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New Canadian International Labour 10-Minute

Trump, Right-Wing Populism,

and the Future of the Labour Movement

Toronto – 2 June 2017


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Bill Fletcher Jr. gave the keynote address at the 4th Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies.

Bill Fletcher Jr. has been an activist since his teen years. Upon graduating from college he went to work as a welder in a shipyard, thereby entering the labour movement. Over the years he has been active in workplace and community struggles as well as electoral campaigns. He has worked for several labour unions in addition to serving as a senior staffperson in the national AFL-CIO. Fletcher is the former president of TransAfrica Forum; a Senior Scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies; an editorial board member of BlackCommentator.com; and in the leadership of several other projects. Fletcher is the co-author (with Peter Agard) of The Indispensable Ally: Black Workers and the Formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, 1934-1941; the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice; and the author of “They’re Bankrupting Us” – And Twenty Other Myths about Unions. Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio, and the web.

Hosted by Stephanie Ross, president of the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies.



Precarious Work:

Contract Faculty in the Neoliberal University


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These videos explore the situation of Canadian contract academic faculty and compares their situation to the even poorer conditions American contract faculty face, highlighting the need to more firmly address working conditions in Canada. The second film, “Contract Faculty: Injustice in the University,” focuses on not only the injustice faced by contract faculty but the implications of this injustice for students, the University and higher education in general. The story is primarily told through the words of contract faculty themselves. Where there is injustice there is usually both tragedy and dark humour and the film presents both.



Unions and the City:

Negotiating Urban Change

Toronto – 1 June 2017


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This panel invites Toronto labour leadership to respond to a comparative book on labour strategy and political action in Toronto and New York City, titled Unions and the City: Negotiating Urban Change (Cornell ILR Press, Spring 2017). The book discusses how local unions in four sectors (hospitality, film, green energy and childcare) seek to advance organizing and collective bargaining goals through the reregulation of their respective sectors. Union strategy is evaluated according to whether it succeeds in achieving narrow trade union goals while also addressing broader class demands and social justice criteria.

Moderated by Ian MacDonald. Presentations by:

Other resources:


