- Series: Labour in Canada
For decades, public sector unions in Canada have been plagued by austerity, privatization, taxpayer backlash and restrictions on union rights. In recent years, the intensity of state-led attacks against public sector workers has reached a fevered pitch, raising the question of the role of public sector unions in protecting their members and the broader public interest.
Public Sector Unions in the Age of Austerity examines the unique characteristics of public sector unionism in a Canadian context. Contributors to this multi-disciplinary collection explore both the strategic possibilities and challenges facing public sector unions that are intent on resisting austerity, enhancing their power and connecting their interests as workers with those of citizens who desire a more just and equitable public sphere.
Climate change is having an increasingly significant impact on work in Canada, and the effect climate change has, and will continue to have, on work concerns many Canadians. However, this fact has not been seriously considered either in academic circles, in the labour movement nor especially by the Canadian government. Climate@Work addresses this deficit by systematically tackling the question of the impact of climate change on work and employment and by analyzing Canada’s conservative silence towards climate change and the Canadian government’s refusal to take it seriously.
Labour, Corporate Power and Politics in Canada
Over the past decade, Canadians have experienced wild economic swings: an economic boom followed by massive layoffs in traditional industries and a wrenching economic crisis. What have these changes meant for Canadian workers? Bad jobs? Weaker unions? Worsening health? If so, why?
Boom, Bust, and Crisis addresses these questions by surveying how work has changed across Canada, from the auto and steel industries of Ontario, to the tar sands of Northern Alberta and First Nations casinos in Saskatchewan. This edited collection explains the massive lay-offs in unionized manufacturing industries, the expansion of low-wage work and the rise of increasingly aggressive employers by critically examining Canada’s political economy and assessing the impact of government policy and labour market deregulation on Canada’s workers. The book also explores the recent policy changes to employment standards and health and safety protection in the context of neoliberal globalization. Written by leading political scientists, sociologists and journalists in concise, accessible language, this volume provides a rich and vibrant assessment of why some businesses have boomed while others have failed and why, through it all, Canadian workers have paid the price.
Though the Canadian labour movement’s postwar political, economic and social achievements may have seemed like irrevocable contributions to human progress, they have proven to be anything but. Since the mid-1970s, labour’s political influence and capacity to defend, let alone extend, these gains has been seriously undermined by the strategies of both capitalist interests and the neoliberal state. Electoral de-alignment and the decline of class-based voting, bursts of unsustained extra-parliamentary militancy and a general lack of influence on state ac- tors and policy outcomes all signal that the labour movement is in crisis. Despite much experimentation in an attempt to regain political clout, labour continues to experience deep frustration and stagnation. As such, the labour movement’s future political capacities are in question, and the need for critical appraisal is urgent. Understanding how and why workers were able to exert collective power in the postwar era, how they lost it and how they might re-establish it is the central concern of Rethinking the Politics of Labour in Canada.