BLACK HISTORY MONTH IS A TIME FOR US TO BE GLAD AND SAD.
Glad to celebrate the countless and many unsung achievements and victories of black people. And sad because, despite it all, we are still not free from the scourge of racial discrimination.
Black history IS Canadian history. The two should not be divided. Our common history must, and will, include standing with black Canadians until they are paid fairly, treated fairly, and given rights and respect every Canadian deserves.
STEPHEN McNEIL HAS GOT IT IN FOR UNIONS. The evidence is as clear as the three court challenges his government faces over recent changes made to labour laws in Nova Scotia.
But the McNeil government is hardly alone. Disrespect for labour rights protected by our Charter of Rights and Freedoms continues to be as common in Canada as snow in February. This unfortunate reality is clearly set out in the latest edition of Backgrounder: Summary of current Charter challenges and their impact on union security in Canada.
Roger Fowler writes poems to remember and honour his many friends and former GE workers who have died of cancer.
THE BOSS LIED TO THEM FOR YEARS AND THEY KNEW IT. They knew their work was making them sick. They knew a study by the boss that said it wasn’t was bogus. Now the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) says the workers were right all along.
UNIONS MAKE DEMOCRACY WORK BETTER. They don't just leave government up to the politicians. They believe the best way to keep our democracy strong is to get us all to use it and use it and use it. That is the best way we have to make democracy live up to its promise of government of, for and by the people.
Chris Long joins teammate Malcom Jenkins in NFL players protest against racial inequality and police brutality in the USA
THEY ALL WANNA BE IN ON IT. All the players associations in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB—they have all teamed up with the World Players Association in support of the Universal Declaration of Player Rights
The declaration was unveiled December 14 2017 at a gathering of 40 players’ unions reps hosted by the NFL Players association.
MOST OF OUR UNIVERSITY TEACHERS ARE GETTING SCREWED. They have few benefits, and no pension plan for retirement. They are paid by the course, with no guarantee that they will have their contracts renewed next term. They live like this for years, even decades.
WORKED TO DEATH
Olivier Bruneau was crushed and killed on the job in Ottawa in 2016
WHO’S FAULT IS IT THAT JESUS SANCHEZ IS DEAD? Nobody asked that question in 1996. Now Oliver Bruneau is dead too.
There should have been an inquest 20-some years ago when Jesus Sanchez fell 13 metres to his death on the job. Ontario law makes it mandatory. But there was no inquest. Nobody can say why.
LIANE TESSIER HAS A BURNING DESIRE TO SEE JUSTICE DONE. It brought her victory in her battle against systemic sexual discrimination and workplace harassment in the Halifax fire department. But none of if came easy.
Halifax Fire Chief Ken Stuebing delivered a formal apology to Liane on behalf of the Halifax fire service and the the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission at a public news conference on Decemember 18.
Topic: The Ways We Win
Forty years of success for book publisher without bosses
BETWEEN THE LINES BOOKS IS A BOSS-FREE ZONE. And it works.
It works so well the collective is one of the most successful small book publishers in Canada. It has managed to stay in business for 40 years to publish over 350 books, many still in print. No small feat in an industry where long life with strong sales are rare.
Between the Lines (BTL) is celebrating their success with a book titled Books Without Bosses. The book is a light-handed, graphic history of the life and times of BTL. The story is presented with thought and speech bubbles floating around caricatures of the main players. The comic-book-like style captures the overall open and audacious approach that seems to be big part of the BTL success.
“We had no business plan. Any accountant or businessperson would have just laughed,” recalls Ken Epps, a founding member of Between the Lines.
From the beginning, BTL was a collective, a workplace where no one —and therefore everyone —was boss. The original collective had nine members—many of whom are still active participants in the whole BTL project.
The BTL goal in 1977 was to “ask uncomfortable questions, challenge the status quo, amplify the voices of marginalized peoples, and help us to rethink Canada’s history and place in the world.” And that’s exactly what they’ve been doing for the last 40 years.
Their first book was The Big Nickel: Inco at Home and Abroad. It was a muckraking attack on Inco. A steady stream of books followed, including books on critical race, culture, history, identity, politics, labour activism and social movements.
The newest BTL books continue to do what they have always done: namely, to call on readers to arm themselves with knowledge and to challenge the powerful.
Political principles more than ‘sixties idealism’
How BTL operates continues to be as important as what they produce. It is a matter of turning what some would likely call “sixties idealism” into political principle and sticking to it—for forty years.
The BTL small office staff and Editorial Committee make decisions—from what to publish to how to run the place—by consensus. The Editorial Committee includes a number of original and longtime members, as well as several younger academics and community activists eager to carry on the publishing work started by the generation before them.