Sunday, January 7, 2018

Ontario Minimum Wage, Black Mirror, Woody Allen and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List December 31 - January 7

This week's list of articles, news items and opinion pieces that I see as must reads if you are looking for a roundup that should be of interest to The Left Chapter readers.

This list covers the week of  December 31 - January 7. It is generally in order of the date of the article's release.

1) Germany's largest union escalates fight for 28-hour work week


The largest union in Germany is bracing for a combative start to the new year as it presses demands for a 28-hour working week, warning employers to expect mass strikes in the battle for a better work-life balance.

Read the full article.

2) Canada's top CEOs earn 200 times an average worker's salary: report

 Sophia Harris, CBC News

​Shortly before 11 a.m. today, the average top-earning CEO in Canada will have already earned — in less than one work day — what the average worker makes in an entire year, says a new study.

Read the full article.

3) With shelters packed and people at risk of freezing to death, why can’t we do more?

Edward Keenan, The Toronto Star

We have community centres, libraries, civic centres. We have City Hall and the great hall of Union Station. We have heated buildings that the city owns that sit mostly empty at night. If people are freezing, let them in, Edward Keenan writes.

Read the full article.

4) Tory now willing to open Moss Park armoury to homeless

David Rider, The Toronto Star

Less than a month after voting against opening armouries as emergency shelter for homeless Torontonians, Mayor John Tory says the city is talking to Ottawa about quickly opening the Moss Park armoury until spring.

Read the full article.

5) Barry Sherman’s donations sometimes used to wield political influence

Victoria Gibson, The Toronto Star

Barry Sherman was the philanthropist who once yanked back more than $25 million in promised donations — to a university, two hospitals and an aid group — because he was unhappy with decisions made on Parliament Hill.

Read the full article.

6) Windsor council leader calls for removal of homeless before royal wedding

Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian

The leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, home to Windsor Castle, Eton College and Ascot racecourse, has demanded police use legal powers to clear the area of homeless people before the royal wedding in May.

Read the full article.

7) Freed to kill again – and again: Theodore Johnson and the truth about domestic violence

Paula Cocozza, The Guardian

This week, Theodore Johnson pleaded guilty to murdering his ex-partner – the third woman he has killed. Is this a uniquely tragic triple crime, or a systemic failure to take domestic violence seriously?

Read the full article.

8) Sen. Lynn Beyak publishes ‘outright racist’ comments about Indigenous people on her Senate website

Andrew Russell, Global News

Conservative Sen. Lynn Beyak, who faced a string of controversies in 2017 for defending residential schools, has published more than 100 “letters of support” on her individual Senate website, with dozens  containing language that First Nations advocates call racist or offensive.

Read the full article.

9) I read decades of Woody Allen’s private notes. He’s obsessed with teenage girls.

Richard Morgan, The Washington Post

Woody Allen is wrapping up a new movie. Just kidding: He doesn’t make new movies. What he’s editing now, “A Rainy Day in New York,” about a college-age love triangle, could, like any of his movies, instead be titled “A Woman Gets Objectified by a Man.” This, in his view, is the pinnacle of art, its truest calling and highest purpose. Especially when it involves young women who are compelled to lackluster men merely by the gravity of the men’s obsession.

Read the full article.

10) 'Black Mirror': How the New Season's Breakout Episode Guts Toxic Fandom

Jenna Scherer, Rolling Stone

It's a familiar image: a strapping, confident young white guy seated in the captain's chair of a spaceship, blaster at his hip, hair coifed just so, one elbow on the armrest, legs spread wide as if to say, "Mine is no tiny penis you are dealing with." He's a hero we all know, love and trust do the right thing in the end, whether it's James T. Kirk or variants like Han Solo, Peter Quill or Mal Reynolds. This is his story. He takes the lead. He gets the glory, and ever it shall be.

Except when it's 2018. And except when it's Black Mirror.

Read the full article.

11) Mumbai-Dalit strike latest: City plunges into chaos as workers from India's lowest caste walk out in spontaneous protest

Harriet Agerholm, The Independent 

Violence erupted in Mumbai and parts of the city ground to a halt after workers from India’s lowest caste went on strike to protest against attacks by right-wing groups.

Read the full article.

12) Former Manitoba grand chief files $1B class-action suit over bread price-fixing

Kelly Malone, CBC News

Derek Nepinak, the former grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, has filed a $1 billion class-action lawsuit against multiple Canadian grocers after Loblaw Companies said it participated in industry-wide bread price-fixing for 14 years.

