Ask Prof Wolff: Finding Common Ground with Canadian Truckers

A Patron of Economic Update asks: "I would appreciate hearing your thoughts about how this Canadian Truckers movement aligns with the international workers' movements, if, in fact, you believe it does."

This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

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Showing 2 comments

  • Kwip Kwipster
    commented 2022-02-16 16:27:41 -0500
    This is very hard for me to do – criticizing Richard Wolff. I never thought I would see the day. But in this instance, I must say that Mr. Wolff misunderstands what is occurring in Canada with the truckers taking over the streets in Ottawa. Mr. Wolff states that he applauds the actions of the truckers. The truckers are not demonstrating for unionization, or better wages, or better working conditions; issues which I would greatly applaud. Not once, over the many hours of news coverage and interviews carried out with truckers have I heard these issues being mentioned. Not once. What we have heard however, are truckers protesting their “right” to “individual freedom” to not be vaccinated. The Canadian truckers association has pointed out that 90% of Canadian truckers are vaccinated and only 10% are not, and of this 10% there are those who want the government to resign because the government has the temerity of trying to stop a pandemic; a pandemic that has killed over 35,000 individuals in Canada, that has seen small businesses close and people lose their jobs. Mr. Wolff says he supports the truckers because they were not consulted and did not consent to the government measures. The truckers association supported measures to stop the Covid pandemic so Mr. Wolff is clearly wrong. If Mr. Wolff wants to defend truckers because laws in the past were changed to break the strength of unions and turn truckers into independent contractors with no unifying body to protect them, that is one thing, but to conflate that issue with truckers in Ottawa protesting vaccinations and demanding a democratically elected government resign because they say so is entirely different. Mr. Wolff is, with his words, aiding and abetting far-right players in this drama who constructed the opportunity to directly challenge democracy. When Mr. Wolff says he is moved by the action of people to unionize across the country I say, great so am I, but to somehow link the demonstrations of truckers in Canada with the push to unite and unionize workers is nonsense. We now see truckers block routes to the US leaving workers in factories losing wages because they can’t get the parts needed to produce products. This is not truckers standing up to government for the betterment of the little guy, this is insurrection and misguided actions that are only hurting the working class. Mr. Wolff’s last few minutes of the video finally gets to the point about workers getting together to fight the injustices that corporations and governments have heaped upon them. Well and good. But, let’s be clear, the people who danced and desecrated the war memorial in Ottawa, who carried nazi and confederate flags, who spat at people wearing masks, who had arms and ammunition at blockaded border crossings, who stopped goods from flowing between Canada and the US thereby depriving working class people from earning wages, these people are not there to fight for unionization and a fair living wage or dignity in the workplace or against exploitation. And Mr. Wolff should acknowledge that.
  • Richard Wolff
    published this page in Latest Releases 2022-02-15 13:02:31 -0500
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