October 27, 2016

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The Perry Work Report, named after founding editor Elizabeth Perry, 2002 – 2006 has a new updated name that reflects our online presence. The PWR: work&labour news&research will continue to keep students, alumni, academics and practitioners up-to-date with research and news in industrial relations and human resource management, locally and globally.   


Morley Gunderson Lecture in Labour Economics and Industrial Relations

November 11 @ 4:30
Innis Town Hall,
Innis College,
2 Sussex Avenue
Orley C. Ashenfelter, Economist and Director, Industrial Relations Section at Princeton University
Register Today:
For more information email or call 416.978.5301
PWR: work&labour news&research

Rise Up! Digital Archive of Feminist Activism in Canada

From the Rise Up! volunteer collective:

“The Rise Up! project aims to create a digital archive of original publications, documents, flyers, posters and many other materials representing feminist activism from the 1970s to 1990s. Our goal is to help preserve the diversity, vibrancy and radical legacy of this era and to make it accessible online to new generations of activists, students and researchers.”

“It’s been a challenging and an exciting road. We are encouraged by all those who have already contributed to the Rise Up! project, yet we know the website barely scratches the surface of feminist activism and must continue to be a work in progress. Many different voices and struggles are still missing and incomplete, and we encourage others to contribute materials and to help fill in these many pieces. If you have questions, ideas or concerns to share, we would also like to hear from you.”

Rise Up! Digital Archive of Feminist Activism website

Timeline: “Feminist organizing from the 1970s to the 1990s brought substantial change to the social, political, economic and cultural landscape of Canada. Our goal is to build a timeline of significant moments, contributions, and turning points of this era."

Publications: “Some feminist publications from the 1970s to the 1990s are already online and, in these cases, we have provided links. Many more are not and our intention is to keep expanding the collection available through the Rise Up! digital archive.  Our aim is to seek out publications from different regions across Canada and Quebec as well as ones representing the diverse voices of feminist activism."

Activism: “This section is about the organizations that feminists put together to make change and the issues that propelled us into action.“

Culture: “This section includes examples of buttons and posters, as well as films and music created as part of feminist activism in this period. Photos also capture the struggles of that era and the women who were part of them."

Teaching: “A key goal of the Rise Up! archive is to make this legacy accessible to new generations of students and researchers, both to strengthen the historical record and to foster and encourage the feminist energy of the present. ... We encourage you to share your ideas and resources for using this website in teaching."

Meet the Organizing group:

Nancy Adamson; Linda Briskin; Alana Cattapan; Tara Cleveland; Sue Colley; Maureen FitzGerald; Amy Gottlieb; Franca Iacovetta; Meg Luxton; Margaret McPhail

Sign up for Rise Up! email newsletter

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Three Visions of Work+The World We Live In

“Disruption makes things cheaper in the short run, but in the long run life becomes worse. … In a world of extreme income inequality, inflated housing prices, precarious work and higher education as an entry badge, people are struggling.”

“The so-called ‘sharing economy’ is cheaper. What worries me is that people will cut spending in thousands of small ways. Yes, paying a pensionless Airbnb host helps her keep her home and ‘age in place,’ and an Uber ride helps an underemployed person pay his rent. But what about hotel employees and cabbies? These are tiny money-saving Band-aids. Do citizens have the time to do what would make their lives better: rally, unionize, join a political party, write to MPs, vote?”

The Toronto Star, October 17, 2016: “Uberized humans become tiny one-person factories: Mallick,” by Heather Mallick

“It’s not a pretty picture: an economy where high levels of stress and anxiety are normal, where people get ill because they’ve lost control of their time, where marriages are damaged and children suffer. And yet, it’s a picture we’re invited to applaud. Our political leaders idolise ‘strivers‘ and ‘hard-working people,’ not ‘chilled-out, caring dads,’ for example. The longer and harder we work, the more admirable we are supposed to be.”

“What can we do about it? First, take back control of the workplace. This means workers in all settings finding ways to organise and build up bargaining rights. […] Second, let us never forget that this is a challenge for men as well as women. Much of the stress and unhappiness that women experience at work is because they take on most of the unpaid work at home. […] And third, let’s move to shorter hours of paid work for everyone, not just women.”

