- Affiliation: Brandon
Errol Black is a retired university professor and current municipal politician in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada. He has been an activist with the New Democratic Party for several years.
Black was born in Brandon, Manitoba. He is a Professor Emeritus at Brandon University, where he taught for many years in the fields of Economics and Industrial Relations. He is the co-editor of such books as Hard bargains : the Manitoba labour movement confronts the 1990s (1991), A square deal for all : historical essays on labour in Brandon (2000) and Building a better world : an introduction to trade unionism in Canada (2001). He has written several pieces for Canadian Dimension magazine, and has done research for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. During the early 1980s, Black argued that university president Harold J. Perkins was ruling the university in an autocratic manner, and supported his removal by the Board of Governors. He later served as president of the Manitoba Organization of Faculty Associations in the 1990s.
Black supported reforms to the Ontario Labour Relations Act introduced by the government of Bob Rae in the 1990s, and strongly opposed efforts to bring “right-to-work” and workfare legislation into Manitoba. He has also written in support of Canada’s public health care system, criticized the financial dependence of governments on gambling revenues, argued for increases to the minimum wage, and lobbied against spending public money on a new arena for the Winnipeg Jets hockey team in the 1990s. He was a particularly strong critic of the governments of Ralph Klein and Mike Harris.
Black was elected to the Brandon City Council in 1998, and has been re-elected two times since then. He won the New Democratic Party’s Brandon—Souris nomination in 2000 over Wayne Langlois, and finished fourth against Tory candidate Rick Borotsik. He is considered to be on the left-wing of the NDP, and opposed the party’s drift toward the “Third Way” socialism favoured by Tony Blair.
In 2001, he introduced a motion for Brandon to adopt one of the toughest anti-smoking motions anywhere in Canada. Two years later, he pushed the NDP government of Gary Doer to extend labour rights to farm workers. Two years later, he called for the establishment of urban reserves in Brandon. In 2005, he wrote a piece criticizing the Doer government’s record on labour issues.
Books by Errol Black
An Introduction to Trade Unionism in Canada, 2nd edition
Substantially revised and updated, this widely used introductory text emphasizes how values, objectives and activities of unions are shaped in the face of employer resistance and hostile governments. It includes an analysis of why workers form unions; organization and democracy; collective bargaining and grievances; historical development; and gains unions have achieved for their members and all working people. It also examines the challenges created by rapid economic and technological change, the… (more information)