I joined Chris Crossroads on the air from noon to 1 and we had as a guest local activist and co-publisher of The Scoop, Mike Longmoore to talk about poverty, precarious work and homelessness. You’ll be in for a treat as Chris does a Strummer tune live with his banjo!
Listen to the hour segment here:
and tune in at 99.1 FM or online at www,cjam.ca for more of the day’s offerings of this influential artist.
Today we are honouring the life of John Mellor (a.k.a. Joe Strummer), a British rocker born Aug. 21st 1952 in Ankara, Turkey. From what I’ve heard today earlier on the air is that Joe Strummer came up hard against the realities of Thatcher era Britain – an era that ushered in the neo-liberal agenda that stripped away the existing social contract between workers and ruling elites. The middle class was used as a pawn to argue for cuts to government programs: from social housing, to income support. The concept of ‘citizen’ was replaced with ‘taxpayer’ – especially the middle class taxpayer, part of the professional class that served the interests of the ruling elites.
In Windsor, many suffer from the Harris era cuts and especially economic globalism which saw the shift of jobs to other low wage countries. We have seen the mayor pit taxpayers against so-called greedy unions in last year’s strike and recently, Mayor Francis was quoted saying council cannot get bogged down with constituent concerns because council has to focus on the mayor’s vision for the city. This vision consists of an airport transport hub, and land transfers to wealthy developers. In the meantime, workers fear the loss of not only their jobs but their pensions. Low income people struggle to find and keep affordable housing.
Politicians keep talking about tax cuts, law and order, and the need for corporations to have a free hand. If Joe Strummer were alive today he’s be shouting from the rooftops to WAKE UP! And not let justice slip away. Precarious work – low wage and gone any minute, and the fear of pensions being lost and the last of the $30 – $40 an hour jobs leaving are the reality many face. Others are already on the margins trying to make a go of things.
Mike Longmoore is an active CAW retiree. He works tirelessly to warn that active workers – unionized or not, students and retired workers need to form a coalition that will begin to change the situation we are in.