On the Line: A History of the British Columbia Labour Movement
Harbour Publishing (2018)
B.C. IS UNION COUNTRY. ALWAYS WAS. ALWAYS WILL BE. And that’s a good thing. Rod Mickleburgh convincingly proves this in his new book On the Line.
PIXEL POWER skip Sat, 06/09/2018 - 11:35
YOU CAN ALWAYS GET MORE LIVES. All video game players know that. Video game developers can’t. They’re stuck in the real world with just one life and it’s often a killer. So often that many of them are working to form a union.
YOU CAN ALWAYS GET MORE LIVES. All video game players know that. Video game developers can’t. They’re stuck in the real world with just one life and it’s often a killer. So, often that many of them are working to form a union.
Life on the job for developers is a lot like factory work from the industrial era: suffering memory loss or being physically paralyzed from stress, with “The Boss” pushing, pushing, pushing till you feel your soul is pushed into the machine, or the screen.
But developers are beginning to push back with an effort to form a union.
The online road to unionization
The US video game industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing economic sectors, providing more than 220,000 jobs, with $36 billion in annual revenue. Hollywood is the next biggest entertainment sector. However, Hollywood has unions to represent and protect all the workers who make movies and has had these unions for decades. Game developers don’t.
A game developer who goes by Emma has been working behind the scenes to make the idea of unionizing a reality. Working alongside other developers, Emma has helped to create Game Workers Unite, an advocacy group for developers. “It’s really important to unionize because workers have literally no representation or rights when it comes to negotiating with their companies or negotiating with their employer,” said Emma.
“If you’re working in games, there’s a 99 percent chance you’re being exploited as a worker. We’re trying to start that conversation because it’s really taboo.” Emma won’t give her first name for fear of harassment and retaliation from her employer, but the group has been working on online zines and handing out fliers to support unionization.
Fear the ‘crunch’
Web development is a relatively new line of work but there is nothing new about how developers get treated at work. The pressure to produce is relentless. The hours are punishing. Rewards are few. Job security non-existant. It’s the way worklife was before unions.
A $15 MINIMUM WAGE IS ALL THE RAGE—KINDA. A new CLI Briefing Note gives a clear snapshot of the different paths three provinces are taking to get there and suggests a $15 minimum wage for all may soon be “an idea whose time has come.”
Alberta will bring in a $15 minimum wage first in October, Ontario in January 2019—unless the new government come June 7 changes things—and B.C. in 2021.
POM POM POWER
Fired Saints cheerleader Bailey Davis and her ‘provocative’ photo
ALL BAILEY DAVIS WANTS IS A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. So does Kristan Davis. They are suing the NFL to get it.
Both women were NFL cheerleaders. Both were fired. Both maintain they were victims of gender discrimination and denied basic worker’s rights due every worker, in every workplace.
Bailey Davis was fired when she dared to dress in a way the New Orleans Saints didn’t like. Kristan Davis was fired for daring to think out loud in a way the Miami Dolphins didn’t like.
UNIONS MATTER #7
LIKE YOUR TIME OFF? HUG A UNION.
Like your weekend? Thank the union movement.
Like your long weekend. Thank them even more.
Unions in Canada brought us the weekend, paid holidays and overtime.
Without unions we’d still be working seven days a week and forget about breaks.
Hug a union. They’ve worked for it.
Jainna Patel says her internship with Bell Mobility was no different from an entry-level job, plus overtime, except that she didn’t get a paycheque.
HER DAD TOLD HER THE INTERNSHIP WAS A SCAM. Jainna Patel said it wasn’t. Until the day she filed her complaint against Bell Mobility for scamming her to work for free.
ALL SHE COULD DO WAS SCREAM FOR HELP. Her personal security alarm was out of reach and next to useless anyway. It was held together with masking tape. Fortunately, other nurses heard her cries and came to her rescue.
Nurses are attacked and hurt by patients all the time. But this attack was different. It was exactly what the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union (NSGEU/NUPGE) had time and again warned the employer could happen. Now it had.
Jane Clegg in the cockpit in happier days
MISOGYNY KNOWS NO RHYME OR REASON. If it did it would treat Jane Clegg and Tammie Jo Shults the same. But it doesn’t.
It treats Jane Clegg like a zero, because of her gender. It treats Tammie Jo Shults like a hero, ignoring her gender.
Both women are airline pilots. Tammie Jo Shults recently safely landed a damaged Southwest Airlines plane with 149 people on board. She deserves all the praise she gets.
Haitian refugee Joanne Clotaire with her sons Lucas and Looandjee, left, ready to work for a new life in Canada
PAULO’S RIGHT HAND WILL NEVER BE THE SAME. The damage done in a meat grinder accident at work is too severe. You’d think he’d get workers’ compensation, no problem. You’d be wrong.