The Guardian, October 26, 2016: “The fetishisation of work is making us miserable. Let’s learn to live again,” Anna Coote

“Work is fundamental to our lives. We work to survive. Our value under capitalism is measured by our work. Regardless of whether we count down the days until our next break, our next job interview, or our next project, work remains the most important location in the lives of most people. Surely, social change requires work, labour, workers, and the labour movement.”

“But for the Left, work is often isolated from broader social struggle. Rather than seeing our work sites and our labour as necessary components for social change, we see work separately; as a location in and of itself that is exclusive from other struggles. Often, we relegate labour struggle to union activists who are paid.”

“Canadians spend an average of 36.6 hours every week at work. When we imagine the biggest and boldest ideas for the future, if they don’t explicitly consider how working people could or should be involved, we relegate our social change to those of us with the privilege of jobs that let us fight for social change for pay, or those of us who have the money and time to volunteer. … If our best ideas for the future of Canada can’t loop in workers in an intersectional way that respects the other identities they hold, our campaigns will have no future.”

THIS Magazine, October 20, 2016: “Why aren’t we talking more about the politics of labour?,” by Nora Loreto

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Imagining What Living in ‘The 6′ will be Like in 2066

“What will Toronto look like in 2066? Who will live here? Where will they work? How much will they make? And where the hell will we put all of them?”

“To answer those questions and more, [Toronto Life editors] recruited help from a squad of geographers, demographers, sociologists and urbanists from the Martin Prosperity Institute, a think tank at the University of Toronto. They extrapolated from current and historical trends—in housing, income, population and immigration—to predict how Toronto will grow and evolve over the next 50 years. They crunched data from Statscan, the Toronto Real Estate Board and the City of Toronto, analyzed research from economists and futurists, interviewed engineers and urban planners. The result is an exhilarating, terrifying, semi-scientific snapshot of who we are now and who we’re destined to become.”

Toronto Life, October 20, 2016: “Will you want to live in Toronto in 2066?,” by
Jean Grant, Emily M. Keeler, Emily Landau, and Philip Preville”

Some highlights of the predictions in TL’s report about 2066, include:


  • “a gloriously convenient network of LRT, subways and express rail”
  • “a Hyperloop rail system that will get us to Montreal in less than an hour and Vancouver in four”
  • “self-driving cars … will have saturated the Toronto automobile market”

Toronto Life, October 20, 2016: “What Toronto’s transportation network will be like in 50 years”  


  • “the average income will be $56,000 [all projected figures are in 2016 dollars]”
  • “34% of Torontonians won’t have steady jobs”
  • “42% of jobs will be taken over by robots”

Toronto Life, October 20, 2016: “What Toronto’s workforce will be like in 50 years”


  • "the GTA’s population will double[, increasing] to almost 5 million”
  • “the proportion of residents born outside Canada will rise from roughly one-third to nearly half”
  • “ 27% of the population will be senior citizens”

Toronto Life, October 20, 2016: “How Toronto’s population will change over the next 50 years”

Real Estate:

  • “the average home will cost $4.4 million”
  • “a one-bedroom apartment will rent for $1,600″
  •  “the hottest addresses in town [will be in] Mirvish Village, Eglinton West, The Port Lands, Morningside, and Junction Triangle”

Toronto Life, October 20, 2016: “What Toronto’s real estate market will be like in 50 years”


  • “the One [at Yonge and Bloor] will be among Canada’s tallest towers at a monstrous 998 feet”
  • “the Toronto Star recently sold off most of its lands [at One Yonge] to Pinnacle, which is building five obscenely tall towers”
  • “the colossal collaboration between architect Frank Gehry and impresario David Mirvish [at King and John] will include 2,000 units”

Toronto Life, October 20, 2016: “What Toronto’s skyline will look like in the near future”

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Sun Likely Setting on Lax Regulations for Airbnb in Toronto

“In a study [released by Airbnb on Oct. 25, 2016] and co-authored by Airbnb’s head economist, former Harvard Business School assistant professor Peter Coles, the company says that of the 9,500 active listings it had in Toronto last year, only 760 could be considered competitive with conventional long-term rentals.”

"A report from city staff says 68 per cent of Airbnb rentals in Toronto last year were for entire units. And 37 per cent of all listings belonged to an operator with more than one listing. Nine per cent of Airbnb hosts here had five or more listings.”

