Intern death puts spotlight on harsh working conditions
This week, the death of an intern working in the London office of Bank of America Merrill Lynch raised questions about the lengths some young workers feel forced to go to land their dream job. Moritz Erhardt, 21, a German student working a summer internship for the prestigious investment bank, was found dead in his apartment after allegedly working 72 hours straight.
The young man’s death has triggered a flurry of responses calling for an investigation into how many hours interns work. In high-pressure industries like finance, the competition among interns for positions with salaries that often start upwards of $80,000 USD is fierce, creating added incentives for underpaid and overworked interns to push themselves even harder.
American fast food and retail workers to walk out for living wage August 29
Labour organizations in the United States are organizing a massive walkout of fast-food and retail workers across the country to demand a living wage and the right to form a union. The protest, to take place a day after the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice, was organized after workers saw the support they were receiving on social media after walkouts in a number of U.S. cities earlier this month.
Canadian Labour Council (CLC) endorses Labatt Imports boycott
In what CLC president Ken Georgetti is now calling a “David and Goliath battle,” about 50 workers at a St. John’s brewery owned by the Canadian division of the Anheuser-Busch InBev brewing corporation are continuing their over four month long strike. CLC is adding their support to a boycott first called upon by the striking workers in July, which includes popular beers Stella Artois and Lowenbrau. If you do want to imbibe this weekend, Alternet has put together a handy resource guide to union made beers, and outlined the tangled web that is international beer production.
B.C. Education workers poised to strike
Talks between the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and the B.C. provincial government broke down August 13, opening up the possibility of a strike this fall. The over 27,000 education workers are demanding a fully funded wage increase, something they haven’t received in over four years.
Striking Toronto Plaza Hotel workers keep up pressure
Workers at a north Toronto hotel are gathering allies to their side as their strike stretches into its 12th week. Representatives from the Ontario Federation of Labour joined about 40 workers represented by United Steel Workers as they demand benefits and increased wages. Peter Hasek has a first hand account of joining the hotel employees on the picket lines August 15 at Rank and File.
rabble.ca is pleased to welcome journalist H.G. Watson as our new labour beat reporter. H.G. Watson is a multimedia journalist currently based in Waterloo, Ontario. After a brief foray into studying law, she decided that she preferred filing stories to editors than factums to the court. Since then, she’s held editorial positions at the Lance in Windsor and The Cord in Waterloo, where she’s the Editor-in-Chief of the Cord Community Edition. She’s also written freelance stories for a number of publications.