Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2018-05-01T13:01:25-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

WestJet's discount airline Swoop cleared for takeoff tomorrow | CBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jun 19, 2018 09:47 AM
"WestJet's launch of Swoop had been a source of labour strife between the company and pilots, who were on the brink of a strike last month before reaching an 11th-hour deal. A federal arbitrator recently ruled that WestJet's unionized pilots will also fly Swoop, which means the airline can no longer outsource Swoop flying, a major disagreement in recent negotiations. Swoop will recognize the union as the exclusive bargaining agent for all Swoop pilots, who will be on the airline's one seniority list and fly aircraft at Swoop terms and conditions."

University of Victoria digital humanities lab expert on the privatization of knowledge | National Observer

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jun 17, 2018 04:30 PM
""Their profit margins are bigger than oil and gas. Most people don’t know this,” explains Alyssa Arbuckle, Associate Director of a digital humanities lab at the University of Victoria. It was an overcast day and we were sitting across from the Vancouver Public Library, just off the bustling Robson Street––coincidentally, the province’s balefire of profit-driven capitalism. The issue we've met to talk about is paywalled access to scholarly journals and the truth about research publication in academia. “The large commercial academic publisher profit margins are around 30%-40%,” she continues. “This is a multi-billion dollar industry we’re talking about here.”"

Copyleft Terms May Become Unenforceable in 11 Countries under CPTPP | Linux Journal

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jun 15, 2018 10:19 AM
" The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) is an enormous (roughly 6,000-page) treaty between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam that was signed in Chile on March 8, 2018. So far, only Mexico and Japan have ratified it. CPTPP is almost identical to the original TPP, which included those 11 countries plus the United States. In early 2017, the US withdrew from the treaty, which its President had previously described as a "terrible deal". "

EU copyright reforms draw fire from scientists | Nature

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jun 15, 2018 10:05 AM
"An influential committee of the European Parliament is due to vote this month on changes to copyright regulations in the European Union, but the latest drafts of the rules have triggered a wave of criticism from open-science advocates. They say that the proposals will stifle research and scholarly communication."

Public-private partnerships in BC: Update 2018 | Keith Reynolds

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jun 12, 2018 11:33 AM
For almost two decades, many of BC's major public infrastructure projects have been built through public-private partnerships (P3s) in which private corporations fully or partially finance the projects and operate or maintain them through multi-decade contracts, says a new study released by the Columbia Institute, which draws on information from persistent Freedom of Information requests.

The case for publicly funded universities | Graham Cox

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Jun 06, 2018 10:47 AM
This article first appeared in the Spring 2018 Issue of the journal Academic Matters. All told, Canadian public universities are massive employers of students, teachers, researchers, librarians, academic and research support technicians, academic support workers (custodians, building services, food services, grounds and building maintenance), apprentices, councillors, utility workers, administrators, clerical workers, bartenders, security guards, and parking staff. Together, all of these workers maintain a space that fosters the advancement and dissemination of knowledge.

Ensuring seniors in long-term care live with dignity and respect | CUPE

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jun 06, 2018 09:36 AM
"For-profit long-term care homes are more expensive, have lower staffing levels, deliver poorer quality of care, and don’t reinvest profits in facility improvements. This is a concern given that the number of for-profit homes is on the rise. Residents are entering long-term care frailer and with more complex conditions. Care needs are higher, yet homes are chronically understaffed. More staffing is needed to deliver the care that residents deserve and to prevent workplace injuries and violence."

Argentina cancels Israel World Cup friendly after Gaza violence | BBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jun 06, 2018 08:55 AM
"The news was met with cheers in Gaza, where at least 120 Palestinians were killed and thousands more injured by Israeli forces during recent protests. In Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Football Association issued a statement thanking Argentina striker Lionel Messi and his teammates. "What happened... is a red card from the rest of the world to Israelis," the association's president, Jibril Rajoub, told a news conference on Wednesday."

Grenfell Tower inqury: kitchen fire resident ‘did nothing wrong’ | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Jun 06, 2018 08:49 AM
"Behailu Kebede, who is originally from Ethiopia and had lived in the tower for 25 years, was woken by a fire alarm. He immediately got up to find smoke coming from behind his Hotpoint fridge freezer. He did not see any flames. “He grabbed his mobile phone and called 999,” said Menon. He had to ring several times before connecting to an operator. At the same time he banged on all his neighbours’ doors on the fourth floor, shouting that there was a fire. “He left the flat barefoot, without his flat or car keys.” ... Stereotypes surrounding council housing should not be reinforced by the inquiry, Thomas stressed. Those who live there were “not helpless, they were just not helped”.
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