Monday, September 03, 2018

Monday Morning Links

Miscellaneous material for your Monday reading.

- Ed Finn laments the lack of labour coverage in today's media landscape. But David Climenhaga points out that a combination of the omission of unions from much of the media and their vilification by corporate propaganda mills hasn't stopped an increasing number of workers from wanting to participate in collective action:
Literally billions of dollars have been spent over the past 30 years by the globalizing internationale and the radical market-fundamentalist national political parties it supports to persuade working people they don’t need unions, and governments that it’s of paramount importance to make it difficult for working people to join unions.

On the legislative front, these efforts have enjoyed considerable success – particularly in the United States, where that country’s 18th Century Constitution effectively suppresses the fundamental right of working people to organize and the ability of democratically minded legislators to prevent big money from buying elections. Even when that effort falls short, as we have seen, the U.S. Constitution finds ways to ensure losers win.

Yet while barely 10 per cent of American workers belong to a union today, half as many as did 30 years ago, union membership remains an aspiration to huge numbers of American workers.

A recent survey in the United States showed that interest in joining a union is at a 40 year high. Nearly half of all non-unionized workers in the United States would join a union … if they could.

Think about this. It’s a remarkable trend, given the efforts that have been put into making unions unappealing to workers – from the casual defamation of labour leaders as “union bosses,” to the many bogus studies showing these democratic institutions restrict worker freedom, to the unending stream of journalistic vituperation directed at unions.

Yet it appears despite the herculean efforts of the American right, increasing numbers of workers are doing the math.
- Glenda Luymes discusses the reality that there's still ample room to push for a shorter work week. And Jordan Press reports on the potential to introduce a right to disconnect into employment legislation which doesn't yet account for the issue of availability away from paid work hours.

- The Mail & Guardian discusses how inequality and deprivation breed violence. And Phillip Inman reports on yet another study - this from the UK's Smith Institute - showing how a city benefits in multiple ways when workers are paid liveable wages.

- Finally, Hassan Yussuff argues that now is the time to make a push for a universal pharmacare program focused on public well-being rather than pharmaceutical rent-seeking. And the Star's editorial board chimes in on the need to make child care available in settings designed to encourage individual development, rather than through "big box" corporate providers who will treat children only as expenses.

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  1. Anonymous9:25 a.m.

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