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Writer & Historian

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Posts Tagged ‘ work ’

Hell’s History – A Book Review

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March 2, 2017

With this short book, Tom Sandborn, labour reporter for the tyee.ca, and the United Steelworkers have reminded us of how deadly slow and ineffective workplace safety laws still are in spite of a law passed after the Westray disaster. RV #97 Getting away with murder  
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The 33 – A Film Review

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November 20, 2015
The 33 – A Film Review

I was bubbling over with questions after seeing The 33, a new film about the 2010 mining accident that buried 33 miners alive in Chile’s San Jose mine. But I was also concerned that the filmmakers had chosen Hollywood star power to tell this story of local courage and community resistance. We too seldom...
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Play’s honesty triumphs over free trade

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October 25, 2015
Play’s honesty triumphs over free trade

Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat is a triumph of honesty about the slow, silent and devastating personal impacts of free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the one President Obama just signed. Just ending its premiere season’s run at Oregon’s Ashland Shakespeare Festival, Nottage’s play portrays a group of friends and family members who are...
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Labour history novel – A Book Review

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August 26, 2015
Labour history novel – A Book Review

Mick Lowe, The Insatiable Maw: A Story of Eco-Resistance, Volume 2 of the Nickel Range Trilogy (Montreal: Baraka Books, 2015), 153 pages, paperback, $19.95 CDN.   On the heels of his first novel about Northern Ontario mine and smelter workers of the 1960s, journalist turned novelist Mick Lowe has released a thin second volume...
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Labour History Moments – Taylorism Rebounds

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May 7, 2015
Labour History Moments – Taylorism Rebounds

If you work at a Safeway, a Starbucks, a courier service, or even as a freelance worker at a home computer your every move may be tracked to make sure your employer is maximizing his profits and minimizing your take-home pay. It’s all done with something called a workplace management system. A computer tracks...
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Labour History Sings – A Conference Report

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May 6, 2013
Labour History Sings – A Conference Report

The Pacific Northwest Labour History Association (PNLHA) held its 45th annual conference May 3-5, 2013, in Portland, Oregon, and like other years there was a wide variety of topics as well as styles of presentation. I was on the planning committee and made two presentations during the conference, so I am clearly not an...
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The Smelter Poets – A History Essay

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April 23, 2013
The Smelter Poets – A History Essay

Abstract When celebrated Wobbly troubadour Joe Hill purportedly visited the Rossland Miners’ Hall in the early 1900s to lend his support to the first Canadian local of the rugged Western Federation of Miners (WFM), he no doubt shared some of his inspired verses with the mine workers who are said to have protected him. Claims...
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Rita MacNeil

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April 17, 2013
Rita MacNeil

Thank you, Rita MacNeil, for Working Man, your wonderful tearoom at Big Pond, Cape Breton, and all the rest. Your songs will live on. At the age of sixty-four Oh he’ll greet you at the door And he’ll gently lead you by the arm Through the dark recess of the mines Oh he’ll take...
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Steel Man

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July 17, 2012
Steel Man

Williams, Lynn. One Day Longer – A Memoir, Toronto: University of Toronto Press/Ithaca, N.Y.: ILR-Cornell University Press, 2011, 320 pp., $39.95 (hard cover). Lynn Williams broke new ground in 1983 when he became the first Canadian to lead the 1.2-million member United Steel Workers of America. Now he shares his journey in a memoir...
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Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

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July 10, 2012
Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt

Two years ago, Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and award-winning cartoonist and journalist Joe Sacco set out to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in America that have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and technological advancement. They wanted to show in words and drawings what...
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Books