The Canadian Student

Publisher:  The Student Christian Movement, 736 Bathurst St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Year Published:  1977
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX490

The focus of this tabloid is unemployment.

The focus of this tabloid is unemployment. Particular attention is paid to the observations of a conference on unemployment held by S.C.M. in the summer of 1977 which studied the Atlantic fishing industry. Attention is also paid to unemployment and exploitation n the agricultural and forest industries of Nova Scotia. There is also a report on the summer S.C.M. Industrial Workcamp, as a means of bridging the gap between theory and practice regarding the concerns of employment.

The workcamp was set up so that students worked in factories during the day and studied related issues at night; thus, work and study were combined to provide a dynamic approach to learning. The camp members lived together, shared community responsibilities and pooled their wages into a common account which was divided up according to individual needs. Four students and a co-ordinator lived in a downtown Toronto church for the summer; they managed to obtain three factory jobs and one drove a truck - none were unionized. The students came face to face with issues such as unemployment, the role of unskilled labourers, immigrants and women in working class, job insecurity, poor working conditions, worker-management relationships, and the difficulties that workers confront in organizing. The study sessions attempted to reflect on the experience of the day as theoretical concepts were verified or contrasted by working experience. Those involved came away with the impression of an underlying conflict between workers and management: profits came before people's needs. They also questioned their own future involvement in the work force; whether to support the working class or the present economic system of exploitation. Inquiries about involvement in the 1978 Workcamp are directed to S.C.M. at the above address.
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