“The Airbnb report comes on the eve of a debate at Toronto Mayor John Tory’s executive committee over the impact of Airbnb on [October 26, 2016]. Vancouver is currently drafting new rules that are expected to restrict the practice to a homeowner’s principal residence. Other cities, such as Chicago, Seattle and Philadelphia, have brought in regimes to control Airbnb-type rentals and ensure operators pay hotel and sales taxes.”

The Globe and Mail, October 25, 2016: “Airbnb says it doesn’t affect Toronto’s rental market,” by Jeff Gray

Airbnb, October 2016: “Airbnb, Housing, and the City of Toronto,” by Peter Coles and Vanessa Lauf (7 pages, PDF)

City of Toronto, October 11, 2016: “Developing an Approach to Regulating Short-Term Rentals,” by Tracey Cook and Jennifer Keesmaat (13 pages, PDF)

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Workplace Human Rights: 25 Years in Review

Janis Rubin: “Some months ago, I was asked to speak at the Human Resources Professional Association’s HR Law Conference ... held in Toronto on October 20, 2016. My task was to identify the notable developments in workplace human rights over the last 25 years. This was no mean feat. There were so many cases to consider. However, to narrow down our very subjective list, we focused on those areas of the law that we deal with every day in our practice as employment lawyers. Ours is not a particularly academic list – although I suspect there is some overlap. Rather, we asked ourselves, which cases, which concepts, which statutory changes from the last 25 years do we turn to over and over again?”

“Here is our [lawyers: Janice Rubin and Titus Totan] top 10 list from the paper we prepared for the conference and delivered in a session on October 20, 2016:

  1. Rethinking the bona fide occupational requirement – British Columbia (Public Service Employee Relations     Commission) v. B.C.G.E.U. [1999] 3 SCR 3 (“Meiorin”)
  2. The competing rights assessment – R v. S. (N.), 2012 SCC 72
  3. Recognizing substantive equality – Andrews v. Law Society of British Columbia, [1989] 1SCR 143 (“Andrews”)
  4. Sexual harassment as sex discrimination – Janzen v. Platy Enterprises Ltd., [1989] 1 SCR 1252 (“Janzen”)
  5. Recognizing LGBT rights – Vriend v. Alberta, [1998] 1 SCR 493 (“Vriend”)
  6. Accommodating religious freedom – Grant v. Canada (Attorney General), [1995] 125 DLR     (4th) 556 (Fed. C. A.) (“Grant”)
  7. Defining family status: Johnstone v. Canada (Border Services Agency), 2014 FCA 110 (“Johnstone”)
  8. Abolishing mandatory retirement throughout Canada
  9. Statutory accessibility standards for persons with disabilities
  10. The statutory duty to investigate workplace harassment and discrimination

Rubin Thomlinson Blog, October 20, 2016: "Human Rights: 25 Years in Review"

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Business Worries about Parental Leave

“Critics of the federal government’s proposal [to extend maternity and parental benefits under the employment insurance (EI) system to 18 months from one year] say it mostly benefits wealthier families who can afford to be off work without full pay for a longer period. For small businesses, long absences or leaves taken in several shorter parcels can have a negative impact on productivity, and in turn, profitability.”

“’Our objection is the requirement that you hold jobs open for the expanded length of time,’ says Dan Kelly, chief executive officer of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), which is lobbying Ottawa to either drop the idea entirely, or exempt small businesses.”

”Katie Dunsworth-Reiach, co-founder and principal of Vancouver-based Talk Shop Media Inc., a firm with 19 female staff members (and one male), feels the impact when employees are away on maternity leave for a year, especially in a consulting business where relationships are key. That said, she’s not opposed to extending parental leaves.”

“’We are in a people business and I don’t see how, in good conscience in an all-female-owned business, where we are all supportive and encouraging of each other’s families, that we wouldn’t give that same courtesy to our team,’ says Ms. Dunsworth-Reiach, a mother of two.”

