Two histories are changing fast and hitting us hard: climate and work. There was a time, not so many decades ago, when we didn’t think much about weather, or jobs. They were inevitable. Weather happened. You got a job.
Both alterations were powered by the Industrial Revolution, that massive wave that crashed into the 18th century and shovelled everything before it, making the world faster and then something resembling rubble.
Now it’s joined-up rubble. The catastrophes were personalized, then local, national and now global.
This is why Toronto Star reporter Sara Mojtehedzadeh, covering Work and Wealth, has one of the best beats in journalism. Everything in her ield touches every single reader in their daily lives. Money and labour are the core.
She and reporter Brendan Kennedy recently wrote a jarring investigative series on the huge growth of temp work in Ontario, where workers are paid minimum or close to minimum wage — some are paid in cash — to do sometimes unsafe work.
One young woman, Amina Diaby, had been working at Fiera Foods in North York, Ont., for only two weeks when she was strangled to death on Sept. 2, 2016 after her hijab was pulled into a machine as she worked on the assembly line. No, not an auto assembly line. It was pastries.
Diaby was a refugee, at her irst job. To think she came to Canada for this.
The makeshift, anonymous work revealed in the series was a shock to the system. It didn’t even sound like Canada.
There are di erent aspects to the destruction of work as Steve Shrout safer.
It hasn’t turned out that way. Congratulations to the animal-rights movement but consider what humans — often easily exploited immigrants — have to endure as the line speeds up.
If white-collar work seems more pleasant, think of millennials facing serial internships, contract work, the lowering of expectations and fear of a wasted education. Boomers, safe with de ined-bene it pensions, are noticing that pensioners’ rights come last as companies Philip Croucher is a news columnist for the Toronto Star.