Workers Issues in Canada

The global assault on jobs

By Jerry White, 5 June 2019

Job cuts by the Australian telecommunications company Telstra are part of a wave of international layoffs that urgently point to the need for a globally coordinated response by the working class.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Mass demonstrations in defense of education in Brazil, Honduran educators and doctors strike

4 June 2019

Mass protests are continuing in Brazil against education cuts by the right-wing Bolsanaro administration while striking Honduran teachers and doctors held protests against privatization of healthcare and education.

Longshore union sabotages strike by 2,000 dockworkers in Vancouver, British Columbia

By Roger Jordan, 28 May 2019

Despite a 98 percent strike vote by dock workers, the president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Canada called off the strike just hours before it was to begin.

Chilean professors call for strike, teachers in Honduras begin nationwide walkout

Workers Struggles: The Americas

28 May 2019

Members of Chile’s College of Professors have set a June 3 strike date, meanwhile Honduran teachers declared a nationwide walkout over threats to privatize education.

Three-day strike by Mexican teachers against “education reforms”

Workers Struggles: the Americas

21 May 2019

Last week teachers all across Mexico took part in strikes and protests to oppose continuing attacks on public education being overseen by the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

Canada’s government uses bogus “foreign interference” claims to expand censorship ahead of federal election

By Penny Smith and Roger Jordan, 17 May 2019

The government’s reactionary campaign has the twin aims of legitimizing censorship of social media and whipping up hostility against Russia and China, which Canadian imperialism views as its most dangerous rivals.

How Québec Solidaire abetted the rise of anti-Muslim chauvinism

By Richard Dufour, 15 May 2019

Québec Solidaire’s volte-face on discriminatory measures is to try to cover its tracks under conditions where it is increasingly being discredited as an accomplice of the far right.

One-day general strike in Colombia

Workers Struggles: The Americas

30 April 2019

Workers mobilized in opposition to the National Development plan being proposed by President Ivan Duque that would mean significant attacks on workers.

GM continues tax avoidance schemes while it slashes thousands of jobs

By George Kirby, 26 April 2019

General Motors has received billions of dollars in government tax benefits over the past decade even as it continues to cut jobs and extract concessions from workers.

Ontario Tory government intensifies assault on workers’ rights

By Penny Smith, 26 April 2019

Ford’s thinly veiled threat to criminalize teachers’ strikes must be taken as a serious warning: emboldened by the unions’ complicity, the Tories are escalating their class-war assault.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Argentine newspaper and casino workers strike

23 April 2019

Workers at Clarín and sports daily Olé walked off the job April 17 over the firing of 56 of their colleagues while workers struck all Buenos Aires-area casinos for 48 hours over threatened closures.

Mexican teachers protest while DHL and Amazon pilots protest stalled talks

Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 April 2019

Workers in a number of towns in Chiapas are protesting education “reforms” under the administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador while air cargo pilots protested outside Amazon’s offices in Florence, Kentucky.

Quebec premier backs ABI in extorting massive concessions from locked-out workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 12 April 2019

Legault’s pro-company bullying underscores the utter bankruptcy of the strategy of the USW, which has isolated the ABI workers while urging them to put their faith in appeals to Quebec right-wing CAQ government.

US independent trucker group calls for shutdown, protests in Argentina against austerity

Workers Struggles: The Americas

9 April 2019

A group of US owner-operator truckers has set April 12 for a protest over rates and regulatory issues, while tens of thousands in Argentina marched to protest the Macri government’s anti-worker economic policies.

“We are the future. Give us what we need!”

Thousands of Ontario students walk out to protest school cuts

By our reporters, 6 April 2019

The student-led initiative saw thousands rally across the province against the right-wing government of Doug Ford.

Ontario workers need an international socialist program to defend public education and fight austerity

By the Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 6 April 2019

If public education from kindergarten to university is to be defended, workers and students must launch a political struggle independently of the unions and in opposition to the entire political establishment.

