An unfortunate reality of our time, precarious employment encompasses a vast array of occupations. Archaeologists working on contracts in Québec are precariously employed, low-income workers who nevertheless regard themselves as professionals. Two years ago, they unionized much of their profession.
A forthcoming article in the fall issue of Labour/le Travail, vol. 88, using participant action research, explores how this difficult-to-organize group of workers unionized. Setting up a workers’ committee prior to union accreditation proved to be a key to their success.
Cape Breton Island’s Sydney coalfield had been an arena of intense conflict long before the storied labour wars of the early twentieth century. With the use of untapped local sources, Don Nerbas reconstructs the Lingan strike of 1882-83 in the forthcoming issue of Labour/Le Travail.
For decades, a “jobs versus environment” frame has boxed in conversations about labour and environmental policy. From the battles over owl habitat in the Pacific Northwest that pitted loggers against environmentalists to the current conflicts between fossil fuel workers and governments moving slowly toward greenhouse gas reductions, workers and their unions have been cast as obstacles to ecological progress.