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Conditions in Canadian-owned factories the worst in Honduras

Reyna Tejada with Mark Hancock (CUPE BC President) at the CUPE BC convention in

Conditions in Canadian-owned Gildan garment factories are among the worst in Honduras says Reyna Tejada, a former factory worker and representative from CODEMUH, a feminist labour organization. Tejada was in Vancouver to speak at the CUPE-BC convention, held April 29 to May 2.

Gildan factories produce t-shirts, fleeces and apparel for other companies to put their logos and graphics on. The company currently has contracts for brands such as New Balance and Secret.

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Canadian mining companies banned in three Salvadorian municipalities

On March 29, Nueva Trinidad became the third municipality in El Salvador to officially declare itself a "territory free of mining" through a historic community consultation.

Canadian mining companies have had a brutal presence in El Salvador. Communities in the departments of Chalatenango and Cabañas have organized to prevent the entry of mining corporations into the municipalities.

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This week in labour: We've got our work cut out for us

Photo: Canadian Labour Congress

All eyes have been on Alberta this week, where Rachel Notley's NDP are busy getting ready to show the rest of Canada what progress without austerity can look like.

While Notley's sweeping victory has many of us excited and full of hope, this week's labour roundup proves that we've still got our work cut out for us.

Sorry to be such a downer, but it's time to keep mobilizing.

Here we go!

 

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Privatizing Hydro One is going to hurt, say critics

Photo: flickr/ Markus Grossalber

The Ontario 2015 budget had more than a plan to put beer and wine in grocery stores. The Ontario Liberals are trying to sell off 60 per cent of the publicly owned electricity transmission and distribution company Hydro One.

Critics of the plan say that privatizing the massive network of transmission lines and stations means trouble for workers, the environment, and an already cash-starved province.  

Privatization could mean Big Energy agenda

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Islanders want change: P.E.I. election 'a huge protest vote'

Photo: flickr/Robert Linsdell

The P.E.I. election is "a huge protest vote" with the NDP and the Greens taking 22 per cent of the popular vote, notes Charlottetown-based social justice activist Marian White.

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Five reasons Alberta might actually form an NDP government

Photo: flickr/Dave Cournoyer

The polling data coming out of Alberta is almost too unexpected to believe: 308.com's latest composite figures pegged the NDP picking up 41.8 per cent of the popular vote, a full 15 per cent above the Wildrose and Progressive Conservatives.

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From Baltimore to Toronto: Police violence threatens Black lives

On May 2 in Toronto, hundreds of protesters gathered in front of Toronto Police Headquarters, chanting "Black lives matter" as part of the action From Toronto to Baltimore, Black Lives Matter to show solidarity with Baltimore, draw attention to the practice of carding and demand their narratives be respected.

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P.E.I. election breaking new ground with a third party and abortion in the picture

Photo: flickr/ Jamie McCaffrey

The outcome of the P.E.I election on May 4 has been hard to predict considering a scandal involving the current governing Liberals is fresh in voters' minds and the rookie leadership of all political parties. None of the four political party leaders vying to become the Island's next premier have won a seat in provincial government.

P.E.I. has only once elected a member to their Legislative Assembly from outside the two dominant political parties -- the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives. Popular Green Party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker may double that number on Monday night. The dentist, writer, musician and public speaker is polling first in his riding of Kellys Cross/Cumberland.

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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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