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May 27, 2021

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Announcements


News and Events from the CIRHR


Find the CIRHR at CIRA 2021: The 58th Annual Conference of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association (CIRA) will take place online this year from May 26 to 28, 2021. "Work and Employment in Times of Crisis: What Are the Impacts, Management Issues, and Recovery Strategies?" will feature numerous faculty, students, alumni and friends of the CIRHR.
Here are some highlights of where to find the CIRHR community.

Spotlight On: MIR & MIRHR Alumni! Our May Spotlight features Catherine Burr (MIR 1991) and Deborah Sikkema (MIR 2004). Whether you are a current MIRHR, a member of our wonderful community of alumni, or simply curious about the program, we hope that, together, these spotlights will give you a taste of the many paths our graduates travel.

New Rotman Executive Program: People Analytics for HR: The online program, led by CIRHR Assistant Professor Greg Distelhorst, is designed to teach human resource professionals—including managers and directors from both the public and private sectors—how to understand, interpret, and apply data strategically. This partnership between CIRHR and Rotman’s Executive Programs is one of many opportunities for today’s HR, labour and management professionals to continue expanding their expertise with the CIRHR.
Click here for more information and to apply.

Conflict Resolution at Work: Hosted jointly by the University of Toronto's CIRHR and Lancaster House this two-day program features proven skills and strategies for managers and union representatives. Conflict resolution has long been identified as one of the key skills that union and employer representatives must possess to be successful in their roles. Drawing from extensive research and field testing, this program will provide training in the most effective skills and strategies for resolving workplace conflict. Emphasis will be on hands-on skills training and development of practical tools.
When: Monday, June 28 and Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 12:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Click here to register. 
 

Upcoming Events and Webinars


Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Arts: Mayworks is a month-long community-based festival which annually presents new works by a diverse and broad range of artists, who are both workers and activists. The programming presents bold, insightful responses to pressing issues at the intersection of art, social justice and labour. Events include: dialogue, film, music, visual arts, and encounters.
Week of May 25-31 Event Schedule

Lancaster House Summer Webinar Series: Lancaster House brings together the entire labour relations community and speakers represent a diversity of perspectives and include union and management lawyers, arbitrators, academics, and subject matter experts. These webinars provide an opportunity to join labour lawyers and subject matter experts discussing contentious, emerging, and perennially important issues in labour, employment, and human rights law. Topics include:


Call for Papers and Nominations


Call for Memories - An Oral History Project: The Toronto Workers' History Project (TWHP) is launching a new project to gather the memories of the old-timers in Toronto’s labour movement. So much of the history of the struggles of the city’s workers is available only in the stories that these women and men can tell. Who should be on the list to be interviewed? Anyone who made an important contribution to the struggles of working people in this city. They don’t have to have been president of their union. We want to cast the net widely. Send us names and contact information, with ages and health condition of these people, along with some information on what they contributed to labour’s cause. We’ll follow up and contact them.
Click here to access the interview nomination form.

Call for Papers: 51st Annual Conference of the International Association of Labour History Institutions (IALHI): This year’s IALHI conference is dedicated to the role of youth movements and youth activism in broader social movements in past and present. Papers may address key areas of youth mobilization and youth movements’ patterns of organization, but also consequences of youth movements’ specificities for archivists and researchers. Papers must be submitted by June 20, 2021. 
Click here for more information on submission requirements.

Call for Proposals: The Global Labour Research Centre (GLRC)The GLRC is pleased to announce the 2021 Graduate Student Symposium: Critical Conversations in Work and Labour. Building on the tradition of GLRC annual conferences, this online series is designed to promote the scholarship of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Our goal is to create a series reflective of the wide range of themes and methodological and theoretical approaches pertaining to the study of work and labour. Please note the Symposium is open internationally. Submissions are limited to graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and early-career independent researchers. The deadline for submissions is Saturday, July 31, 2021, 11:59 pm ET.
Click here for more information on submission requirements.


Upcoming Publications and Conferences


LERA 73rd Annual Meeting: The Labor and Employment Relations Association's (LERA) 73rd Annual Meeting will take place virtually Saturday June 5, 2021 to Tuesday June 8, 2021
Topic: "A Transformational Moment? Work, Worker Power and the Workplace in an Era of Division and Disruption"
Registration is now open! Click here to register.

19th ILERA World Congress: The 19th ILERA World Congress, Making and Breaking Boundaries in Work and Employment Relations, hosted by Lund University will take place virtually from Monday, June 21 to Thursday, June 24, 2021
Registration is now open! Click here to register.

Brave New Work Conference 2021: The Messy Middle of the Future of Work: The world of work has changed on all fronts, but what about the middle? That part of work between the leap from education into the labour market and the exit from the labour market after years of contribution, both economically and professionally. The Messy Middle is where workers between their second jobs and their second last jobs might find themselves if they experience labour disruption caused by digitization, globalization, evolving business models or a pandemic. Public Policy Forum’s Brave New Work Conference 2021 will explore the urgent policy conversation on what to do next.
When: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET
Where: Online via Zoom

Click here to register.

eBook of the Week


Contemporary Issues in Work and Organisations: Actors and Institutions, ed. by Russell D. Lansbury, Diane van den Broek, and Anya Johnson. London: Taylor and Francis, 2019. 286 p. ISBN 9780429801440 (ebook).

