Organisations in Cooperation: A Step Towards Making a Difference

By Opinion No Comments

It is well known that there is strength in numbers; this is obvious in struggles across the world, from past to present. Sectarianism, however, along with separatism and plain apprehension, often keep us from wielding that collective strength and putting it to good use. How many of us have listened or sung along to the famous IWW song “Solidarity Forever” full of optimism and a sense of camaraderie? Are we…

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Workers at Zara Unionize!

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On August 2nd over a thousand workers at eight Zara retail stores in New York voted to unionize, and will now be represented by the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) Local 1102. This marks the first time that Zara employees have unionized in the United States, and the move comes on the heels of widespread criticism of the company’s unreliable and exploitative scheduling practices. In 2007, Zara employees…

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Management Admits: Direct Action Is the Only Way

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“The only reason you were payed [sic] this money is because your little group kept terrorizing the coffee shop with little mindless protests…”[1] So admitted Shelby Oswald, a manager of Wild Coffee — the establishment the Retail Action Network had its recently victorious campaign against, where illegal abuse was done to a worker. The keyword, of course, in this eloquent statement is “only” which, oddly enough, brings a slight agreement…

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The Wild Coffee Campaign

By Worker Stories

From the Beginning In early January, organisers from the Retail Action Network met up with Shea, a barista from downtown Victoria’s Wild Coffee. She let us know that she was removed from the schedule, and was unable to get her last paycheque from her employer, Marla Donaldson. Since the Retail Action Network first began, we had heard stories from retail and hospitality workers from across the region that had regularly…

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Meeting the Ministry

By Press Release No Comments

This month, organisers with the Retail Action Network met with the BC Ministry that is responsible for making changes to the Employment Standards Act. This meeting was brought together by the Employment Standards Coalition which is made up of a broad range of organizations that are fighting for justice with those that are most at risk of being exploited in the workplace: migrant workers, domestic workers, working children and youth,…

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Presenting Precariousness in Victoria

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During the month of May, Retail Action Network organiser, Stefanie Hardman, spoke with the media about the report she spearheaded “Part-time, Poorly paid, Unprotected: Experiences of Precarious Work in Retail, Food Service, and Hospitality in Victoria, BC“ which was released earlier in the month. This media attention provided an opportunity for the broader public to hear more about the experiences of precarious working conditions that workers in retail, food service, and…

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Part-time, Poorly Paid, and Unprotected

By Press Release No Comments

Spring 2016, VIPIRG (Vancouver Island Public Interest Research Group) has been working with the Retail Action Network on a community-based research project that documents the experiences of precarious work in Retail, Food Service, & Hospitality in Victoria, BC. In this research, our goal was to hear directly from workers in the retail, food service, and hospitality industries about the types of workplace conditions and issues they face. Until now, little…

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The First of May: The World Workers’ Day

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Fellow workers! May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, on the 1st of May, celebrates the international working class in solidarity across the world as we all struggling against the exploitation and oppression inherent in capitalism, as we all struggle for a better world of mutual aid, peace, and cooperation. This day, no matter how many class-conscious workers are able to come out into the streets to sing and…

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Tipping and Precarious Restaurant Work

By Opinion No Comments

This is part two in a series exploring the construction of precarious restaurant work and the connection this has to women’s experiences of sexual harassment. See part one here. The practice of tipping dates back to Sixteenth Century pubs and coffee houses in England. Customers entering an establishment would place coins into a brass urn that read, “To Insure Promptitude” (TIP). Tipping has since become an institutionalized practice in Canada,…

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