Prioritizing of profit at root of fire that killed seven Syrian refugee children in Nova Scotia

By Frédéric Charlebois, 5 April 2019

The mandatory installation of automated sprinklers would save lives, but capitalist governments are loathe to diminish the profits of the construction industry.

Infighting in Canada’s government deepens with release of surreptitious SNC-Lavalin recording

By Roger Jordan, 2 April 2019

Revelations that the former justice minister secretly recorded a discussion with the country’s senior civil servant have intensified the Liberal government’s crisis.

Mexican paper workers strike, demand ousting of company union

Workers Struggles: The Americas

2 April 2019

Paperworkers in the state of Tamaulipas struck March 29 to demand the expulsion of the Fasim union, which they accuse of siding with their employer, Absormex.

Quebec: USW proposes further rollbacks, after locked-out ABI workers reject derisory company offer

By Laurent Lafrance, 30 March 2019

It is the Steelworkers’ systematic isolation of the ABI aluminum workers’ anti-concessions struggle that has emboldened Alcoa to repeatedly escalate its demands.

FCA Canada to cut third shift at Windsor Assembly

By Shannon Jones, 30 March 2019

The global assault on auto jobs is continuing with the announcement by Fiat Chrysler that it is eliminating a full shift, 1,500 jobs, at its plant in Windsor, Ontario.

Unifor announces bogus ‘job saving’ plan as GM moves to close Oshawa plant

By Carl Bronski, 22 March 2019

Unifor will suspend its Save Oshawa GM publicity campaign on the basis of nothing more than the possibility of a slight adjustment in the plant’s closing schedule.

Canada: Train derailment kills three, exposes terrible working conditions

By Penny Smith, 16 March 2019

CP Rail is lobbying Transport Canada to abandon a new rule it introduced following last month’s derailment, calling it too "time-consuming."

Argentina: Patagonian teachers vote to strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

26 February 2019

Workers in the Patagonian province of Santa Cruz have voted to strike over pay increases and staffing shortages caused by the layoff of thousands of teachers.

Callous government policies lead to freezing death of homeless man in Edmonton, Alberta

By Riksen Stewart, 21 February 2019

The man’s death follows the city's decision to shut subway stations at night to prevent homeless people from sheltering inside during the cold.

Colombian teachers in 24-hour national strike over attacks on public education

Workers Struggles: The Americas

19 February 2019

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Series of regional strikes hit Argentina

Workers Struggles: The Americas

12 February 2019

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As Unifor escalates racist anti-Mexico campaign

Canadian union leader postures as supporter of Matamoros strikers

By Roger Jordan, 6 February 2019

Unifor’s near-total silence about the courageous struggle of the Matamoras workers is of a piece with their reactionary campaign attacking Mexican workers for GM’s job massacre.

Brazil service workers on strike, Ford workers end job action

Workers Struggles: the Americas

29 January 2019

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Unifor launches anti-Mexican boycott as diversion from fight over Oshawa closure

By Carl Bronski, 26 January 2019

Unifor President Dias has announced an anti-Mexican consumer boycott over the Oshawa closure as workers in Matamoros, Mexico, expand their struggle against sweatshop conditions.

Teachers protest in Venezuela, contract talks begin with US oil refiners

Workers Struggles: The Americas

22 January 2019

Teachers in Venezuela participated in strikes and protests last week over pay, which is being decimated by hyperinflation; some 30,000 US oil refinery workers face a February 1 contract deadline.

The working class must come to the defence of the Canada Post workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 18 January 2019

Having outlawed postal workers’ campaign of rotating strikes, the ruling class views the imposition of further concessions as crucial to their agenda of austerity and militarism.

Six-hour strike by Honduran public health workers over wage demand

Workers Struggles: The Americas

15 January 2019

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Following Oshawa GM sitdown protest, autoworkers fed poison of Canadian nationalism at Windsor rally

By Shannon Jones, 12 January 2019

Autoworkers attending a rally called by Unifor in Windsor, Ontario who were looking for a way to fight GM plant closures were instead hit with a strong dose of Canadian nationalism by union officials.

