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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Canadian Labour Policy and Politics

A comprehensive textbook on Canadian labor policy and its effects.

A thorough and accessible undergraduate textbook, Canadian Labour Policy and Politics is an essential guide to the politics of inequality in Canada’s job market. Contributors trace the rise of austerity, reveal its resulting inequalities, and propose solutions for a sustainable future. Leading experts describe how public policy—supposedly intended to protect workers—often leaves employees vulnerable with little economic or social security. Based on the latest research, the book examines case studies of how globalization, labor laws, COVID-19, and other challenges affect workers on and off the job. Key features include chapter summaries and outlines, suggestions for further reading, and glossaries.

216 pages | 1 map, 37 figures, 2 tables | 8 x 10

Economics and Business: Business--Industry and Labor

Sociology: Occupations, Professions, Work


“This fine-grained analysis of how social outcomes in Canada—whether it be poverty, exclusion, bad jobs, or inequality—result from political processes reflecting the decline of organized labour and the rise of big business as a political actor is simply masterful.”

Ian MacDonald, editor of Unions and the City: Negotiating Urban Change

Table of Contents

Part 1: Context
1 Confronting the "Monster": The COVID-19 Pandemic / John Peters
2 Globalization and the Rise of Bad Jobs / Stephanie Luce
3 Low-wage Work: Canada in Comparative Perspective / Bryan Evans and Carlo Fanelli
4 Globalization, Work, and Employment Regulation / John Peters
Part 2: The Politics of Labour Policy in Canada
5 Provincial Governments and the Politics of Deregulation / John Peters
6 Precarious Employment in Canada’s Federally Regulated Private Sector / Leah Vosko, Andie Noack, Adam King, and Rebecca Hii
7 Why It’s Hard to Organize a Union and Negotiate a Decent Contract / Rafael Gomez and Jennifer Harmer
8 The Politics of Health and Safety at Work / Andy King
9 Disposable People: The Politics of Temporary Migrant Workers in Canada / Philip Kelly, Janet McLaughlin, and Don Wells
10 Poverty, Jobs, and Social Policy / Jim Silver
Part 3: Cases
11 The Service Economy, Low-Wage Work, and the Populist Moment / Mark Thomas and Steve Tufts
12 The Decline of Good Manufacturing Industry Jobs / John Holmes
13 Neoliberalism, Austerity, and Crises in Care Work / Donna Baines
14 Reform or Erosion? The Challenges Facing Canada’s Health Care Workforce / Colleen Fuller
15 Permanent Precarity? Racial Exclusion, Discrimination, and Low-wage Work among Canada’s First Nations / Yale Belanger
Part 4: Better Futures
16 Canadian Labour and Climate Change / John Calvert
17 Organizing for Better Work / Don Wells
18 In Search of a New Politics of Labour: Democratic Futures / Stephanie Ross and Larry Savage

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