In Quest for Justice

Follow Anakbayan-Toronto on twitter: @anakbayanto

This infograph is produced by Anakbayan-Toronto in light of the 10th year death anniversary of Jeffrey Reodica on May 21, 2014. Follow Remember Jeffrey Reodica on Facebook or @JeffreyReodica in twitter for more updates.

Click on the image to enlargeIn Quest for Justice

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8 reasons why Filipino youth should join the Ontario $14 minimum wage campaign

Follow Anakbayan-Toronto on twitter: @anakbayanto

1. Ontario minimum wage has been frozen for three years

The province’s minimum wage had previously been frozen at $10.25 an hour since 2010. Before that, minimum wage had increased annually since 2004, when it was $6.85 an hour.

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2. $14 is indexed to cost of living, $11 is not enough

Going up with the cost of living every year is an important step forward, but a minimum wage hike of 75 cents on June 1st is not enough: workers will still be 16% below poverty line. Life on minimum wage is not a decent living. Without the needed raise, we can’t put money back to the local economy.

It is a rhetoric that minimum wage increases are bad for business and governments need to mitigate the damage. This sets an extremely dangerous precedent. However, history proves otherwise. Raising it in fact is one part of a larger solution to address the crisis in our communities of increasing income inequality and rampant displacement.
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3. Especially for racialized youth

For generations, young people have been introduced to the job market through part-time minimum wage jobs, especially in fast food and retail. This was promised to be a temporary stepping stone to the launching of our full-time careers as we turn into young adults.

The reality for young workers today is grim as many of us approaching our mid- to late-twenties are still working in minimum wage, part-time, contract, and temp agency jobs. This is true even for our sisters and brothers who are college and university graduates.

As racialized youth we pay more for our education. Studies show more racialized students are likely to take out loans to pay for their post secondary education because of low family income from the minimum wage jobs their parents are raising their family with.

4. Anakbayan works with Migrante

Anakbayan-Toronto is a comprehensive national democratic mass-based Filipino youth group. As an overseas chapter, we unite youth from all walks of life in one struggle for national liberation and genuine social change in the Philippines, while fighting for the rights and welfare of Filipinos in Canada.

We work closely with Migrante-Canada, an alliance of 19 organizations in Canada from coast to coast.

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5. …which is part of Migrants Workers Alliance for Change

Migrant Workers Alliance for Change (MWAC) is Canada’s largest coalition of migrant worker groups and allies. It is comprised of various advocacy and community groups, unions, workers and community members, aimed at improving working conditions and fighting for better protections for live-in caregivers, seasonal agricultural workers and other temporary foreign workers as they remain financially vulnerable in terms of wages, savings and debt levels.

6. Inspired by our colleagues from Washington, D.C., Chicago, Oakland and Seattle

On May 15, thousands of fast food workers will go on strike in 150 US cities. The day will also mark the first spread of fast food labor unrest abroad in solidarity with protests in 30 other countries on six continents, many of them targeting McDonald’s.

The demands have remained constant: raise the minimum wage and the right to form a union. Since that initial action in New York City, the strikes have quickly spread across the country, starting in the northeast but moving to the midwest and south.

Substantial victories from the bottom of the pile includes legislation to raise the minimum wage in Seattle to $15 an hour, by far the highest of any major city in the US and more than double the federal requirement. The measure is being pushed by mayor Ed Murray and has strong public support.

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7. We need to sustain our efforts

The problem comes when a wage increase is coupled with a tax cut. Ontario’s economy should be based on a national strategy to reduce poverty in five years. aside from $14 minimum wage, ideally there should also be changes to personal taxes that reduce income inequality.

8. …with a strong collective voice and action

A move to raise the minimum wage is not only good for the economy, it’s the moral thing to do. It’s about raising the standards for workers and creating a dignified wage. It’s about improving the lives of students students, caregivers, renters, parents, and neighbours. It’s about aligning with historic laws, such as paid sick days and paid health care. It’s lifting lives out of unpaid internships and eliminating tiered wages. History is on the side of positive social change.

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Participate by joining us on May 14th 12:00-1:00pm

College and University (north-west corner), Toronto

Please fill out this form http://bit.ly/1syOKI5.
For more information, visit Anakbayan-Toronto facebook page http://www.fb.com/Anakbayan.Toronto. Contact us at anakbayan.toronto@gmail.com

Illustrations by Szara Joy Salise

Anakbayan-Toronto on May Day 2014

On May 1, 2014, we – the youth and students – join all those who will fill Toronto’s streets to bring attention to the struggles and issues of the working class. Their interests and ours are one – we have nothing to lose, and have all to gain, in the struggle for our shared liberation.

The future of the youth does not belong to these governments, institutions, and their policies which remain hard as steel in imposing oppressive structures. They attempt to pit workers, people of colour and indigenous people against one another, and therefore weaken their unity.

Recently, the Canadian government implemented a moratorium in hiring temporary migrant workers in the food service sector. The tendency for employers is to fire staff with status in Canada, and instead hire migrant workers who are forced into dismal working conditions. The moratorium would seem to circumvent this tendency. However, the moratorium, like the recent changes in the Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Program, are fake attempts to address the exploitation experienced by workers with status. They all lead to the increase in xenophobic sentiments that target migrant workers as people who are taking jobs away from Canadian workers. In addition, the changes serve to reify the continued exclusion of migrant workers, refugees and undocumented workers from accessing vital services.

Over-all, contractual employment and the loss of permanent positions continue to rise. All these are part of larger structural issues- all resulting in an intensified uncertainty in the workplace.

We have really not much to lose – we who are impoverished, indentured and displaced. We must seize and strengthen our unity.

Let us honour our communities by increasing our solidarity work.

Our call is for a movement that links workers’ struggles across national and state borders.

We call for the implementation of a a transnationally transformative workers’ movement that would also engage in solidarity with indigenous peoples.

We call for the rejection of the exploitative conditions of temporary migrant workers, whose bodies and labour are exploited by employers to address their needs.

We call upon governments to address the issues around family reunification, which continue to keep families apart.

We demand that migrant workers, refugees, and all undocumented peoples gain access to status and the necessary benefits that can improve their working, living and health conditions.

Our call is to remember that as we march freely along the streets, there are proletarian revolutionaries who cannot join us because of their continued incarceration. But they are with us as their strength and courage emanate beyond their prison cells.

This is a call for a people’s movement towards a world with no space for xenophobia, racism or bigotry.

Workers of the world, unite!

This May Day let us conspire; let us breathe; let us march; let us imagine and then give birth.

Together, we are stronger.