Building a Better World, 3rd Edition

An Introduction to the Labour Movement in Canada, 3rd Edition

By Stephanie Ross, Larry Savage, Errol Black and Jim Silver  

Paperback $31.00

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**Updated 4th edition available now. **

This third edition of Building a Better World offers a comprehensive introductory overview of Canada’s labour movement. The book includes an analysis of why workers form unions; assesses their organization and democratic potential; examines issues related to collective bargaining, grievances and strike activity; charts the historical development of labour unions; and describes the gains unions have achieved for their members and all working people.

“Building a Better World is an essential text for undergraduate teaching in Labour Studies. … I would have no hesitation using the text in a first-year introductory classroom.”

— Suzanne Mills, McMaster University

“Building a Better World affirms the critical role unions play in promoting democracy, greater economic equality, and social justice for all citizens.”

— James Clancy, National President,  National Union of Public and General Employees

“Since it was first published, Building a Better World has been the best available book to introduce readers to unions in Canada. … With workers and unions facing increasingly severe attacks from employers and governments, this new version is most welcome.”

— David Camfield, University of Manitoba, author of Canadian Labour in Crisis

“Building a Better World is a good textbook for my third year commerce students majoring in industrial relations and human resource management. … The students seem to like the ‘Basics’ style of a short, snappy paperback attuned to the reality of industrial relations in Canada, instead of an oversized hardcover book, which often tries to be encyclopedic.”

— Judy Haiven, Saint Mary’s University

  • Labour & Unions
  • ISBN: 9781552667873
  • August 2015
  • 230 Pages
  • $31.00
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB
  • ISBN: 9781773633305
  • May 2020
  • $30.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • PDF
  • ISBN: 9781773633312
  • May 2020
  • $30.99
  • For sale worldwide

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  • What Is a Union?
  • Understanding Unions
  • Early Union Struggles in Canada
  • From Keynesianism to Neoliberalism: Union Breakthroughs and Challenges
  • Unions In the Workplace
  • Unions and Political Action
  • How Do Unions Work?
  • What Difference Do Unions Make?
  • Who Belongs to Unions? Who Doesn’t and Why?
  • The Future of Unions: Decline or Renewal?
  • Bibliography
  • Index


  • Stephanie Ross

    McMaster University

    Stephanie Ross is the Director of the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University.

  • Larry Savage

    Brock University

    Larry Savage is Chair of the Department of Labour Studies at Brock University.

  • Errol Black


    Errol Black was a professor, activist and city councillor who wrote about politics, economics and labour, including the first two editions of Building a Better World.

  • Jim Silver

    University of Winnipeg

    Jim Silver is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Winnipeg who has written extensively on poverty and related issues, including public housing and low-income rental housing, community development and education, adult education, and Indigenous street gangs. He is a founding member of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives–Manitoba and played a key role in the establishment of Merchants Corner, a University of Winnipeg off-campus site in Winnipeg’s low-income and racialized North End.

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