rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

This year, labour stood for us all

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Image: Joe deSousa/Flickr

2020 has been a year when workers and the labour movement were more active than ever. Teachers' unions, health-care unions, unions representing grocery workers and workers in packing plants, workers' rights organizations, which work with the many vulnerable workers deemed essential during this crisis, and other unions were key partners in crafting the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS).

Here is a roundup of some of the amazing fights unions have been leading.  

Worker supports during COVID-19 and employment insurance reforms: Unions, workers' rights organizations and the Canadian Labour Federation were integral to the shaping and extension of CERB and CEWS. As these benefits were phased out, the unions also demanded and got long overdue changes to employment insurance. Many workers still need protections, and so we must keep fighting to continue to expand these benefits for all people who work in Canada. 

Education: Ever since the election of Doug Ford in Ontario and Jason Kenney in Alberta, teachers have been fighting for the future of education. In these interviews, Jason Schilling of the Alberta Teachers' Association and Harvey Bischof of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation talk about their fights to stop the gutting of public education. Now that schools are re-opening again, here is a province-by-province look at the fights being mounted by unions to keep everyone in our schools and communities safe.  

Food industry: Many of the workers who help put food on our tables were deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of us noticed the conditions under which they work. Unions and workers' rights organizations stood with workers to demand improvements to working conditions. We still have a lot of work to do. 

Long-term care: Before the COVID-19 pandemic, rabble.ca's former labour beat reporter Zaid Noorsumar shined a light on the problems in the home-care and long-term care sectors. The COVID-19 pandemic unfortunately made us all start to pay attention to the disastrous impact of privatized care. Workers have been at the forefront, demanding change in the long-term care sector.  

2020 has laid bare the crises brewing in prisons, hospitals, policing and across almost every industry in Canada. We thank workers for organizing and leading the way. We will continue to stand with them.

Image: Joe deSousa/Flickr

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.

Comments

We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:

Do

  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.

Don't

  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.