Labour - Unions

Andrea Woo

Canada’s largest private-sector union has thrown its support behind First Nations in opposing the Northern Gateway pipeline project, vowing to hit picket lines in solidarity if the project goes ahead. Unifor, formed on Labour Day weekend with the merger of the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, now has more than 300,000 members across the country.

Gregg Shotwell

My hometown, Grand Rapids, Michigan, was once known as the Furniture Capital of the world. The furniture industry moved south, and then overseas, but in the 1970s a few stalwarts still plied the pretensions of the uppity class with vestiges of noblesse oblige. We made reproductions of antiques. Why not? We had the blueprints, patterns, jigs, fixtures, and most importantly, the experience. I worked at John Widdicomb Furniture Co.

Gary Engler, Gene McGuckin, Karen Cooling

The BC Expansion Committee of the People's Social Forum held an assembly in Vancouver on April 24, 2014 to discuss climate change and oil and gas pipeline issues in BC. Watch this video session on 'Trade unions and climate change'.


- Gary Engler - Longtime Vancouver journalist who is currently vice-president of Unifor Local 2000 and author of The New Commune-ist Manifesto—Workers of the World It Really is Time to Unite.

Vaughn Palmer

When labour leader Jim Sinclair turned up at the legislature last week for release of the workforce plan for the liquefied natural gas industry, I teased him that he’s being seen around the halls of government more often than when the New Democratic Party was in power. Sinclair, the longtime president of the B.C. Federation of Labour, took it with good humour, reminding me of the joke about his predecessor Ken Georgetti — that he had an actual seat at the cabinet table in the NDP government.

Dan Healing

Canadian oil and gas worker salaries jumped six per cent to an average of $130,000 US in 2013 and the trend is expected to continue, according to a survey released Wednesday. Furthermore, despite ongoing worries about oil transportation bottlenecks, nearly three-quarters of employers who took part in the survey by global recruiting firm Hays Oil & Gas say they expect their companies will hire more people in 2014. “This past year, the industry has taken a pause,” said John Faraguna, global managing director of oil and gas for Hays.

Mark Taliano

The current trajectories of Canada’s predominant political economies are increasingly dysfunctional, due in no small part to the fact that we have become, in many respects, a petro state, rather than the much vaunted “Energy Superpower” that we were promised.

John Cairns

A strong economic boost is coming to the Northwest with the news that Husky Energy is going ahead with two new heavy oil thermal projects in the area. The projects are the 10,000 barrels/day Edam East project and the 10,000 barrels/day Vawn project. The company said in a news release Jan.

Vancouver Ecosocialist Group

Chrysler Corporation announced last month that it plans to invest $3.5 billion to retool its assembly plants in Windsor and Brampton, Ontario and produce new lines of vehicles. But it set two big conditions—that the federal and Ontario governments provide $700 million in subsidies, and that the union of assembly line employees, Unifor, accept wage concessions, notably lower salaries for new hires. Unifor and the two levels of government agreed to the subsidy demand. We believe this a wrong choice for society, including for autoworkers.

Rising Tide

Truckers, unionized and non-unionized, came together last Monday to picket Port Metro Vancouver because of concerns over "intolerable economic conditions." While the standard pay for B.C. truckers is $23 an hour, truckers moving cargo for Port Metro Vancouver are paid a meager $15.59 an hour and many of them do not have a union to represent them. According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives living wage in Metro Vancouver is no less than $19.62 an hour.

Sean Sweeney

Can we really expect to emit 577 billion tons of CO2 and not cause major problems for the earth’s climate? That is the amount of CO2 humans have put into the earth’s delicately balanced atmosphere since the dawn of the industrial age. It has warmed the earth in ways that has increased moisture in the air and raised sea levels. The connection between CO2 emissions and extreme weather is today indisputable.



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