Unite Canadian, US and Mexican autoworkers!

Build rank-and-file committees to fight GM’s plant shutdowns in Oshawa and the US

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 11 January 2019

Unifor cannot be pressured or reformed. Workers must take the struggle to stop the plant closures into their own hands.

Chilean port workers resume protests over firings

Workers Struggles: The Americas

8 January 2019

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As one-year anniversary of lockout approaches

Alcoa intensifies attack on Quebec ABI workers

By Laurent Lafrance, 4 January 2019

The United Steelworkers’ systematic isolation of the ABI workers’ anti-concessions struggle has encouraged management to escalate its takeaway demands.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Argentine teachers protest and strike over night school closures

3 January 2019

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Government-named arbitrator to dictate Canada Post workers’ contract

By Louis Girard, 29 December 2018

The criminalization of the postal workers’ strike campaign and the impending imposition of concessionary contracts constitute an attack on the entire working class.

UAW, Democrats seek to block struggle by workers against GM plant shutdowns

By Marcus Day, 28 December 2018

The UAW and the Democratic Party are seeking to whip up anti-Mexican sentiment and divert anger away from the auto corporations, which are attacking workers around the world.

Echoing Trump, Unifor pleads for GM to cut Mexican auto jobs

By Carl Bronski, 22 December 2018

For decades, Unifor and the UAW have pitted workers against each other, helping the automakers to whip-saw jobs, wages, pensions and benefits back and forth across borders in a never-ending race to the bottom.

Ontario Conservatives ban impending power workers’ strike

By Carl Bronski, 20 December 2018

The attack on the power workers comes just three weeks after the federal Liberal government outlawed a campaign of rotating strikes against Canada Post.

Ontario Tories to block power workers strike; Mexican teachers strike to demand bonus

Workers Struggles: The Americas

18 December 2018

Thousands of teachers in Baja California struck to demand payment of their year-end bonus last week while the Ontario Tory government has recalled the provincial legislature to illegalize a threatened strike by power workers.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Chilean public workers and airline workers strike

11 December 2018

Public workers in Chile held a nationwide walkout December 6 to protest layoffs at the same time that airport workers for LATAM airline in Chile walked off the job in a pay dispute.

“A serious fightback will only develop through action initiated by the rank-and-file workers”

GM Oshawa workers speak out against plant closure

By A WSWS reporting team, 8 December 2018

WSWS reporters visited GM’s Oshawa plant in Ontario Wednesday to discuss the company’s plan to close the plant and how workers can fight back.

1937: When Canadian and US autoworkers fought together

By Roger Jordan, 6 December 2018

In the face of GM’s plans to shut down five plants in the US and Canada, we are reposting this article about the history of cross-border collaboration by workers originally published in October 2016.

GM, Ford, Bayer, Bombardier

Global investors demand escalation of class war on workers’ jobs and wages

By Jerry White, 5 December 2018

The plant closings and layoffs at GM are part of a broader assault on the working class throughout the world being directed by the most powerful corporate interests.

Police and courts enforce Trudeau’s law criminalizing Canada Post strike

By Roger Jordan, 4 December 2018

The further escalation of the state assault on postal workers underscores that to oppose precarious employment, unsafe working conditions and declining real wages they and the working class as a whole must mount a political struggle.

Locked-out ABI aluminum workers demonstrate in downtown Montreal

By our reporters, 1 December 2018

The steelworkers union has systematically isolated the struggle of the 1,030 locked-out ABI workers, while signaling its willingness to impose concessions and job cuts.

At ABI workers’ protest, USW officials accost and threaten WSWS supporters

By Laurent Lafrance, 1 December 2018

Flanked by other supporters of the Steelworker bureaucracy, Dominic Lemieux, the assistant to the Quebec USW director, accosted and slandered WSWS supporters.

