This is part two of my discussion with Dr. Stephanie Ross, associate professor and director of the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University. She is author, co-author and co-editor of several works on Canadian labour and unions, including Building a Better World: An Introduction to the Labour Movement in Canada (Fernwood, 2015) and Labour Under Attack: Anti-Unionism in Canada (Fernwood, 2018).
In this second part of the interview, we talk about life within unions in more detail, especially about the inequalities that unions sometimes reproduce within themselves while protecting workers’ interests. Seniority is an example of this, a principle many unions have established to guide layoffs, pay, promotion, etc. Seniority is key in disrupting the bosses’ power to arbitrarily dismiss employees, but it also disproportionately impacts younger workers who are the least able to shoulder the cost of layoffs when they are downloaded onto them.
And as a couple of professors we can’t help but gab about the crazily unequal workplace that is the contemporary university, where faculty unions have tolerated or accepted differential tiers of employment—the distinction between tenured faculty and sessional/adjunct faculty. It’s a corrosive situation that undermines worker solidarity.
This week I talk to Dr. Stephanie Ross, associate professor and director of the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University. She is author, co-author and co-editor of several works on Canadian labour and unions, including Building a Better World: An Introduction to the Labour Movement in Canada (Fernwood, 2015) and the book we primarily discuss today, Labour Under Attack: Anti-Unionism in Canada (Fernwood, 2018).
Do Canadians and workers support unions? What are the sources of influential anti-union ideas? What do labour organizations themselves do that sometimes fosters anti-union sentiment? We address these thorny but important topics today.
This is part 1 of a 2-part interview with Dr. Ross. The second part will be released as a premium episode, available to patrons of the show at the 5 dollar a month level or higher. Sign up at https://www.patreon.com/bePatron?u=7353597
Hint: it's not just for capital-L Liberals.
Find the full interview with Ian McKay here: https://www.sweaterweatherpod.com/home/a-century-of-canadian-socialism-feat-ian-mckay
In episode 8 I talk to Ian McKay, professor of history at McMaster University and director of the L.R. Wilson Institute for Canadian History. He is the author and co-author of numerous books and articles about the Canadian left, including Reasoning Otherwise: Leftists and the People’s Enlightenment in Canada, 1890-1920, as well as Rebels, Reds, Radicals: Rethinking Canada’s Left History. This is an absolute gem of an episode, a must watch for anyone craving a comprehensive historical perspective on socialism and social movements in Canada.
We begin our discussion, however, talking about liberalism and Prof. McKay’s now classic essay, “The Liberal Order Framework: A Prospectus for a Reconnaissance of Canadian History” which frames Canadian history as the progress of a ‘passive revolution’ towards liberalism as it became the dominant ideology in Canada. With this groundwork in place, we move through several historical periods of Canadian socialism, at times a competitor to liberalism, as laid out in another of Prof. McKay's influential papers, “For a New Kind of History: A Reconnaissance of 100 Years of Canadian Socialism.”
Trailer Park Boys: Great Show or Greatest Show? feat. Clinton, Rory & Tyler from The Alberta Advantage
The boys from The Alberta Advantage—Clinton, Rory, Tyler—visit Sweater Weather to gab about the boys from the trailer park—Ricky, Julian and Bubbles. That’s right, we’re talking Trailer Park Boys!
It's one of the best Canadian television shows ever, and one of the few to find an international audience. And while its heyday was 2001-2007, Trailer Park Boys has an enduring appeal to leftists because of its depictions of class, community, and for just being so damn funny.
Rory is our resident East Coaster and he shares his deep knowledge of Nova Scotia political economy and anecdotes about that region's love of pepperoni. That's well worth the price of admission alone, but then Clinton drops snappy TPB trivia while Tyler plumbs the humanistic heart of life in Sunnyvale.
Will the next federal election spell doom for the NDP, out maneuvered by the Conservatives for working-class voters?
I talk to Steven C. High, professor of history at Concordia University and author of the recent article for Canadian Dimension, "Right-wing populism and the realignment of working-class politics in Canada."
Find the article here: https://canadiandimension.com/article...
Sweater Weather is a podcast providing a class analysis of Canadian arts, culture & society. It's produced & hosted by Aaron Giovannone, an English professor and writer based in Calgary, Alberta.