Heather Mal­lick

StarMetro Halifax - - VIEWS - Heather Mal­lick For Metro Canada

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.

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