OUR TIMES | Canada's Independent Labour Magazine

Talking About Organizing: A Series

This is an active online archive of commentaries and stories, first published in Our Times, about the experience of union organizing: what works and what doesn't. It's also the place where you'll find Our Times' columnist Derek Blackadder's WebWork series archived; articles about online resources for union activists.

"Organizing is important," writes labour educator Elaine Bernard in "The Power to Change Things." "But it needs to be more than simply signing up new members. Rather, the future of unions and their power rests with an informed, committed membership who understand that they are the union and that the power of the union rests with them."

If you would like to add to this discussion and submit a constructive commentary or story about organizing, contact the editor. Send an e-mail to editor@ourtimes.ca or call 902.755.6840

Mailing address:
"Talking About Organizing"
Our Times
P.O. Box 182
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
B2H 5E2

Vol. | Issue | FALL 2016
CLIMATE/JUSTICE: Testing Trudeau's Climate Rhetoric
By James Hutt
A year ago Trudeau promised a 180-degree shift on most of the Harper government's policies, especially on climate change. Yet, one year later, his lofty promises have little substance to show for them. His government is in bed with the oil and gas industry, just as cozily as Harper's was. It's time Trudeau turned his rhetoric into reality.

Vol. | Issue | SUMMER 2016
WEBWORK: Quidi Vidi & Virtual Organizing
By Derek Blackadder
In which I speak of muck, walking tours, the changing structure of work, and working-class insurgency — all from Port Union, Newfoundland, the only union-built town in the country.

Vol. | Issue | SUMMER 2016
GOODWIN'S WAY
By Lorene Oikawa
Labour organizer and martyr Ginger Goodwin was a persuasive speaker who practised by talking to tree stumps in the woods. In Neil Vokey's film Goodwin's Way, Goodwin's legacy lives on in the streets of Cumberland, BC.

Vol. | Issue | SPRING 2016
WEBWORK: Tweets and Twobbies
By Derek Blackadder
Some of you, way too many of you, are still clustering your tweets. You know who you are.

Vol. | Issue | SPRING 2016
CLIMATE/JUSTICE: Recharging a Dying Province
By James Hutt
Every year, Nova Scotia suffers a net loss of 1,300 people under the age of 30, and the province's population has been in decline since 2011. What's needed now is the implementation of a bold new vision that's already been mapped out.

Vol. 34 | Issue 4 | WINTER 2015/16
WEBWORK: Lessons from a Virtual Lawyer
By Derek Blackadder
Immerse yourself in how the Labour Rights Law Office does its good work. How they do what they do is how your union could be offering services to members in many, many places — and how you could be building the union by bridging gaps that no longer need to be there.

Vol. 34 | Issue 4 | WINTER 2015/16
CANADA'S BRICK WALL OF RACISM
By Rachel E. Beattie
February 11, 2016, marks the 47th anniversary of a day that was profoundly important to the struggle for civil rights and the anti-racism movement in Canada. But why does the Sir George Williams affair seem to be missing from our history? A ground-breaking new film aims to change that.

Vol. 34 | Issue 4 | WINTER 2015
OUT OF THE WORKPLACE, INTO COMMUNITY
By Jennifer Huang
If the Canadian labour movement is to survive and grow, organizing efforts should focus on a community model rather than a workplace approach. The Chinese Workers' Network does just that.

Vol. 34 | Issue 3 | FALL 2015
WEBWORK: Esmail Abdi & The Threshold
By Derek Blackadder
On his way to the Education International World Congress in Ottawa in July, Iranian teachers' union leader Esmail Abdi was arrested. Thoughts on the Canadian campaign to have him freed.

Vol. | Issue | FALL 2015
BEYOND THE ELECTION
By Chris Ramsaroop
Forget Duffygate. Let's talk about the Harper regime being responsible for the biggest mass deportation of human beings in Canadian history.

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