Read the full article.

13) Oceans suffocating as huge dead zones quadruple since 1950, scientists warn

Damian Carrington, The Guardian

Ocean dead zones with zero oxygen have quadrupled in size since 1950, scientists have warned, while the number of very low oxygen sites near coasts have multiplied tenfold. Most sea creatures cannot survive in these zones and current trends would lead to mass extinction in the long run, risking dire consequences for the hundreds of millions of people who depend on the sea.

Read the full article.

14) Iceland believed to be 1st country to make equal pay mandatory in public and private firms

The Associated Press

A new law in Iceland is requiring all companies to prove that their wage practices don't discriminate against women, in what is thought to be a global first in the effort to reduce gender pay gaps.

Read the full article.

15) Treatment of women in Canadian prisons a human rights travesty

Vicky Mochama, The Toronto Star

Incarceration rates are soaring for women, particularly among Indigenous women. They face a variety of injustices, particularly the misuse of the security classification system, writes Vicky Mochama.

Read the full article.

16) 'I was being groomed to think this was normal': Actors sue director Albert Schultz alleging sexual harassment

Anna Maria Tremonti, CBC Radio

He's been a leading figure in this country's arts scene, but Wednesday, four women filed four statements of claim against Albert Schultz, casting the actor and director in a very different light.

Read excerpts/listen to full episode.

17) Numbers never lie: Proof that Kaepernick is being blackballed

Carron J. Phillips, New York Daily News

Nick Wright from FS1’s new morning show “First Things First” provided the evidence Wednesday that many have always known was true, but maybe couldn’t quite prove.

Read the full article.

18) Media get it wrong on Bank of Canada minimum wage study

 Michal Rozworski

Over a million workers in Ontario just got a big raise thanks to tireless, bottom-up orgainizing, but if you look to the media it’s a bad news story. The same, tired headlines are back. Yesterday, the CBC ran a story titled, “Minimum wage hikes could cost Canada’s economy 60,000 jobs by 2019”. Today, the Toronto Star’s front page blared, “Wage hike could cost 60,000 jobs, Bank of Canada says”.

Read the full article.

19) Why Tim Hortons doesn’t deserve your sympathy

Michael Coren, TVO

The point is that this long-overdue increase will give countless people a better chance to pay the rent and feed themselves, and any society that regards itself as civilized should surely allow its lowest-paid citizens at least a modicum of hope and dignity. As for the angry and often hysterical reactions, they were inevitable. “It seems to me the government has given us no choice but to leave" — not the words of an Ontario business owner in 2018, but of a Saskatchewan doctor in 1960, when Tommy Douglas introduced Medicare. Progress provokes pushback. Always has, always will.

Read the full article.

20) 'Minimum wage bully hotline' launched by Ottawa labour council

Joe Lofaro, CBC News

An Ottawa labour council has launched a hotline to publicly shame businesses cutting paid breaks and other worker benefits after the province's minimum wage hike.

Read the full article

21) On Tim Hortons, Minimum Wage, Conspiracy, and Unlawful Reprisals

David Doorey, Law of Work

Happy new year!

This story from the CBC on a Tim Horton’s franchisee penalizing its employees by taking away a list of contractual entitlements and blaming it on the new minimum wage is just too precious to ignore.  A similar story came emerged about Sunset Grill.  So it will be the subject of my first blog entry of 2018.

Read the full article.

22) Workers are under attack: Where is the ONDP?

David Bush, Rabble

It should be noted that the ONDP have better policy positions on workers' rights and labour law reform, but Wynne and the Liberals have taken over the ground the ONDP ceded. They have message discipline on the issue, and they frame it along class lines bytalking about bully bosses, and they champion the low-wage workers. They are the Liberals, so we know this is opportunistic, but who gave them this opportunity? The ONDP leadership only has to look in the mirror.

Read the full article.

While from 2016, definitely worth reading again.

23) A report that analyzed every minimum-wage hike since 1938 should put a bunch of nonsense ideas to rest

Nick Hanauer, Business Insider

From the fear-mongering headlines marking passage of $15 statutes in New York and California, you would think nobody ever dared raise the minimum wage before.

Read the full article.

See also: Ahed Tamimi, Poverty in America, the Arctic and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List December 24 - 31

See also: Nepal, Israel, Venezuela, Honduras and more -- The Left Chapter Sunday Reading List December 17 - 24

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