Skip to main content

This blog is cross-posted at StewartAcuff.com

Yesterday I arrived at Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia in Canada for a week of speaking, training, and teaching. The British Columbia Federation of Labor does a five week school for workers. I am very proud to have been asked to teach organizing at this great tradition of worker education.

As a way of contextualizing the ever-increasing need for organizing we talked in specifics about the global assault on workers and unions from multinational corporations and rightwing governments. We talked about the global economic race to the bottom, declining density in the US, Canada, and Britain and the consequent assault on public services and,  the assault on democracy itself.

Canadian Labour is preparing for elections this spring with a real chance for the labor-leaning New Democratic Party to make major gains. BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair gave a great, thoughtful and rousing speech last night about the upcoming elections. He started by talking about the working class and the interests of the working class that differ from the Financial Elite.

While private sector union density in Canada is dropping as it is all over the developed world, there is a real sense of hope and determination here – a determination to organize, to win these elections, and to make the freedom to form unions once again an absolute right in Canada.

It is important to note that overall union density remains about 30%. And, of course, Canada has Medicare for all – single payer healthcare where everyone gets the same level of care, no one has to fear sickness for themselves and their children, and no workers and unions have to bargain away wage gains to pay for rising healthcare costs.

The President’s State of the Union speech was last night, as you know. He announced the winding down of military action in Afghanistan. I’ve been reporting that Americans are more war weary than I can ever remember. Polling indicates the speech was popular with the American people – only 22% were negative about the speech, 53% were positive. The President continues to push forward on immigration and reasonable gun regulation.

—–

Follow @StewartAcuff on Twitter!

Connect with Stewart Acuff on Facebook!

Stewart Acuff is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work.
Get the e-book edition of Playing Bigger Than You Are FOR $2.99 by clicking here!

Originally posted to StewartAcuff on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:46 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site