Tom Sandborn was born in Alaska and raised in the wilderness by wolves. Later, Jesuits at the University of San Francisco and radical feminists in Vancouver generously gave time and energy to the difficult task of educating and humanizing him. Tom has a formal education, too: a BA from UBC. He has been practicing the dark arts of journalism off and on ever since university, and now also has about five decades of social justice, peace and environmental campaigning under his belt.
Tom's goal is to live up to the classic definition of a journalist's job from H. L. Menken - to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
Reporting Beat: Labour and social justice, health policy, and occasionally environmental issues.
What is the most important issue facing British Columbians?: Two key issues face BC residents (and they're both so compelling and complex that Tom refuses to rank them): income equality and environmental degradation. Both desperately need solutions.
Stories by Tom Sandborn
The self-described ‘Jewish lesbian feminist mother, grandmother and activist’ passed away in Vancouver Jan. 30.
Last in a series on the fight to jail employers whose workers die preventable deaths on the job.
Demands persist for new inquiry into bungled prevention, probe of Babine, Lakeland explosions. Latest in a series.
His son crushed to death on the job, a father demands enforcement of the Westray Act. Latest in series.
The tenacious fight to make, and enforce, a worker safety law with teeth. Latest in a series.
‘I told him not to go back down’: Horror, heroism recounted by those who were there. Part two of six.
Labour’s long fight to hold reckless owners responsible for deadly work conditions. First of six parts.
Lindsey Longe's sad death in 2012 wasn't an isolated case.
A crucial election on the horizon, grassroots organizers get experimental.
For the disorganized (that is, without plans) worker, eight ways to mark the holiday.
Trade deal would put Canada in consort with nation plagued by trafficking, aggressive corps.
Promoting class warfare a 'losing strategy,' pundits say. Well, check out these class acts.
We have laws to take negligent employers to task. Let's get them on the radar.
Drawn-out dispute a worrisome example of what's next for Canadian workers.
They should, but the endless clamour of anti-tax blather may drown the issue out.
One aspect is the increasing 'corporatization' of higher ed.
Site C squabble erodes bond between BC Libs and building trades unions.
But criminal charges for negligent employers remain far from the norm, and more must be done.
With workers locked out, managers now moving potentially dangerous goods next door.
Union calls foul on required private package.
Provincial pioneers Irene Lanzinger and Joey Hartman on the year ahead.
Fight for wage parity shows systemic racism persists in BC.
Why the world sees an ugly Canada, and how to restore our image.
Next week, two candidates vie to make provincial history in the race to replace Jim Sinclair.
Stan Persky, author of 'Post-Communist Stories,' talks to The Tyee.
Canadian doctors call to make health care for seniors a federal election issue.
Resigning but hardly resigned, the BC Fed president scrapped for 'all working people.'
It's because inequality, by many measures, makes us sick.
Not so fast, says Stephen Lewis. Beyond drugs we need social and political cures.
Pipelines spark support, opposition, from labour groups in province and across Canada.
After close CLC victory, Hassan Yussuff puts focus on mobilizing 'ground war' campaigns.
Fearful that cuts spell an imminent sell-off, workers call to reinstate 'postal banking.'
Gov't counters that changes at six clinics will preserve health standards and save money.
Critics continue to press for public inquiry in the wake of two lethal fires in 2012.
Embracing a cross-community US organizing style, the Metro Vancouver Alliance is born.
Presidential candidates explain how they'd lead BCNU into a new era.
UVic votes to certify, SFU and UNBC votes to follow.
Compensation claims plagued with obstacles, unlike those of the physically hurt, say critics.
Political will needed to stop preventable worker deaths: union leader.
'We truly care about our employees,' company counters, as dispute continues.
How does abuse of women affect workplace? Canadian Labour Congress, Western U. launch research.
Kalpona Akter asks Bay, other Canadian firms to sign binding safety agreement.
Tory tweets, convention chatter and looming legislation hint at what may be coming, say labour advocates.
Unions continue push for tougher penalties for reckless managers.
Ministry counters it never agreed to chip in for raises prior to May election.
