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Tag Archives: Labour

By: Chris Burke

To say that British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was a divisive figure would be putting it mildly.  Reactions to her death have ranged from The Economist putting the title “Freedom Fighter” over the image of the late Thatcher to street parties being held in the UK celebrating her death.  I haven’t celebrated her death, she hasn’t done anything that ever impacted me directly so doing so would be malicious for the sake of it, but I understand why people are celebrating her death.  A more appropriate title for Thatcher would read “oppressor”.  There have been calls from the British ruling class for respect during this time.  Respect.  Respect for the person who ruined lives.[1]  If there’s one thing Thatcher doesn’t deserve, it’s respect.

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Thatcher was one of the key faces in the global rise of neo-liberalism.  An ideology that, I would argue, has been responsible for the current state of the world.  Neo-liberalism arose from the efforts to get the capitalists economies out of the 1970s crisis.  The crisis was largely brought on by problems in the labour market, cheap labour wasn’t in supply the way it was after the Second World War.  Increased investment in technology was failing to deliver on the promise of increased productivity from labour.  Rates of profit in the UK were falling from 1963 and 1975.  The crisis was the result of labour shortages and falling profits, a classic capitalist crisis. [2]   Not unions and state-run industries as the Thatcherites would argue.

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By: Evan Engering

In this recessionary age of massive layoffs and outsourcing, there is a priority to restore the promise of secure, stable jobs that we once had. However, the solutions being presented often do not address the depth of the problem, and instead advance the status quo, with the hope that maybe capitulating to the interests of employers will trickle down to benefit employees.

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Here in Ontario, we see several forms of this. From the Progressive-Conservative Party, we have Tim Hudak, proposing a total evisceration of labour unions, a move that would set worker’s rights back over sixty years. While the reactionary substance is alarming, it is also revealing of the true implications of “competitiveness” that regional markets are supposed to have, if they are to survive in today’s world.

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By: Clement Nocos

Last week, Statistics Canada released somewhat newsworthy data regarding the languages spoken today across Canada’s multicultural mosaic and surprising the commentators was the rise in Tagalog, spoken as the mother tongue by over 384 000 Filipino-Canadians; an increase of 64% since 2006. This newcomer community has grown to be huge in Canada, surpassing China and India as the largest source of migrants in the past few years, though it remains “under-the-radar” of Canadian society.

This release was somewhat conveniently timed. That same week I got in the mail Filipinos in Canada: Disturbing Invisibilty (2012, University of Toronto Press); released just last month, this book is a collection of articles on the place of the Filipino community in Canada that highlights their ‘invisibility’:

Missing in Canadian historical and educational discourse are the Filipina/os whose labour as caregivers has become the solution to problems of family health, safety, and well-being, and has become a major support for work and life balance. Through their labour in Canadian homes, they enable the development of professional careers and the accumulation of capital in upper- and middle-class families. Yet the significant role that Filipina/os play in Canada’s welfare and prosperity remains absent in mainstream narrations. (Filipinos in Canada, 284).

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