LS #Date PublishedTitle 
355. 25 June 2017 Trump, Right-Wing Populism, and the Future of the Labour Movement Fletcher Jr., Bill
Bill Fletcher Jr. has been an activist since his teen years. He has worked for several labour unions in addition to serving as a senior staffperson in the national AFL-CIO. Fletcher is the co-author (with Dr. Fernando Gapasin) of Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path toward Social Justice; and the author of 'They're Bankrupting Us' -- And Twenty Other Myths about Unions. Fletcher is a syndicated columnist and a regular media commentator on television, radio, and the web. Recorded in Toronto, 2 June 2017.
354. 18 June 2017 Precarious Work: Contract Faculty in the Neoliberal University
These videos explore the situation of Canadian contract academic faculty and compares their situation to the even poorer conditions American contract faculty face, highlighting the need to more firmly address working conditions in Canada. The second film, 'Contract Faculty: Injustice in the University,' focuses on not only the injustice faced by contract faculty but the implications of this injustice for students, the University and higher education in general.
353. 11 June 2017 Unions and the City: Negotiating Urban Change
This panel invites Toronto labour leadership to respond to a comparative book on labour strategy and political action in Toronto and New York City, titled Unions and the City: Negotiating Urban Change. The book discusses how local unions in four sectors (hospitality, film, green energy and childcare) seek to advance organizing and collective bargaining goals through the reregulation of their respective sectors. Union strategy is evaluated according to whether it succeeds in achieving narrow trade union goals while also addressing broader class demands and social justice criteria. Recorded in Toronto, 1 June 2017.
352. 4 June 2017 Mine Tailings Dam Collapses in Canada and Brazil
'Accidents' or 'Environmental Crimes'? Mariana, Minas Gerais, Brazil, November 5, 2015: Worst environmental disaster in Latin American mining history. Mount Polley, British Columbia, Canada, August 4, 2014: Worst environmental disaster in Canadian mining history. Moderated by Judith Marshall. Presentations by Bruno Milanez, Richard Holmes, and Joan Kuyek. Recorded in Toronto, 29 May 2017.
351. 28 May 2017 Dump Hydro Privatization, Build Public Power
Hydro in Ontario is a mess and rates are skyrocketing. The high number of people who have trouble paying or can't pay their Hydro bills is growing by the day. In short, deregulation and privatization did not deliver on its promises of 'lower rates,' or create 'greater efficiencies.' Smart Meters did not save consumers any money. In fact, Hydro deregulation has been a complete disaster for Ontario's businesses, citizens and its economy.
350. 14 May 2017 Building a National Solidarity Coalition
Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) hosted a panel discussion during the Convention of the Canadian Labour Congress. The panelists discussed their experiences working with various solidarity coalitions and the need for a national solidarity network that can bridge the divide between labour and social movements. How could a solidarity coalition be used to build support for struggles for social, environmental and economic justice? Recorded in Toronto, 11 May 2017.
349. 7 May 2017 Bill C-27: An Attack on Pensions
The Ottawa Committee for Pension Security (OCPS) recently co-hosted a panel discussion with the Congress of Union Retirees about Bill C-27, a Bill that will give employers the tools they need to dump their defined benefit pension plan guaranteed promises, including the benefits already earned and paid for by active workers and retirees. Presentations by Mark Jansen and Mike Palecek. Recorded in Ottawa, 1 March 2017.
348. 30 April 2017 May Day
For more than 100 years, May Day has symbolized the common struggles of workers around the globe. Why is it largely ignored in North America? The answer lies in part in American labour’s long repression of its own radical past, out of which international May Day was actually born a century ago. The seeds were sown in the campaign for the eight-hour work day. On May 1, 1886, hundreds of thousands of North American workers mobilized to strike.
347. 23 April 2017 South Africa, a Dream Betrayed Kodisang, Eli
The current government of President Jacob Zuma is witness to major brawls between rival elite factions, amidst growing corruption scandals. The historical alliance between the ANC, the SACP and COSATU is fracturing. Protests and demonstrations calling for Zuma to resign are growing. Out of this ruin, a new South African working class movement may yet emerge. Forum with Eli Kodisang, recorded in Toronto, 20 April 2017.
346. 16 April 2017 Basic Income: A Way Forward for the Left?
The idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) has been championed by both progressives and conservatives. Not everyone on the left, however, is behind the idea. Is the UBI a means of redistributing wealth, attacking poverty and protecting workers from technological displacement? Or will basic income serve to advance an agenda of austerity and privatization? Recorded in Toronto, 13 April 2017.
345. 2 April 2017 Allies at Every Stop: Organizing Passengers and Building Power
These two videos are sections of a two-part on-line training course, produced by the International ATU, for use by ATU locals in the U.S. and Canada. The goal is to help members to build alliances between transit workers and users, to collectively challenge the common agenda of business and its allies to privatize, deregulate and cut needed social services (such as public transit), and attack the rights of those who deliver the service, in the transit unions.
344. 26 March 2017 Refusing Settler Colonialism, From Turtle Island to Palestine
The keynote event of Israeli Apartheid Week 2017 focused on articulating connections between ongoing struggles against settler colonial violence and dispossession across Turtle Island (North America) and in historic Palestine. The panelists reflected on the history and current state of these anti-colonial struggles. Featuring Erica Violet Lee. Recorded in Toronto, 15 March 2017.
343. 19 March 2017 150 Years of Marx's Capital
This is a collection of videos dealing with Karl Marx's Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. It is 150 years since Karl Marx published the first volume of Capital in 1867, with the two subsequent volumes coming out under the editorship of Friedrich Engels over the next decades. As its subtitle suggests, Capital is a masterful appraisal of the ‘vulgar’ defences of capitalism focused on exchange and markets and the more ‘scientific’ accounts of classical political economy highlighting the production of an economic surplus and its distribution between the social classes.
342. 19 February 2017 Global Intern Strike!
On February 20th, young people across the world will come together to push for an end to the exploitative and exclusionary practice of unpaid internships. Decentralised actions will take place in a range of cities, to call on employers and leaders to ensure that quality intern opportunities are paid and accessible to all - regardless of their socioeconomic background.
341. 12 February 2017 If You Don’t Understand the Second Product, You Understand Nothing About Marx's Capital Lebowitz, Michael A.
Unfortunately, for many who have followed Marx in name and others who never pretended to do so, there is only one product - the change in circumstances, the change in the object of labour. The second product - the change in human beings, the change in the subject of labour - is ignored. This presentation by Michael Lebowitz was recorded in Athens, Greece, 14 January 2017.
340. 5 February 2017 What's the Matter with America?
The 2017 Phyllis Clarke Memorial Lecture presentation by Thomas Frank, on Donald Trump's election and what it means for the USA. Recorded in Toronto, 26 January 2017.
339. 29 January 2017 Launching the Socialist Register 2017: Rethinking Revolution
The main purpose of the 2017 edition of the Socialist Register (SR) - one century after 'Red October' - is to look forward, to what might happen next. Moderated by Greg Albo. Discussion featuring: Joan Sangster, Bryan Palmer, Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin. Recorded in Toronto, 12 January 2017.
338. 15 January 2017 Art Manuel: Defender of the Land Manuel, Arthur
Arthur Manuel (1951 - January 11, 2017) was a First Nations political leader in Canada. He was four times elected chief (1995-2003) and three times elected chair of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council (1997-2003). Since 2003, he served as spokesperson for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade (INET), a network of indigenous nations working on the international level to achieve recognition of Aboriginal title and rights.
337. 8 January 2017 Labour Struggles in Palestine and International Solidarity
The global labour movement has long criticized Israel for human and trade union rights violations and abuse of Palestinian workers, while workers in Palestine are resisting oppression and building a movement we can support. Trade unions and federations of labour in Canada are heeding the call for solidarity made by 170 Palestinian organizations for a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign. Recorded in Toronto, 8 May 2016.
336. 1 January 2017 Unions and Climate Change
How do we build a trade union movement that promotes solutions to the climate crisis and responds to the attacks on workers' rights and protections? The ecological and social implications of climate change have - or should - become a central parameter for all discussions of work and capitalism. The unrelenting build-up of greenhouse gases has led to the jarring conclusion, drawn by climatologists, ecological militants and union activists, that an exit from reliance on fossil fuels for energy needs to occur with some urgency.
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