top leadership was lacking. In this podcast, McDermott, who has been exploring the labour movement and its impact on women’s rights for 40 years, discusses the Eaton’s Strike, its place in Canada’s history and impact on the labour movement. Just once a year we appeal to you to contribute to make it possible to continue this work. Only a handful have full time officers or staff – most are run by committed volunteers who juggle responsibilities in their own locals as well as try to run collective campaigns on a wide variety of issues. Meeting these requires organized labour to reclaim its historic role as the progressive voice of all working people, and as an active participant in broader struggles for social justice. As we struggle with each other to find solutions to the current crisis, a vision of a powerful, effective, inclusive union movement of the future needs to arise. Unifor’s disaffiliation from the CLC has massive implications for federations and labour councils across Canada – many have leaders from Unifor, and many rely on Unifor affiliation for their financial stability. Are the efforts to sign up Local 75 members little more than a raid? At the national level NAFTA calls for our urgent attention. Sadly, that decade also saw a massive attack on the building trades across North America that devastated union density in construction. In addition to a loss of union jobs, globalization also accelerated Canada’s shift from a manufacturing to a service sector-dominated nation, further weakening prospects for organizing. With Bill 148 in Ontario we have a unique opportunity to utilize tools that can dramatically change the reality of life for hundreds of thousands, and in the process help shape the politics of the coming decade. This article originally appeared on SocialistProject.ca. At its core is the question of labour power, commitment to real social unionism, and equity. Click here for Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6. I work with and admire many colleagues in the United States, who are hamstrung by organizational and political decisions made by past generations. That will provide guidance for the steps we need to take in the coming weeks. The key issues in that split 37 years ago were similar to what we face today. Many are calling the Unifor actions a membership raid. The labour and union movement has traveled a long since then road paved with substantial achievements and very good results. It is crucial for national unions that wish to enforce the removal of existing affiliates of labour council to ensure there is an alternative funding stream in place, by enforcing affiliation of all of their locals to labour councils. Other long-simmering issues (parallel to the split in the late 1990s over similar issues involving CAW and SEIU) organizational issues have been raised in this critical moment. Unifor’s disaffiliation from the CLC has massive implications for federations and labour councils across Canada – many have leaders from Unifor, and many rely on Unifor affiliation for their financial stability. No matter how passionate or committed people are when they undertake raiding activity, at the end of the day it draws incredible resources away from our real task. Fortunately, we have a different history, which includes a commitment to coalition work and a social democratic party that, despite its flaws, has been crucial to the extensive social policies and labour laws we enjoy. Throughout history, labor unions have played a vital role in the relationship between workers and owners and have helped to improve conditions for working-class people. The service sector has long been known, as the “Achilles heel of the labour movement” (Yates) due to its small base and susceptibility to employer hostility. The CLC Constitution Article 5.4 also calls for every one of those unions to ensure their locals are affiliated to federations and labour councils, but there is a silent wall of refusal to enforce that part of the constitution. My first full-time union position was not with my own union, but as a CLC Representative travelling the province trying to stop the split in our movement after the international Building Trades unions withdrew in 1981. Members of Parliament, MLAs and MPPs are elected in local ridings. In 1919 many of the workers unions came together … LABR 1290 - Introduction to the Canadian Labour Movement (Formerly 153.129) An introduction to the development of the contemporary working-class movement in Canada and to workplace issues today. Of another union is intentionally supporting the contemporary problems in the labour movement in canada for justification procedures by ATU 113 President Kinnear! Multinational companies and family-owned shops, with public sector bodies and politicians at every of... Authority does Unifor Act other than its own internal executive decisions in intervening in United! ; August 1940 – the first compulsory national unemployment insurance system in Canada optimistic that the foundation our! Contribute to make it possible to continue this work form Canadian unions of this will only become with! 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