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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 
335. 25 December 2016 Pray For the Dead
A Musical Tale of Morgues, Moguls and Mutiny, a new play for and about workers and unions, is now available as a radio show. This 30 minute radio version of the play, with the music, aired on WPFW in Washington, DC and in San Francisco on Bill Fletcher's weekly show Arise! It includes a 10 minute interview about unions and culture.
334. 18 December 2016 The Rise and Fall of Cheap Nature
Finance. Climate. Food. Work. How are the crises of the twenty-first century connected? In Capitalism in the Web of Life, Jason W. Moore argues that the sources of today's global turbulence have a common cause: capitalism as a way of organizing nature, including human nature. Recorded in Toronto, 13 December 2016.
333. 11 December 2016 No Shortcuts: Organizing for Power in the New Gilded Age McAlevey, Jane
Income inequality has reached levels not seen since the 1920s. Labor unions’ membership is in decline, and popular opinion has turned against them. Author Jane McAlevey discusses her book with Stephanie Ross and Michal Rozworski. Recorded in Toronto, 1 December 2016.
332. 4 December 2016 The Case of Hassan Diab
This is a 3-part podcast series on the case of Hassan Diab, a Lebanese-Canadian sociology professor extradited from Canada and currently in a French jail, accused of a bombing that happened in Paris in 1980. The series was produced by Justin Podur.
331. 27 November 2016 Climate Change and the Struggle Against the Kinder Morgan Pipeline
Thousands have been pouring onto Vancouver streets, as well as protesting across Canada, against the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been attempting to square the impossible – expanding oil sands production and building pipelines while addressing climate change. The Liberal governments of BC and Canada have ignored theses issues, as well as wider questions about First Nations consultations and sovereignty claims, already in the cases of the PacificNorthwest LNG, Woodfibre LNG and the Site C Dam in BC.
330. 20 November 2016 Bursting at the Seams
A short video on the crisis of brutal overcrowding in Toronto's homeless shelters and a call to action. This video had it's premiere outside the building where Toronto's Mayor John Tory lives in somewhat better circumstances.
329. 13 November 2016 Chinese Workers' Uprising: Unions, Workers, and Resistance in China Today
Lu Zhang and Eli Friedman have each interviewed dozens of Chinese workers, from the auto sector to the factories producing computers and footwear, documenting the processes of migration, changing employment relations, and worker culture underpinning the new Chinese working class and their forms of resistance today. Recorded in Toronto, 30 October 2016.
328. 30 October 2016 Hearts and Mines (book launch) Mirrlees, Tanner
From Katy Perry training alongside US Marines in a music video, to the global box-office mastery of the US military-supported Transformers franchise, it's clear that the US national security state is a dominant force in global media culture. How and why is this so? This book covers the production, profit and power of US Empire's culture industry -- a nexus between the US state and globalizing media firms and the source of entertainments that promote US Empire as a way of life around the world. Recorded in Toronto, 20 October 2016.
327. 23 October 2016 The Building Storm Against the TPP
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the one of the most recent of the neoliberal trade agreements being proposed. The final proposal was signed off in February 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand by 12 countries – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the USA, and Vietnam, after 7 years of negotiation. It awaits ratification in each country. It is a companion agreement to the existing NAFTA agreement, and the CETA and TTIP agreements that Canada and the U.S. are respectively negotiating with the EU.
326. 16 October 2016 Canadian Mining Corporations in Latin America: Solidarity Rally
In a ruling released October 14th, the investment tribunal rejected OceanaGold's claims and ordered it to pay $8-million in legal fees and costs to the government of El Salvador. This solidarity rally was in held in Toronto, 14 October 2016.
325. 9 October 2016 The Struggle at Standing Rock: Pipeline Protest, First Nations' Uprising
For the past few months, an encampment has sprung up on the banks of the Cannonball River in North Dakota in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. The resistance has been led by the Standing Rock Sioux opposed to the routing of the $3.8-billion pipeline transporting oil from the Bakken oil fields through burial grounds and sacred sites under the Missouri River. The warrior spirit at Standing Rock is a critical drum beat inspiring other social and class struggles demanding an alternative.
324. 2 October 2016 Facing the Anthropocene Angus, Ian
Science tells us that a new and dangerous stage in planetary evolution has begun, the Anthropocene, a time of rising temperatures, extreme weather, rising oceans, and mass species extinctions. Humanity faces not just more pollution or warmer weather, but a crisis of the Earth System. Presentation by Ian Angus recorded in Toronto, 25 September 2016.
323. 25 September 2016 Free Public Transit
Public transit lies at the intersection of several critical social struggles today. Affordable (or free) public transit is an important mechanism for redistribution, and particularly targets low income women and people of colour. This video mostly focuses on Tallinn, Estonia, and includes interviews with international activists. Video produced by Revo Raudjarv for Tallinna Televisioon (2015).
322. 18 September 2016 Southern Insurgency
Even as labour in the developed world seems to be in retreat, industrial struggle continues elsewhere, and with particular force in the Global South. In Southern Insurgency, Immanuel Ness provides a thorough and expert perspective of three key countries where workers are fighting the spread of unchecked industrial capitalism: China, India, and South Africa. Recorded in Toronto, 8 September 2016.
321. 28 August 2016 Why Media Democracy?
That the North American media is dominated by corporate monopolies serving capitalist interests and squeezing out critical voices is to state the obvious. The state media in Canada provide only the slightest respite from pro-business reportage. Media concentration in Canada is now the highest for the major capitalist countries. The same corporations who control TV and radio also own the major newspapers, but they have also bought up the smaller local media scattered across the country as well. The need for a vibrant, radical media democracy movement has never been more imperative in Canada.
320. 21 August 2016 Canadian Mining and Popular Resistance
Canada is one of the world's centres of the mining and extractive sector. Toronto is the centre of the trade in mining stocks and in financing mining operations. Canadian mining capital operates in more than 100 countries and is among the top five world producers of potash, uranium, nickel, gold, platinum, aluminum, diamonds and steel-making coal.
319. 14 August 2016 Oppose the Energy East Pipeline
TransCanada’s Energy East project is the largest tar sands pipeline proposed yet. Stretching from Alberta to New Brunswick, Energy East could carry over 1 million barrels per day of tar sands crude to the Atlantic coast. Despite TransCanada’s promises that Energy East is for domestic gain, they are making plans to export the vast majority and leave us to bear the real costs of climate change, spills and clean-up.
318. 7 August 2016 Palestinian Solidarity Struggles
The state of Israel was just served notice by Black Lives Matter (BLM) in a big way. The human rights movement pummeled Israel for its decades long oppression of the Palestinian people in its new platform. In a show of solidarity between black Americans, who have bravely struggled against centuries of discrimination in the U.S., Black Lives Matter has reached out to their Palestinian brothers and sisters by embracing the Palestinian call for justice and freedom.
317. 31 July 2016 The Struggle over Site C Dam and the Peace River
The energy from Site C is not needed: After 28 days of hearings and review of 28,000 pages of documentation, the Joint Review Panel concluded that BC Hydro has failed to prove that we need Site C. Further, they emphasized that because there are significant adverse effects, justification for the project must rest on an unambiguous need for the power.
316. 24 July 2016 Before '68: The Left, Activism and Social Movements in the Long 1960s
Ernest Tate and Phil Hearse present Revolutionary Activism in the 1950s and 1960s. Ernest Tate's memoir is an important contribution to the history of the left in Britain and Canada during a unique period. Recorded in Norwich, 13 February 2016.
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