G Stands for General Strike
Hoogers, Evert, Canadian Dimension
In the July/August issue of CD, the "Labour Report" column suggested that it was high time for activists and the Left in the labour movement, especially in public-sector unions, to reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of significant political struggles including mass work stoppages, especially those in which we have been personally involved. The point is not to reminisce, but to participate in a debate around how to build resistance to the right-wing hammerings we continue to endure, with, frankly, no end in sight.
This makes sense to me, not just because of the successive drubbing of unions in collective bargaining or via draconian legislation. It's also because the challenges posed to labour by the ascendancy of neoliberalism increasingly are political, featuring in the last couple of decades the fading away of the social compromises with governments and ruling economic power formerly pursued by trade unions. Many on the Left have insisted that as a result, there ought to be increased importance placed on developing labour's own political analysis and program, and a deepening of the convergence of unions with social-justice networks, the anti-globalization movement and community allies who share with labour the massive impact of privatization, contracting out of jobs and the gutting of social benefits. The continuing difficulties between labour and its coalition partners around the process of decision-making offers up another subject for critical evaluation.
Most recently, the Left inside and outside the labour movement has weighed in on the role of the Hospital Employees' Union and the B.C. Federation of Labour leadership in response to the odious Campbell government's Bill 37. Some are sharply critical of its failure to build on the unprecedented solidarity of the labour movement and broad segments of the public by escalating work stoppages leading to a general strike. Accepting the deal with all its concessions has been …
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Publication information: Article title: G Stands for General Strike. Contributors: Hoogers, Evert - Author. Magazine title: Canadian Dimension. Volume: 38. Issue: 5 Publication date: September-October 2004. Page number: 13+. © 2009 Canadian Dimension Publication, Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.
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