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Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly Launched

About us

Locked-out Cadillac Fairview workers
Locked-out Cadillac Fairview workers
About the Greater Toronto Workers' Assembly (GTWA)

With economic and political crises deepening before our eyes, the working class in Canada – employed, unemployed and marginalized; in the workplace and the community; union and non-union – seems to be permanently on the defensive both ideologically and strategically. This is, on one hand, easily explained: amidst attacks on workers, poor people, unemployed/underemployed, racialized workers and immigrants, many of us are consumed in the struggle just to survive, let alone participate in some form of organized or unorganized resistance. Others among us are trying to deal with the enormity and ferocity of the attacks by employers and governments threatening our jobs, working conditions and basic standards of living. But there is also a sense that we have not yet built the kind of movement that we need.

Despite often resourceful local forms of resistance and organizing, we have yet to build an independent politics that puts real alternatives to capitalism on the agenda. Many unions are pursuing short-term strategies that fend off or minimize the impact of the crisis on their own members, but fail to address its underlying causes, challenge the inequalities it is reinforcing, and build the necessary alliances with the unemployed and the thousands of people living on various forms of social assistance. Those of us with a more radical vision of social and economic justice remain fragmented and isolated. How can we address our immediate needs and also build our collective capacities for social change?

The goals of the Assembly are:

To bring together activists within the broad working class movement, to explore the experiences and approaches to struggle that both unite and divide us as a starting point for overcoming divisions and building greater collaboration, exchange, strategic discussion and action amongst us

To share our understanding of the problems created by capitalism and the current economic crisis and the need to develop alternative visions that challenge the logic and power of private corporations, and the states that back them, over our lives

To identify and develop concrete strategies and organizational forms of struggle which defend working-class people’s immediate needs and lay the groundwork for an equitable and democratic alternative to our present economic and political system.

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