Connexions Resource Centre
Focus on Work
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to education and children in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Communist Dictatorship in Our Midst (October 16, 2019)
A kind of undercurrent of thought about workplace democracy has bubbled beneath the surface of public discourse of our current "crisis of democracy." Beneath the surface: one can hardly identify any serious public discourse these days on the anti-democratic nature of most work under Neo-liberal conditions.
- Numsa strike against sexual harassment is a 'powerful moment in labour history' (July 28, 2019)
A union of metal workers in South Africa staged a strike underground in harsh conditions to support a coworker whose sexual harassment complaint had been dismissed by management.
- Green construction and worker safety (March 19, 2019)
Eco-friendly construction exposes workers to new methods and materials which do not have the standard safety practices of those that are more established.
- Industrial accident claims three lives in Leduc, Alberta (December 15, 2018)
A look at the troubling indifference to the alarming statistics on worker fatalities, and the lax occupational health and safety regulations that are designed to protect employers and permit the further expansion of company profits.
- Truckers Spend the Holidays Driving Too Much for Too Little Pay (December 14, 2018)
A look at the diminishing compensation provided to truck drivers, and why the trucking corporations get away with paying so little.
- Climate Jobs for All (December 3, 2018)
This article discusses the federal jobs guarantee (JG) concept which is also known as "jobs for all." The advocates of JG generally include climate protection as one of many types of work beneficial to the public that might be included in a jobs guarantee program.
- On 'Bullshit Jobs' (August 10, 2018)
A review of the book "Bullshit Jobs: A Theory" by anthropologist David Graeber, which provides a classification for the many forms of employment, some which he deems not only meaningless and unfullfilling, but ultimately harmful to society.
- Pakistan: The hell of sexual harassment in the workplace (February 10, 2016)
In increasingly competitive Pakistani work situations, women continue to be targets for men with power.
- Digital Labour and Imperialism (January 30, 2016)
A century has now passed since Lenin's Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism (1916) and Bukharin's Imperialism and World Economy (1915), as well as Rosa Luxemburg's 1913 Accumulation of Capital. All spoke of imperialism as a force and tool of capitalism. It was a time of world war, monopolies, antitrust laws, strikes for pay raises, Ford's development of the assembly line, the October Revolution, the Mexican Revolution, the failed German revolution, and much more. It was a time that saw the spread and deepening of global challenges to capitalism.
- Work Overload: Time for a Union Strategy (September 6, 2015)
Talk to workers in any sector, in any workplace and sooner or later theyll get to their frustrations with their ever-increasing workloads: Im struggling, theyll lament to fellow workers or anyone ready to listen, to just do the job, never mind do it well. And yet even though few work-related issues seem to generate more passion, the relentless intensification of every-day work life rarely surfaces as a union priority. Why?
- Forced to Love the Grind (August 13, 2015)
In this world, legendary figures are the ones who remain in the office for one hundred hours straight, working through their children's musical recitals and 104-degree fevers. The idea is that workers become superhuman through the refusal of self-care. This phenomenon isn't merely depressing; it's outright dangerous.
- A Practical Guide to Tackling Factory Hazards (July 9, 2015)
A review of a "Workers' Guide to Health and Safety", a comprehensive work of ten years, which organizers can use to empower workers and "encourage" bosses to do the right thing.
- How the New Flexible Economy is Making Workers Lives Hell (April 21, 2015)
Whatever it's called just-in-time scheduling, on-call staffing, on-demand work, independent contracting, or the "share economy" -- the result is the same: No predictability, no economic security.
- Dagong Diary, Part 2: Proper Hiring Begins (April 4, 2015)
The following is part 2 of a seven part series recording a short excursion into the lives of dagongzai and dagongmei at the beginning of Chinas working year.
- Workplace Violence: Silent Epidemic (March 1, 2015)
Workplace violence ranges from threats and curses to murder. Spitting on bus drivers is so common in New York City that their union won them DNA kits last year, to collect saliva.
- More chance of dying from work than going to war (August 31, 2014)
Going to war may seem one of the most hazardous ordeals on the planet, but perhaps not. The International Labor Organization (ILO) says there is more chance of dying from work than fighting for your country on the battlefield.
- The Threat of Just-in-Time Scheduling (August 15, 2014)
One of the most unnoticed labour trends in the past few decades has been the rise of "just-in-time scheduling," the practice of scheduling workers' shifts with little advance notice that are subject to cancelation hours before they are due to begin.
- Working for The Man (June 6, 2014)
The author describes her brief experience at a now infamous language school in London, where she encountered blatant sexism.
- My Years at Wal-Mart (December 2, 2013)
Wal-Mart is but the largest wave in a rising tide, and, unless we stand together, united and with dignity, as a great levy for justice to hold and push it back, this tide threatens to drown us all.
- Why Workplace "Accidents" Happen (May 3, 2013)
Many industrial and manufacturing companies resort to almost any means (some of them not entirely legal) to dissuade employees from joining a union because besides having to offer higher wages and improved benefits (and giving employees a voice in how theyre treated by management), they are required to provide a safe work environment. Safety costs money and every company is interested in saving money.
