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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

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The Use of Technology in Union Organizing

Brad James, National Organizing Department Head, United Steelworkers

Published April 19, 2018 by Technologies of Justice.

During the Technologies of Justice Conference session Technology and Work: Justice Boom or Fissuring Bane?, Brad James of United Steelworkers discussed the use of technology in union organizing. The conference took place from January 26 to 27, 2018 at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

 

 

James spoke about using technological tools to help fight for economic justice through organizing goals. He further discussed the use of tools in union organization, organizing campaigns and starting unions, as well as using tech to help create unions and union culture.

He highlighted the fact that unions grow faster in Canada than they do in the U.S., making Canada a unique place for trying new ideas in union organization. There are many sectors interested in union organizing technologies and gaining assistance from the National Organizing Department, including, but not limited to, mining, telecom, hotels, logistics, manufacturing, taxi drivers, health care workers and security guards.

He also brought up the idea of using technology to revolutionize the organization of campaigns by combining social media, hardware tech and traditional solutions. He discussed the current and future uses of technology for data analysis and data management. In terms of unions and union organization, contact and personnel lists are one of the most important starting blocks; everything from workplace-based email addresses to online newsletters and pamphlets can help to improve the system of gathering and keeping up with these lists. He mentioned new technologies such as electronic membership cards, electronic votes for starting unions, electronic signing as well as websites, portals and other tools that can help increase the speed of campaigns.

He also discussed the problems social media and electronics can cause in union organization, such as early steps in unionization being brought to light sooner, and the creation of forums by members not in charge of the organization of the union, which can create conversation and discourse that can lack moderation.