Canadian and US autoworkers call for a united struggle against GM’s assault on jobs

By Will Morrow, 1 December 2018

The broad support for a united struggle by workers contrasts with the efforts by the UAW and Unifor to fan the flames of nationalism.

‬Greyhound axes bus service across Western Canada

By Penny Smith, 29 November 2018

Greyhound, North America’s largest transportation provider, has ceased services across Western Canada after operating there without interruption for nearly a century.

Trudeau government illegalizes Canada Post strike

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 27 November 2018

The Liberal legislation illegalizing Canada Post workers’ campaign of rotating walkouts is only the latest in a battery of laws that have largely abolished the right-to-strike in Canada.

Chilean port workers strike over working conditions

Workers Struggles: The Americas

27 November 2018

Temporary port workers in Valparaíso, who are aptly called precarious, staged a November 22 walkout to press for better conditions including improvements in pay.

Canada Post workers need socialist strategy to defy and defeat Liberals’ back-to-work law

By Roger Jordan, 24 November 2018

Working people across Canada must come to the defence of the 50,000 Canada Post workers whose struggle is now being criminalized by the Liberal government.

Trudeau government introduces bill to outlaw Canada Post strike

By Keith Jones, 23 November 2018

If postal workers have been ambushed by the government, it is because CUPW has sought to blind them to the threat of a Liberal back-to-work law, while limiting and isolating their struggle.

Canada Post and Trudeau government conspire to break postal strike

By Keith Jones, 20 November 2018

While Canada Post mounts one provocation after another and the Liberals ready strikebreaking legislation, CUPW continues to straitjacket postal workers’ struggle.

Strike call in Dominican Republic over fuel price rise, crumbling infrastructure while nurses press demands

Workers Struggles: The Americas

20 November 2018

Social organizations in the Dominican Republic have called for a 24-hour strike November 27 over issues including fuel price increases and the decrepit state of infrastructure.

As Canada Post steps up provocations, union silent on back-to-work law threat

By Roger Jordan and Keith Jones, 17 November 2018

A government source told Canadian Press Friday evening that state intervention against postal workers could come as early as Sunday, adding, in a reference to Trudeau’s earlier threat, “‘all the options’ does include legislating.”

Canada Post union silent on Trudeau’s threat to outlaw strike

By Keith Jones, 14 November 2018

The CUPW’s silence must be taken as a warning that the union is preparing to bow before the government and torpedo the strike just as did it in 2011.

Quebec: Talks to resume in ABI lockout under threat of state-imposed concessions contract

By Laurent Lafrance, 13 November 2018

USW leaders have repeatedly proclaimed their readiness to make major concessions, and are now signaling they will collaborate with Alcoa in slashing jobs.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

13 November 2018

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Trudeau threatens to criminalize Canada Post strike

By Roger Jordan, 10 November 2018

The union leadership has done everything to limit postal workers’ job action, isolating it from the rest of the working class and allowing the government to go on the offensive.

Work stoppages by Argentine air cabin crew members lead to flight cancellations

Workers Struggles: The Americas

6 November 2018

A surprise walkout by workers at three airlines on November 2 over downsizing led to number of flight cancellations at Jorge Newbery terminal outside of Buenos Aires.

Canada Post workers’ rotating strike briefly extended to Montreal

By our reporters, 2 November 2018

The union’s rotating strike strategy is designed to dissipate workers’ energy, curtail Canada Post’s profits as little as possible, and avoid confrontation with the trade union-supported Liberal government.

To cheers from big business

Ontario slashes minimum wage, guts labour standards

By Keith Jones, 31 October 2018

In an applause-punctuated address to the Ontario Economic Summit, Ontario Premier Doug Ford made clear his government is bracing for mass working class opposition.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Public workers protest in Venezuela; Canada Post workers continue rotating strikes

30 October 2018

Thousands of public sector workers rallied in Venezuela last week to protest falling living standards, while the Canadian Union of Postal Workers is continuing its strategy of impotent rotating one-day strikes in order to dissipate worker anger without seriously impacting mail delivery.

