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Ordered back to work, Ontario teachers say this labour dispute isn't over

Photo: Flickr/Emory Maiden

Teachers in Durham, Peel, and Sudbury's Rainbow school districts have been on strike for over three weeks. Yesterday, almost 70,000 high-school students went back to class, following a decision by the Ontario Labour Relations Board (OLRB).

While classes have resumed in the three striking school districts, the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF) says it won't be business as usual in Ontario high schools.

On Tuesday, just as the provincial government started the process of instituting back-to-work legislation, the OLRB rendered its decision, ruling that the three local strikes were, in fact, illegal.

Classes started up again on Wednesday.

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Job insecurity: The new normal of work

New research shows long- and short-term consequences of precarious labour in the GTA and Hamilton areas.

Related rabble.ca story:

New study points to a new normal: Job insecurity.

Photo: flickr/Jef Safi

A new study released today confirms the broad ranging consequences of precarious labour in urban areas of southern Ontario.

In 2013, PEPSO, a research partnership between United Way Toronto and McMaster University conducted a major study on precarious labour in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas. Using data collected from a survey of over 4,000 workers and 28 in-depth interviews, The Precarity Penalty, released today, builds on those findings.

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This week in labour: The precarious workers edition

Photo: flickr/Matthias Ripp

Usually this roundup provides a sampling of the going-ons of organized labour across the country. But this week, there's been a lot of media attention given to precarious workers -- a growing group that's often much harder to organize. They are all around us: from the grocery store aisles to the newsroom, job insecurity is becoming the new normal for low- and middle-income earners across all demographics. So here's to the temp-agency-working, part-time, freelancing, contract folk. Sometimes you need the labour roundup love, too. 

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Precarious labour debated in Parliament

Photo: Andrew Cash

Andrew Cash wonders why there aren't any labour ballads about cashiers. Considering the changing nature of work in this country, the Davenport MP and former musician thinks we need some new tunes to match the times.

On Thursday, Members of the House of Commons had their first opportunity to debate the issue of precarious and freelance labour in Parliament. 

Bill C-542, the Urban Workers Strategy Act, was put forward as a private member's bill by Cash in 2013, and has now been submitted for its second reading in the House.

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This week in labour: The case of the missing jobs

Photo: wikimedia commons/"Bombardier YETI M Mayrhofen" by Thiemo Mättig

April's jobs numbers were released this week, showing unprecedented job losses in some areas. The numbers are so low that either our economy is tanking fast, or there were inaccuracies in survey. Either way, not a great sign… 

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Province House, NS
| May 5, 2015

This week in labour: May Day madness

Photo: Flickr/Robert Cudmore

I don't want to chide you for reading rabble.ca but this is International Workers Day, so you should really be in the streets, doing some rabble rousing there. Oh wait, you're on your phone reading? Well, keep on marching, then!

Since the 1880s May 1 has been a day to celebrate the rites of spring and the spirit of revolution. So read about what the labour movement has been up to this week and then go take part in the revolution, please.

 

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The legacy and lessons in May Day, with Stephanie Ross

Photo: Flickr/State Library Victoria Collections

In Canada, May Day has always been the rebel workers holiday. 

First celebrated in the 1880s, International Workers Day has its roots in the historic struggle for workers rights and collective action.

In the latter half of the nineteenth century, the era known as the Gilded Age, the rise of industrialism and unregulated capitalism led to unprecedented inequality in North America. At the same time, however, political radicalism and trade unionism were on the rise among working people.

These groups found common front in their demand for a shorter work week. And on May 1, 1886, workers took to the streets in the thousands to demand an eight-hour work day. 

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Asia Pacific Currents

Protests against the GST in Malaysia and the use of repressive legislation

April 24, 2015
| Regional updates and interview with Arul, general secretary of Socialist Party of Malaysia, on arrests, repression and the GST in Malaysia.
Length: 29:17 minutes (13.41 MB)
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