Her job isn't easy, but Krissy Murphy loves the challenge -- and financial freedom -- it offers.
Health care advocates wonder why quality review boards are so under-publicized.
Under 30s churning through temp gigs, stalled in life, wondering if politicians care.
Law intended to hold reckless management accountable is woefully unenforced.
Company insists it cares 'tremendously' about workers as dispute drags on.
Retail Council of Canada seeks US allies to oppose call for binding agreement.
But 'don't do more of the same,' he urges Libs, while reflecting on NDP loss.
One retailer that sources from destroyed garment factory says it will compensate victims.
FOI documents reveal need for investigation into skill levels, say union chiefs.
US firm Kiewit, a major player in BC construction ruled 'reckless' in worker's death, has piled up other safety violations.
New laws, restoring cuts to community living on their agenda.
Canada yet to ratify UN safeguard for 53 million who toil in others' homes.
Born of a family of fierce fighters for Israel, Miko Peled chooses a different mission in Palestine.
New faces of anti-choice include Langley MP Mark Warwara, Vancouver activist Mike Schouten.
After successful raid on Licensed Practical Nurses, BCNU gears up for more.
Delegation from Jamaica visits Vancouver to talk progress, stigma, and 'treatment as prevention.'
Human rights groups file complaint on detainees' behalf.
Paul Caune of Civil Rights Now has powerful ideas for next BC election.
Hailed by premier as jobs coup for BC, coal mine now a lightning rod for union, enviro, First Nations anger.
'Some satisfaction' for father of killed son, after helping press officials to prosecute negligent employers.
Temp workers say they fear retribution if identities known.
Delegation to demand more investigation and prosecution against negligent employers.
Ministry of Health could cut off funding to for profit violators if it wanted says BC Health Coalition.
What am I reading on balmy BC days? Michael V. Smith's amazing novel set in Ontario.
Months after their privatized former Air Canada firm collapsed, employees face unemployment, benefit cuts and uncertainty.
Concerns raised that laws passed to fix BC's workers' compensation system miss the point.
At TransLink consultation, mobility-challenged passengers explain why the service must stay.
As Elections Canada investigation continues, complaints of calls in two ridings unfold.
Vancouver study finds bad reactions to medications in patients are missed 40 per cent of time by ER doctors.
Rail line reportedly asks hotels to 'avoid' taxi company, while union is found guilty of contempt.
Air Canada's latest move against bankrupt spin-off further enrages unions.
Young workers prepare to re-shape unions for the 21st century.
That's the idea behind Literacy Lives, where students create health programs that fill unique service gaps.
Years at bottom of public sector pay built anger, a strike is likely, say union leaders.
Locked out Teamsters at Rocky Mountaineer say they've been 'erased' by politically well-connected management.
Centralizing youth in custody boosts alternative services, supporters counter.
Gov assures safety, but critics warn of increased health risks and cost burden for BC.
Quebec minister challenged to honour cancer victim's deathbed wish not to fund Jeffrey mine.
'Take protest to Bay Street and Howe Street, leave the poor working stiff alone': longshore union president.
Baljit Chadha rebuts claim his views violate ethical standards.
Cyberthieves and deviant hackers abound in Misha Glenny's grim portrait of organized crime online.
Owner of Khaira Enterprises denies allegations. Separate police investigation of a 2010 camp death continues.
Most are visible minority women paid $12 hourly. Compass Group profited $1.5 billion last year.
As talks resume, minister sticks to class size remedy union calls 'slap in face.'
Many pose hazards, say Surrey officials. But other local BC politicians worry more oversight will snuff out a good thing.
Judge slaps union, politicians blast owner, replacement hire whacks passenger.
A year after being rescued from abuse, Khaira's tree planters still not paid. They may not be alone.
Meet the people who transformed a crumbling Vancouver SRO into a source of second chances.
Want to get good at creating social change? Next Up is looking for its next crop of graduates.
As their populations swell, the towns no longer find it easy to share.
Canada again scuttles international effort to label chrysotile exports toxic.
Critics say Libs are miserly to let employers pay less to workers who serve alcohol.