The Globe and Mail, October 24, 2016: “Proposal to extend parental leave worries business owners,” Brenda Bouw

Canadian Federation of Independent Business, September 2016: “Insuring Employment: SME Perspectives on the Employment Insurance System,” by Ashley Zia and Marvin Cruz (26 pages, PDF)

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Extending the Tenure Clock: Equal But Inequitable

“The researchers compiled new data on the career trajectories of all untenured economists hired over the last 20 years at the 50 leading economics departments, and coupled it with details about policies instituted by those universities that extended the tenure clock for new parents.The authors compared promotion rates before and after these gender-neutral parental policies were adopted, relative to trends in comparable institutions that did not alter their policies, while also accounting for an array of influences, like where each economist was trained.”

“They found that men who took parental leave used the extra year to publish their research, amassing impressive publication records. But there was no parallel rise in the output of female economists.“

“Whatever the cause, the findings are exactly what you would have expected if becoming a parent exacted a greater career sacrifice for women than men. By giving men a relative advantage, these gender-neutral policies appear to have effectively raised the tenure bar for women.“

The New York Times, June 24, 2016: A Family-Friendly Policy That’s Friendliest to Male Professors,” by Justin Wolfers

IZA, April 2016: “Equal but Inequitable: Who Benefits from Gender-Neutral Tenure Clock Stopping Policies?” by Heather Antecol, Kelly Bedard, Jenna Stearns (43 pages, PDF)

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Study: Hires and Layoffs in Canada’s Economic Regions

“Paid employment in Canada held steady at 13.2 million from 2009 to 2010, but that figure masks the dynamic nature of Canada’s labour market. For example, from January 2009 to January 2010, 2.4 million individuals were hired and 0.9 million individuals were laid off in the country.”

“A new study reveals that every year the number of hires and layoffs in Canada far exceeds the net change in employment. The study provides experimental estimates of hiring rates and layoff rates at the national, provincial/territorial and sub-provincial levels over the 2003-to-2013 period. Particular emphasis is placed on hiring and layoff rates within 69 economic regions across the country”

Statistics Canada’s The Daily, June 27, 2016: “Study: Hires and layoffs in Canada’s economic regions: Experimental estimates, 2003 to 2013″

Statistics Canada, June 27, 2016: “Economic InsightsHires and Layoffs in Canada’s Economic Regions: Experimental Estimates, 2003 to 2013,” by Wen Ci, René Morissette and Grant Schellenberg

Statistics Canada, June 27, 2016: “Analytical Studies: Methods and References: Hiring and Layoff Rates by Economic Region of Residence: Data Quality, Concepts and Methods,” by René Morissette, Wen Ci, and Grant Schellenberg

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The Real Executive Pay Data

“On its website, the AFL-CIO, the largest federation of labor unions in the United States, has a page called Executive Paywatch that is meant to demonstrate just how much corporate executives’ pay dwarfs the compensation of the average worker. On this page, the AFL-CIO reports that the total pay of the CEOs of America’s largest corporations was, on average, 373 times larger than the earnings of an average American worker in 2014, and 335 times larger in 2015. These are striking ratios that are meant to bolster the AFL-CIO’s message: The top executives of America’s corporations are vastly overpaid, and most American workers are woefully underpaid."

"For that reason, it may come as a surprise that the AFL-CIO’s calculations grossly understate just how much money executives make. While the AFL-CIO’s calculations are for CEOs at S&P 500 companies, our analysis of data for the 500 highest-paid senior executives (not all of whom are CEOs) from the ExecuComp database, which is maintained by Standard & Poor’s, suggests that the Executive Paywatch ratios are far too low."

“Data on these executives’ actual take-home pay, which is published, as required by law, in companies’ annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), show that in 2014, senior executives made 949 times as much money as the average worker, far higher than the AFL-CIO’s ratio of 373:1.”

The Atlantic, September 15, 2016: “Corporate Executives Are Making Way More Money Than Anybody Reports,” by Matt Hopkins and William Lazonick

Institute for New Economic Thinking, August 2016: “The Mismeasure of Mammon: Uses and Abuses of Executive Pay Data,” by Matt Hopkins and William Lazonick

Institute for New Economic Thinking Website
AFL-CIO's Executive Paywatch Website

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Rebel Workers?

