Category

Opinion

Opinion

Grant’s Law: The Fight for Grant DePatie & Isolated Overnight Workers Continues

Grant DePatie was killed on March 8, 2005, due to a gas and dash incident when he was working alone as an gas station attendant. This tragedy shone light on the fact that workers alone in their workplace face greater risks of experiencing violence. For two years after his violent death, Grant's father and grandfather campaigned with their unions and the B.C. Federation of Labour to get new WorkSafeBC regulations…
Opinion

Aims & Principles

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…
Retail Action Network
March 25, 2016
Opinion

International Women’s Day & Its Class Roots

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…
Opinion

Professionalism: From Whom Should It Be Called For?

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…
Opinion

The Aim of Building Community

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…
Retail Action Network
February 8, 2016
Opinion

The Employer-Employee Relationship

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…
Retail Action Network
January 16, 2016
Opinion

The Construction of Precarious Work

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…
Kaitlyn Matulewicz
January 2, 2016
Opinion

Activism at Work

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…
Retail Action Network
December 6, 2015
Opinion

November Worker’s Stories

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…
Retail Action Network
November 20, 2015
Opinion

Retail Workers Tackle On-Call Scheduling in Court

This October, two new class action lawsuits were launched against big brand-name retailers in California. BCBG Maxazria and Forever 21 have been accused of “a new form of wage theft” due to their exploitative on-call scheduling practices. Employees are scheduled for on-call shifts, for which they are required to report to work, and then not given work or reporting-time pay as legally required. In addition to violating legal obligations, this…
Retail Action Network
October 18, 2015