Canadian postal workers criticize ineffectual rotating walkouts

By our reporters, 26 October 2018

The CUPW leadership is holding workers on a tight leash, with the aim of preventing a clash with the big business Liberal government.

Canada: Postal union launches rotating walkout campaign

By Keith Jones, 23 October 2018

Due to privatization, speed-up, service cuts and the shift to parcel delivery, postal workers have experienced a huge erosion in their living standards and working conditions.

Mexican professors strike, Argentine teachers to hold one-day national strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

23 October 2018

Professors at the Autonomous University of Morelos State and Zacatecas are continuing strike action while teachers in Argentina will hold a one-day strike and mobilization October 24.

Quebec: Nine-month lockout continues, as talks at Alcoa’s ABI smelter collapse

By Laurent Lafrance, 20 October 2018

Confident that the Steelworkers union will continue to leave the ABI workers to fight alone, the aluminum bosses have repeatedly upped their concession demands.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

16 October 2018

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Unions to “work with” Quebec’s new right-wing populist government

By Laurent Lafrance, 15 October 2018

After decades of suppressing working class opposition to Liberal and PQ-led austerity governments, the unions are now offering their services to François Legault and his right-wing populist CAQ government.

Canada: The unions’ suppression of the 1995-97 anti-Harris movement: Political lessons for today

Part 4: The SEP, the unions and the pseudo-left

By Carl Bronski and Roger Jordan, 12 October 2018

To defeat the social counter-revolution spearheaded by Ford, workers need to build new organizations of struggle in political and organizational opposition to the pro-capitalist unions and NDP.

PART ONE | PART TWO | PART THREE | PART FOUR

Canada: The unions’ suppression of the 1995-97 anti-Harris movement: Political lessons for today

Part 3: The 1997 Ontario teachers’ strike

By Carl Bronski and Roger Jordan, 10 October 2018

The unions scuttled the province-wide teachers’ strike not because of any lack of rank-and-file or public support, but because they feared that the teachers’ defiance would spark a wider working-class challenge to the Harris government.

Canada: Workers need a socialist program to fight the right-wing populist danger

By the Socialist Equality Party (Canada), 9 October 2018

It is the official “left” has created the conditions for right-wing populist forces to come to power exploiting popular disaffection with the traditional big business parties.

Chilean teachers in two-day national strike; BC forestry workers set to walk out

Workers Struggles: The Americas

9 October 2018

Tens of thousands of teachers struck across Chile on October 3 and 4 to press demands, including economic grievances, while 2,000 forestry workers in northern British Columbia in Canada are preparing to go on strike.

Canada: The unions’ suppression of the 1995–97 anti-Harris movement: Political lessons for today

Part 2: Unions work to diffuse swelling working-class opposition

By Carl Bronski and Roger Jordan, 8 October 2018

By organizing a series of regional “days of action” in smaller cities, the union bureaucracy sought to allow workers to let off steam, while pledging to uphold Harris’ “constitutional mandate” to govern.

Costa Rican public workers’ strike enters its fourth week

Workers Struggles: The Americas

2 October 2018

The striking workers are resisting government austerity measures in the teeth of savage state repression.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Costa Rican workers and students protest fiscal “reforms;” Sun-Maid workers continue strike in California

18 September 2018

Costa Rican public sector workers, backed by students and others, protest anti-worker fiscal reforms last week; meanwhile 500 Sun-Maid workers are fighting management’s concession demands.

Canada’s trade unions deepen corporatist alliance with government during NAFTA talks

By Roger Jordan, 15 September 2018

While stoking reactionary Canadian nationalism and boasting of their role as official government advisers during the NAFTA talks, leading union bureaucrats are pulling out all the stops to prevent an eruption of class struggle.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

Teachers in Argentina vote for limited strike actions

11 September 2018

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Alcoa workers in Canada and Australia confront the same employer offensive

By Laurent Lafrance, 6 September 2018

Alcoa has forced 1,500 workers at five facilities in Western Australia out on strike, even as it issues fresh threats against workers at its Bécancour, Quebec, aluminum smelter who have been locked out since January.