“[Not] all conformity is bad. But to be successful and evolve, organizations need to strike a balance between adherence to the formal and informal rules that provide necessary structure and the freedom that helps employees do their best work. … For decades the principles of scientific management have prevailed. Leaders have been overly focused on designing efficient processes and getting employees to follow them. Now they need to think about when conformity hurts their business and allow — even promote — what [Francesca Gio calls] constructive nonconformity: behavior that deviates from organizational norms, others’ actions, or common expectations, to the benefit of the organization.”

“Conformity at work takes many forms: modeling the behavior of others in similar roles, expressing appropriate emotions, wearing proper attire, routinely agreeing with the opinions of managers, acquiescing to a team’s poor decisions, and so on. And all too often, bowing to peer pressure reduces individuals’ engagement with their jobs. This is understandable: Conforming often conflicts with our true preferences and beliefs and therefore makes us feel inauthentic.”

“Six strategies can help leaders encourage constructive nonconformity in their organizations and themselves:

  • Give Employees Opportunities to Be Themselves
  • Encourage Employees to Bring out Their Signature Strengths
  • Question the Status Quo, and Encourage Employees to Do the Same
  • Create Challenging Experiences
  • Foster Broader Perspectives
  • Voice and Encourage Dissenting Views”

The Harvard Business Review, October 2016: “Let Your Workers Rebel,” by Francesca Gio 

The Harvard Business Review, October 25, 2016: “Assessment: Are You a ‘Constructive Nonconformist’?,” by Francesca Gio

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Labour Issues in the Video Game Industry

“The 160,000 or members of the Screen Actor’s Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists went out on strike on Friday. The Guild has spent months negotiating a contract with 11 major publishers, and will not do any voice acting, motion-capture work, or anything else until their contract demands are met.”

“Among their biggest beefs is getting a cut of the residuals a game earns, on top of the average baseline salary of $825 for a four-hour session …. The Guild also wants additional pay for vocally stressful work—shouting, screaming, emitting gurgling death noises, that sort of thing—that can strain or even damage the vocal chords. Such sessions would be limited to two hours daily, with more conventional voice-work capped at eight.”

“Actors … want stunt coordinators in the studio to ensure their safety during motion-capture work. The Guild also takes issue with the game industry’s refusal to tell actors exactly what title they’re working on—which it argues denies actors the ability to negotiate a higher salary for working on a guaranteed blockbuster like the Call of Duty franchise.”

WIRED, October 21, 2016: “Why Videogame Actors Just Went on Strike,” by Emma Grey Ellis

“This unprecedented strike could have repercussions that will trigger difficult, potentially cataclysmic discussions about labor in the video game industry … [Game] developers work long hours and weekends for months to ship big budget video games, and if the actors union is fighting for a better contract, developers may soon follow.”

“At the moment, the voice actor strike doesn’t feel like the end of the world for the games industry. …. The same would not be true for game developers. If they decide to organize, unionize, and strike in order confront the labor issues that have been plaguing the video game industry for decades, they could bring that multi-billion dollar industry to a halt.”

Motherboard, October 24, 2016: “The Voice Actor Strike Is a Powder Keg for Video Game Industry Labor Issues,” by Emanuel Maiberg

Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2016: “As SAG-AFTRA strikes, video game companies hit back,” by David Ng

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Halloween Costumes for the New Global Economy

“Coming up with a great Halloween costume is tricky. But coming up with one that tells people you are a switched-on, globally aware business professional? That’s damn near impossible.”

“Dressing up for Halloween may primarily be an American tradition, but these costumes will impress your friends and colleagues at any Halloween party in the world. And who knows, such a well-thought-out costume could even earn you a promotion.”

  • Unicorn: No animal says 'achievable success' like the unicorn, which exists only in myth. Wrap some white or pastel-colored masking tape around a party hat and affix the hat to your head—you’re on your way to starting a $1 billion company.
  • Mark Zuckerberg: If you are a computer programmer, you’re probably already wearing this costume, which consists of 1) a monochrome, zipped-up hoodie and 2) jeans. Look the part of the world’s foremost internet billionaire.
  • Sexy Mark Zuckerberg: Unzip the hoodie.
  • Davos Man: Suit and tie with snow boots is the go-to outfit for attendees to this elite conference. Helps if you are a white guy.
  • Elon Musk: Wear whatever you are already wearing, but aggressively tell others that they lack ambition and that you plan to travel to Alpha Centauri next summer.
  • Athprofessional: Yoga pants, tank top, sneakers, and a yoga mat across your shoulder. You walk into meetings with a calm that says you just did yoga or are about to do yoga.
  • Synergy: Dress like the Athprofessional and try to get as many people as possible to hold hands at once.
  • Adam Smith: Don’t bother going to the party, but insist that you had a subtle and unseen impact on it.”