Working class love story inspires major gift to SFU's labour studies department.
Guest workers pressured by Mexican officials to decertify unions, says UFCW.
Fraser Institute conservatives openly wish for it, unions rally to vow 'no way.'
Provincial cuts finally catch up with Cranbrook’s Women's Resource Centre run by Vicky Dalton.
More than a documentary, it's a vehicle for a global movement for corporate accountability and union rights.
In Madison, where labour rights are under siege, a BC unionist joins the protest.
If Judge Ted Hughes can resolve the latest 'near stand-off', he'll chalk up a rare win in a century of setbacks.
The shocking diagnosis and prescribed fixes from BC's independent children's watchdog.
$10 million class action suit says contract terms weren't respected, a claim management denies.
Bill C-49 would create two classes of refugees, and a lot of hardship.
Canada's medical marijuana regime in shambles, say critics.
A surge of unionized room cleaners claiming their jobs are unnecessarily crippling sent a message to management.
Lawsuit highlights need for firmer hand in Ottawa, say human rights groups. Anvil Mining denies culpability.
No fossil fuels, zero carbon emissions, better employment. A CCPA report says it's doable in BC.
BC pickers were hurt while riding unprotected with produce bound for holiday tables -- adding to history of carnage.
Allan Engler's 'Economic Democracy' is more than an attempt to rebrand Marxism for the 21st century.
Risks said to rise as pharma helps OK drugs for use in province now.
Liberal changes to WorkSafe BC have eroded payments, rehab for those injured on the job. Computer glitches fuel criticism.
Workers protest option given guests at luxury hotels, launch boycott of Vancouver Hyatt.
That's how one scholar terms Campbell-era policies. Part two of the decade's top 10 labour stories.
Ten key ways working in this province changed in the Campbell era. First of two parts.
Marwan Marwan says he's no 'time thief' and views against war, racism, pollution cost his job.
The BC doctor and author advocates a more dignified, less expensive way to help frail seniors.
At Vancouver labour meet, world financial leaders align with trade union reform agenda, sort of.
Nine-hundred delegates from all over the world to vote on green social justice agenda.
Debate rises over how to lower abuse, and whether to make staying easier.
Administration letters have faculty associations worried.
Stretch the program, urges labour, pointing to system's $55 billion surplus.
Paramedics union considering boycott if student volunteers handle Games emergencies.
Lower Mainland HIV service groups say government funding cuts will end up costing public more.
Canada's government is too quiet on abuses say human rights advocates.
That's how much more BC needs to spend on vulnerable pre-schoolers, say researchers. They call it a bargain.
People are mad at strikers for stranding the disabled. Here's another side you haven't heard.
Funding cuts ignore research on early childhood investment, say advocates.
BC municipalities to ponder denouncing 'private, for-profit surgical and MRI/CT facilities.'
BCNU punished for 'raiding' other unions in drive to gain associate members.
How two BC lawsuits could change health care in Canada.
Research on B.C. needle drug users links homelessness to unsafe sex and persistent addiction.
Telecom workers union imposes 'soft lockout' on its own professional staff.
Greenway Farms loses try at decertifying, but matter isn't closed.
Shuffled work force votes to decertify UFCW.
Diatribe against 'Tiller the Killer' circulated by Canadian anti-choice group.
The leaders on public works, job safety, training, the minimum wage and more.
Numbers just for internal use says ministry.
Outraged father of 'gas and dash' victim says officials eroded 'Grant's Law.'
'Reforms' fattened surpluses, failed to prepare for bad times say critics.
Health worker: Bill 29 wrecked my life.
Labour economist Jim Stanford focuses on workers, not paper wealth.
UBC researcher adds to growing data on physical cost of being young and poor.
If bailouts fail to save jobs, unions may crank up militant tactics.
From young communist to senior citizen fighting for health rights. At 95, Ben Swankey tells his story.
John Laing firm rebuked in parliament of UK, where it is based.
What union leaders, labour experts and anti-poverty activists say needs to be done.
Some devices recalled; kickbacks probed in US.
Activists target ridings with thin margins.
Seasonal labourers in Surrey claim bad conditions, vote to join UFCW.
