BC’s Minimum Wage Leaves Workers Feeling like Fools

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This April Fools’ Day, BC has the lowest minimum wage in Canada, leaving minimum wage workers feeling like fools. Last Friday, New Brunswick lifted its minimum hourly wage to $10.65, leaving BC’s minimum wage workers struggling at $10.45 per hour (or $9.20 per hour for liquor servers). While BC’s low minimum wage affects over 120,000 workers across the province, minimum wage workers in BC no longer fit the commonly held…

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Aims & Principles

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Who We Are The Retail Action Network is a solidarity network of workers and labour activists that fight for workplace justice, increased wages, and better conditions for retail, food service, and hospitality workers. We aim to strengthen the working class community across workplaces and industries. Through direct action and community organising we fight for changes that benefit workers in retail, service, and hospitality. Our practice takes influence from a wide range…

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International Women’s Day & Its Class Roots

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Appreciation of women, for all the amazing things they do, should not only take place on International Women’s Day; it should be a daily practice. Women have played a leading role in Retail Action Network from it’s beginning and will continue to in it’s future. We thank the women who have organised RAN, those who have shared their experiences and ideas in our discussion groups, those who have shown brave…

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Professionalism: From Whom Should It Be Called For?

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It’s only the beginning of the campaign to retrieve the money legally owed by Wild Coffee to the abused worker, and we’ve seen significant weakening in the boss’s confidence. Their hope of getting away with the mistreatment they’ve inflicted is tumbling apart with each direct action done by the community at large organised by the Retail Action Network. Yet still, in a most embarrassing fashion, they throw their feeble tactics…

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The Aim of Building Community

By Opinion One Comment

Decades ago when working class communities were more closely connected through the manufacturing industry, community was a strong characteristic of the workers. Though there were barriers between us, through separate additional forms of oppression (e.g., due to race, gender, sexuality, etc.), our shared socio-economic class oppression was a uniting foundation upon which in times of sharp class struggle against the capitalist ruling class we most clearly recognised that our far-reaching…

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The Employer-Employee Relationship

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When you are hired for a job, you are entering into a contractual relationship. You are offering your time and your skills in exchange for money. Whether you sign a contract or not, the relationship you have with your employer is a legal one. Interestingly, employment law has its roots in the Old English master-servant relationship. The employer-employee relationship only began to be treated as a contract between equals during…

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The Construction of Precarious Work

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A couple of weeks before my fifteenth birthday, I got a job in a restaurant working as a hostess. It was my first experience of paid work. During my training I learned how to greet and seat customers (or “guests” as I had been told many times to call them), polish and roll cutlery, take take-out orders, take reservations, and take a waiting list on a busy Friday night. Along…

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Activism at Work

By Opinion One Comment

At the age of fifteen, I landed my first job at Canadian Tire. That was the start of a career in the service industry where I would spend my next fourteen years working in retail, grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels from Manitoba to Vancouver Island. For me, working in the service industry became the distraction that kept me from doing what I really wanted to do with my time. It…

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November Worker’s Stories

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In November… 1887, the Haymarket Martyrs were executed after being wrongfully convicted of being involved in the bombing of 7 police officers who were trying to break up a rally advocating for an eight-hour workday. 1855 was the birth of Eugene V. Debs – labor leader, socialist, five-time candidate for U.S. president, organizers of one of the first industrial unions in the U.S. (the American Railway Union), and one of…

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