Quartz, October 26, 2016: “Halloween costume ideas for the new global economy,” by Nikhil Sonnad, Alison Griswold and Jason Karaian

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South Korea’s Battle Between Feminism and Deep-Seated Misogyny

“Megalia’s [an online feminist group] online activism was a bold step in a country where women continue to face discrimination at home, in the workplace, and on the streets. Yet as more women push against deep-set conservative attitudes in Korea, the backlash has been vicious. Young Korean men, who no longer enjoy the same economic security and position of power in society, are virtually, and literally, taking their frustrations out on women.”

“Like social change elsewhere, the war between the sexes in Korea has its roots in economics. … In the late 1990s, the Asian financial crisis upended the stability of the Korean ‘salaryman.’ Many men who lost their jobs started to compete with women for work.”

“Today, Korea’s economy is floundering once again. … Despite protests from men that women’s progress in society is usurping their traditional economic role, women are nowhere near parity in the workplace. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2015 Global Gender Gap Report, Korea ranked 115th out of 145 countries.”

“It’s unlikely that Korea’s gender wars will dissipate any time soon. Not long ago, a female employee at Nexon, a large gaming company, was fired from her job as a voice actress for sharing a photo of her wearing a Megalia-designed shirt with the slogan ‘Girls do not need a Prince.’”

Quartz, October 23rd, 2016: “An Epic Battle Between Feminism and Deep Seated Misogyny is Under Way in South Korea,” by Isabella Steger

World Economic Forum, 2015: “Global Gender Gap Report 2015″

World Economic Forum, 2015: “Country Profile: Republic of Korea”

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The Global Gender Gap Report 2016

“Through the Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum quantifies the magnitude of gender disparities and tracks their progress over time, with a specific focus on the relative gaps between women and men across four key areas: health, education, economy and politics. The 2016 Report covers 144 countries. More than a decade of data has revealed that progress is still too slow for realizing the full potential of one half of humanity within our lifetimes.”

World Economic Forum, 2016: “Global Gender Gap Report 2016″ (391 pages, PDF)

“Canada ranked 35th on the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Report, dropping five positions from last year, largely due to lower scores on economic participation and opportunities.”

“Canada recorded a drop in female legislators, senior officials and managers, it said. But the forum acknowledged advances made at the Parliamentary level in Canada.”

The Toronto Star, October 26, 2016: “Canada falls to 35th in gender wage gap report,” by Sunny Freeman

CBC News, October 26, 2016: “Canada ranks 35th on World Economic Forum gender gap list”

“Last year, the WEF predicted it would take 118 years for economic parity to be achieved. This year, the Geneva-based institution has calculated the gap would take until 2186 – 170 years – to close.”

The Guardian, October 25, 2016: “Gender pay gap could take 170 years to close, says World Economic Forum,” by Jill Treanor

World Economic Forum, 2015: “Global Gender Gap Report 2015″

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Book of the Week

Public-Private Partnerships, by Heather Whiteside. Winnipeg : Fernwood Publishing, 2016. 134 p. ISBN 9781552668962 (pbk.)

From the publisher: "In a public-private partnership, or P3, a private, for-profit corporation assumes control over the design, construction, financing and operation of infrastructure and services that the government used to provide. P3s are increasingly the standard way in which multimillion-dollar projects and services are delivered across Canada. The problem? P3s fundamentally transform public infrastructure, public services, labour relations, public sectors and the everyday lives of Canadians. While they are supposed to save money, P3s often cost more in the long run and are host to poor working conditions and accountability issues. And in the end, it is us, the public, who foots the bill."
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PWR: work&labour news&research, formerly the Weekly Work Report (2002 – 2006), the Perry Work Report (2006 – 2014) and the Perry Work Report: work&labour news&research (2014-2016), is a weekly e-publication of the CIRHR Library, University of Toronto.

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