Win for Alberta Cree band could clog up oil ambitions.
Win right to join union in lean times for organizers.
VANOC won't tell sweatshop watchdogs where Olympics gear is made.
Mexicans seeking work tricked, detained, sent home.
Force retirement, say some districts, despite new law.
Vanoc, Nike, labour reps to confer at Olympics sweatshop forum.
After strike, Pattison's plant is like 'prison' says unionist.
Tally of homeless deaths released to Tyee by chief coroner.
Contract ends long Victoria dispute over gender, wages.
York U. signs on as activists pressure 2010 Olympics organizers.
Union claims laid-off workers punished for labour activism.
NPA councillor discussed switching sides, claims De Genova.
Canada's last company appliance repair workers walk picket line.
Suburban hotels check into new world of labour relations.
Pay equity at centre of four-month dispute.
Report slams chronic 'underfunding' in BC schools.
Rising job related deaths prompt safety calls.
Only Colombia is riskier for union organizers.
Sun-Rype picketers wonder who's really squeezing them.
Blair cabinet member warns against private care.
Ahead: Fewer news jobs, more news 'platforms.'
Sun editor: union concerns over local control 'pretty silly.'
Fight against two-tier contracts shifts to Safeway, other BC chains.
Health minister refuses to probe firm that owns Beacon Hill Villa.
On eve of strike, union recommends approval of new contract offer.
March sweeps through big Vancouver hotel.
Men get nearly $6 more hourly for similar work, says union.
Room attendants press for better conditions.
GVRD employers' rep overloaded, slow, says union.
Don't assume, says author of 'The Corporation.'
Scant support for private fixes, say attendees.
Top court ruling hasn't slowed layoffs says union.
China's abuses 'a warning bell' for 2010.
Tearing up health union contracts ruled unconstitutional.
Anger and anxiety as layoff trend hits senior care.
Staffers up their tactics against BC teachers union.
Battle is only half-won, say advocates.
Confab to tackle barriers females face.
A month after deadly crash, still waiting for reforms.
Rare deal could save Eastside SRO.
Relatives, unions decry declining standards.
Supermarket chain grabs passports, coerces immigrant workers, suit alleges.
Jostling for jobs on Vancouver's Cash Corner.
Public health care endorsed at Vancouver Board of Trade event.
Chair, since resigned, was overruled in decision to reject P3 model for facility.
Ironworkers Local 97 'shocked' by officer's drug smuggling charges.
Four deaths might have been prevented says frustrated physics instructor.
Showdown over private 'urgent care' clinic.
Some views on labour's achievements, challenges.
Union charging unfair labour practices.
Family, union and MLA reject government report.
Jobless rate soars, union seeks EI 'dignity.'
Costa Rican digging Vancouver tunnel testifies firm promised far less pay than official documents reflect.
Falun Gong meditator beaten outside Chinese consulate.
German firm’s plan for guest workers sparks anger.
Experts: 'Definitely a shortfall.'
Critics see trend tied to Olympics, gentrification.
How valid is the alarm behind Campbell's Euro tour?
Doctors Without Borders go into Paris clinics to fill gap.
Voters quickly shut down experiment. Did Premier Campbell take notes?
'Reformed' system faces $1.6 billion shortfall.
Private deals drove up costs, slashed care, say critics.
Foreign workers a poor fix for Olympic overruns say unions.
Going to court over alleged bust-up blitz.
Alarms by BC scientists, tour operators don't convince DFO.
Critics charge conflict of interest, slam DFO credibility.
Government advocacy of field testing for genetically modified sterile seeds is rebuked in Bangkok.
Two-tier lounges aren’t the only examples of privilege at the quasi-private corporation.
Corporation confirms plans to try out swank ‘premium lounges’ on two ships. See you in steerage.
What to read if global warming has you hot and bothered.
Calling in cops and lawyers won't affirm the cherished values Sheik Kathadra violates.
The Canadian Pension Plan makes no apologies for its big shift into stocks, including Walmart and 15 top military contractors.
But only if B.C. learns key lessons from Athens, and especially Sydney.