Socioeconomic Concerns Within the Gig Economy

Today, the gig economy is all the rage, with more millennials opting for short-term “gigs” rather than long-term permanent work contracts. Also sometimes referred to as the freelance economy, the gig economy can be summarised as “an economy in which temporary, flexible jobs are commonplace, and companies tend toward hiring independent contractors and freelancers instead of full-time employees.” Freelancers, independent contractors, and people who take up a variety of small jobs are all part of the gig economy.… [Read more]

May Day

Today is May Day, or Labor Day in some nations. Observed on May 1st each year, it is used as both a day of spring celebrations and an opportunity to acknowledge, support and honour workers around the world.

The day is considered one of solidarity during which workers are celebrated — including workers who are in nations that are not their place of birth.… [Read more]

Just *what* is going on?

Richie Havens’ cover of “What’s Going On” is this week’s “Say It In Song” pick. Some of us feel it helps to have a moment of reflection and quiet contemplation when things appear to have gone crazy. The week brought a vote by the House of Representatives to invade citizens’ privacy on the one end, and a win by the National Rifle Association against all voices in support of sane gun control legislation on the other.… [Read more]

When will we be paid?

This week’s “Say It In Song” pick feels appropriate in light of recent news about the continued battle for fairness for workers. Though “When Will We Be Paid, by the Staple Singers, was released shortly after the Civil Rights Movement, the lyrics are just as applicable today – especially when taken in the context of the ongoing fight for workers’ rights.… [Read more]

Paid Sick Leave: Approved.

A few days ago, the issue of earned sick days for workers was in the news. Its was noted that, for example, more than a million residents of New York who do not have paid sick days and that suffering an illness means losing out on a pay check at best and a job at worst. … [Read more]

Workers’ Rights: An International issue

At the very last minute, the strike planned by teachers was called off. At 4:00 am today, the Ontario Labour Relations Board declared that a planned one-day walkout by elementary school teachers is illegal and, subsequently, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation president ordered members to comply with the ruling. Teachers are not the only disgruntled public sector employees in Canada; sanitary workers, doctors and other medical personnel, and sanitation workers have had to reportedly accept a pay freeze as part of their salary negotiations.… [Read more]

Tyranny in the Private Sphere

The large, tyrannical state has always been one of the greatest threats to freedom and liberty. And even in our current age, unchecked government power continues to stifle human progress and expression, not only abroad but in the United States as well. For, in even in our country, the state, both at the federal and local level, still punishes its citizens for indulging in the “wrong” types of narcotics—it still denies equal rights to those of a different sexual orientation, it still retains the unchecked, lethal authority of one person, the executive, to sentence death upon any citizen the president deems a “terrorist.”

Labor activist Kalpona Akter holds up Wal-Mart clothing found in the recent fire in a factory in Bangladesh that resulted in the arguably preventable deaths of 112 people.… [Read more]