As lockout at Quebec smelter nears eighth month,

ABI management demands more concessions, job cuts

By Laurent Lafrance, 31 July 2018

The Steelworkers union is systematically isolating the ABI workers' struggle, even as the aluminum bosses escalate their concession demands.

Workers Struggles: The Americas

31 July 2018

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Ontario government passes draconian law to end five-month York University strike

By Jake Silver, 27 July 2018

The union, which in late June offered to voluntarily submit "major outstanding issues" to arbitration, immediately complied with the legislation.

1,700 Detroit janitors on poverty wages face a July 31 contract expiration

Workers Struggles: The Americas

24 July 2018

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Confrontation between Lima police and striking Peruvian teachers

Workers Struggles: The Americas

3 July 2018

At least 5,000 teachers from the metropolitan Lima area have had their salaries withheld because of strike activity and authorities have begun replacing striking teachers with scabs.

Quebec construction unions shut down week-long wildcat strike by crane operators

By Laurent Lafrance, 30 June 2018

The Quebec Liberal government intervened aggressively against the strike, threatening to prosecute strikers and demanding the unions suppress it.

Chilean copper miners to strike against layoffs; Crane workers strike in Quebec

Workers Struggles: The Americas

26 June 2018

Some 1,700 copper miners at the Chuquicamata mine complex in Chile have announced a strike against layoffs while 2,000 crane operators in Quebec walked off the job in a wildcat strike.

Ontario’s Ford-led government initiates class-war assault

By Roger Jordan, 23 June 2018

As a down payment on its plans to slash public services, Ontario’s incoming Conservative government has imposed a public sector hiring freeze.

Lockout at Quebec aluminum smelter enters sixth month

By Laurent Lafrance, 12 June 2018

The workers are determined to resist ABI’s concessions demands. But the Steelworkers union is adamantly opposed to making their struggle a rallying point for opposition to the big business assault on jobs, wages and working conditions.

Quebec premier denounces workers’ “high wages,” supports employer drive to extort concessions

By Laurent Lafrance, 12 June 2018

Quebec Premier François Legault and his right-wing populist Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government are on a collision course with the working class.

Protests against layoffs across Argentina, Quebec daycare workers strike

Workers Struggles: the Americas

12 June 2018

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Windsor casino strike ends, teachers protest in Mexico City

Workers Struggles: The Americas

5 June 2018

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Naomi Klein promotes pro-war, pro-austerity NDP as antidote to populist far-right

By Roger Jordan, 1 June 2018

Under conditions of a global resurgence of the class struggle, Klein has intervened in the Ontario election campaign to try to refurbish the NDP’s tattered “left” credentials and resuscitate illusions in the failed national-reformist perspective.

Teamsters scuttle Canadian Pacific Rail strike, laud Trudeau

By Keith Jones, 31 May 2018

The Teamsters have provided no details of the proposed four-year agreement, let alone given the striking train drivers and conductors the opportunity to study and vote on it prior to forcing them back to work.

Three thousand Canadian railway workers strike against long hours and speed-up

By Roger Jordan, 30 May 2018

The strike pits the CP Rail workers not just against a ruthless corporate giant, but also against Canada’s big business Liberal government, which stands poised to criminalize the strike.

Canadian Pacific Railway workers set to strike

Workers Struggles: The Americas

29 May 2018

Some 3,000 rail workers across Canada are set to strike Tuesday evening after rejecting management’s last offer, which failed to meet worker demands for improvements in working conditions and other issues.

Windsor casino workers continue strike following contract rejection

By Shannon Jones, 25 May 2018

Casino workers courageously defied the Unifor union, which has isolated the seven-week walkout and tried to starve the 2,300 workers into submission.