- Enough With the Just In Time Schedules, Say Retail Workers (November 19, 2012)
Employers increasingly use part-time scheduling to decrease costs and crush attempts at worker organizing. Scheduling software now cuts shifts into chunks as small as 15-minutes. Last-minute schedule changes result when the software predicts customer traffic based on the weather forecast or recent sales patterns. Most retail workers now don't know their schedules a week ahead of time, and often have shifts added or cancelled at the last minute. Erratic scheduling can also make it impossible for parttime workers to hold two jobs, because they never know when they will be available.
- Retail Workers Fight 'Just in Time' Scheduling (November 12, 2012)
On-call shift scheduling is rough on a largely part-time and female work force trying to keep up with families, school and second jobs. Some workers are asking for better terms.
- Querying Young Chomsky (November 7, 2011)
Chomsky offers observations on what a desirable society might look like from the perspective of the heritage of libertarian socialist or anarcho-syndicalist or communist anarchist views.
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- Death in a New York Food Sweatshop (February 3, 2011)
For thousands of recent immigrants, the eastern section of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is where you go to find work in food processing and distribution factories that service many of New York City's markets and restaurants. If you've ever eaten a meal in New York, you can be assured that you've consumed food that has been produced and distributed through one of these food companies and those in a few adjacent neighborhoods.
- Blasted in a West Virginia Mine (April 8, 2010)
Conditions in the mines are caused by capitalism. The 25 dead miners in the latest mine disaster in West Virginia are dead because union-busting and the disregard of safety precautions for the sake of speed-up and higher profits.
- Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
- Proletarian management: Informal workplace organization - Kämpa Tillsammans (December 17, 2007)
Interesting article about informal workplace organising, management tactics and suggestions for workers to build power on the job.
- Fighting the Flexible Firm (2000)
The shift towards the short term is a result of changes within the operation of capitalism. Let us be clear about this: it is not about technology, it is not about innovation, it is about capitalism and how capitalism operates to achieve profit. Capital is now driven by short-term return. This results in organisations having to quickly change what they are doing and where they are going, and adjust their personnel accordingly.
- We Don't Want Full Employment, We Want Full Lives! (January 23, 1998)
If a household gets a washing machine, you never hear the family members who used to do the laundry by hand complain that this "puts them out of work." But strangely enough, if a similar development occurs on a broader social scale it is seen as a serious problem - 'unemployment' - which can only be solved by inventing more jobs for people to do.
- The Abolition of Work and Other Myths (1995)
- Working in an office -- for a while (May 1, 1978)
The first thing that strikes one about working in this particular office is how little actual work ever gets done.
- A Tale of Two Offices (July 1, 1977)
Daily life and offices politics viewed through the experience of working in two libraries with very different management styles.
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with education and children in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
Other Links & Resources
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to education and children in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Degraded Work: The Struggle at the Bottom of the Labor Market
Author: Doussard, Marc
Doussard demonstrates that the decline in wages and working conditions is anything but the unavoidable result of competitive economic forces. Rather, he makes the case that service sector and other local-serving employers have boosted profit with innovative practices to exploit workers that go far beyond wage cuts.
- First Contract
Women and the Fight to Unionize
Author: Conde, Carol, Beveridge, Karl
Looks at the "personal side" of the struggle of working women to organize themselves into unions and win first contracts.
- Getting There
Producing Photostories With Immigrant Women
Author: Barndt, Deborah, Cristall, Ferne, Marino, Dian
Photostories about immigrant women surviving in and adapting to a new culture.
- In Praise of Idleness
Author: Russell, Bertrand
More leisure, not work, will benefit civilization. Modern organization and technology makes a four hour work day possible for leisure to be distributed to everyone.
- Labor & Monopoly Capital
The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, 25th Anniversary Edition
Author: Braverman, Harry
This widely acclaimed work, first published in 1974, overturned the reigning ideologies of academic sociology and became the standard text for many basic areas of sociological inquiry.
- Other Voices: The Connexions Newsletter
A newsletter with news and articles about current issues, as well as news from the realm of grassroots archives and people's history. Also featuring selected items from the Connexions Calendar, Seeds of Fire, book, film and website of the week, and news about the Connexions project.
- 6 Floors to Hell
Author: Efrat, Johnathon Ben (Director)
On the outskirts of Tel Aviv, in an underground world, live hundreds of Palestinian workers sleep in this hell in order to find a day's work in Israel and bring money home to their families in the West Bank.
Author: Terkel, Studs
People talk a bout what they do all day and how they feel about what they do.
Learning from our History
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists. Submit your events for free here.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada’s print and broadcast media. .
Sources - A membership-based service that enables journalists to find spokespersons and story ideas, and which simultaneously enables organizations to raise their profile by reaching the media and the public with their message.
Organizing Resources Page - Change requires organizing. Power gives way only when it is challenged by a movement for change, and movements grow out of organizing. Organizing is qualitatively different from simple “activism”. Organizing means sustained long-term conscious effort to bring people together to work for common goals. This page features a selection of articles, books, and other resources related to organizing.
Publicity and Media Relations - A short introduction to media relations strategies.
Grassroots Media Relations - A media relations guide for activist groups.
Socialism gateway - A gateway to resources about socialism, socialist history, and socialist ideas.
Marxism gateway - A gateway to resources about Marxism.
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