From the publisher: "In a complex and interconnected world, work and organisations are rapidly changing. This book addresses key emerging issues by adopting an imaginative and innovative approach. Its comprehensive coverage on work and organisations aim to: provide understanding of the external forces and institutions that are changing workplaces and organisations; examine how organisations are being managed from within and how this reshapes the way individuals and groups relate to each other, whether they be employers, employees, independent professionals or contingent workers; and integrate these two perspectives to show how both internal and external forces are interconnected and influence each other. By combining theory and case studies, the book illuminates how ideas and concepts can be applied to work and organisations in a variety of contexts."

PWR: work&labour news&research


Labour Unions

Human Resource Management

Labour Policy & Legislation

Labour Economics

Health & Safety

Labour Unions

 

Study Looks at Quebec Municipal Contracting Out to Non-Profits

“The practice of Quebec municipalities contracting out to non-profit organizations to manage their equipment or organize events is a murky system that opens the door to abuse. … That’s one of the findings of a CUPE-supported study from the Institut pour la démocratie économique (IDEE) (Institute for Economic Democracy). The study looked at the relationships between municipalities and non-profits.”

“The study  highlights an example of 'classic' contracting out, the case of SOPIAR, an organization that managers sports facilities in six municipalities in the Montérégie region. The organization isn’t requested to be transparent. Researcheres resorted to the access to informations laws to get information on SOPIAR’s activities. … The study also draws some distinctions between façade, classic and citizen contracting out. Citizen contracting out is favourably perceived, but there are still transparency issues.”

“The IDEE makes several recommendations to reduce the risks of loss of control. The authors believe, in particular, that the Quebec government must clarify provisions of Bill 122 to ensure greater transparency around contracting out in Quebec municipalities.”

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), May 7, 2021: “Study looks at Quebec municipal contracting out to non-profits.”

IDEE, May 6, 2021: Regards sur la sous-traitance aux OBNL dans le monde municipal québécois: Une étude de l’Institut pour la démocratie économique, par Jonathan Durand-Folco, Miriam Fahmy, et Laurent Levesque (36 pages, PDF)

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CUPE Seeks a Review of OMERS Pension Plan Performance After a Loss in 2020

“The Canadian Union of Public Employees Ontario published a report Wednesday that highlights what it says is a long-term pattern of underperformance by the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, which manages the retirement income of more than 500,000 active and retired municipal employees. … The public call comes after OMERS published its annual results in February, revealing it had lost 2.7 per cent in 2020, a significant swing from the 6.9-per-cent gain it had set as a benchmark.”

“CUPE Ontario’s report notes that the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec posted annual returns for 2020 of 11.4 per cent, 8.6 per cent and 7.5 per cent, respectively. … The report also points to a longer-term trend of lower returns at OMERS, which had a 10-year annualized return of 8.2 per cent as of 2019. In contrast, HOOPP, Teachers and the Caisse had 10-year returns of 11.4 per cent, 9.8 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively, at that time. OMERS’ 2020 performance brought its long-term rate of return down even further.”

The Star, May 19, 2021: “CUPE seeks a review of OMERS pension plan performance after a loss in 2020,” by Christine Dobby.

CUPE, May 2021: Not Just One 'Tough Year': The Need for a Review of OMERS Investment Performance (12 pages, PDF)

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Human Resource Management

 

Will COVID-19 Spell the End of Cubicle Farms and Worker Bees?

"[A]n out-of-tune note from Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon recently caused some agitation among workers and management experts. … Mr. Solomon ruffled more than few feathers when he rejected the idea of work-from-home as the new normal. … Unfortunately, he’s not alone. Last September, JP Morgan’s chief executive officer Jamie Dimon said working from home had a negative effect on productivity.”

“Nothing could be further from the truth. Study after study has revealed productivity has soared during the pandemic. … Case in point: JP Morgan reported some US$18-billion in revenue and US$7-billion in profits in the first quarter of 2021. The company’s revenue exceeded analysts’ expectations.”

“Rebecca Paluch, an assistant professor at the Sauder School of Business’s Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Division at University of British Columbia, has studied the relationship between organizations and employees during changing employment trends. … Contrary to popular belief, she says telecommuting has not eroded company culture or productivity. She does admit, however, that telecommuting for more than a few days will get in the way of fostering connections among employees. Ms. Paluch said remote workers may experience loneliness and isolation from a lack of personal interactions.”

The Globe and Mail, May 23, 2021: “Will COVID-19 spell the end of cubicle farms and worker bees?” by Radhika Panjwani

Gensler Research Institute Workplace Surveys:

Gensler Research Institute, 2021: China Workplace Survey 2021. (4 pages, PDF)

Gensler Research Institute, 2020: US Workplace Survey 2020. (10 pages, PDF)

Gensler Research Institute, 2020: France Workplace Survey 2020. (8 pages, PDF)

Gensler Research Institute, 2020: UK Workplace Survey 2020.

Gensler Research Institute, 2020: Japan Workplace Survey 2020. (11 pages, PDF)

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Building Inclusive Workplaces

“A one-size-fits-all approach to pandemic recovery will not work. Programs tailored to the specific needs of specific groups will be important for a strong recovery, as will equitable access to critical supports, such as the infrastructure needed to overcome the digital divide. Businesses, governments and employees must all commit to reskilling — particularly when it comes to those from diverse groups who face barriers and bias — to develop an effective and inclusive skills and employment ecosystem that leaves no one behind.”

Key Takeaways

  1. “The effects of COVID-19 have been uneven when it comes to Canada’s industries and workforce and, so far, we are seeing a K-shaped recovery where some sectors are recovering very well while others are doing markedly worse.”
  2. “Pandemic responses have had uneven impacts, deeply affecting access to education and training opportunities for members of some disadvantaged groups. This has had, and will continue to have, consequences for well-being, mental health and skills development and utilization during the recovery period and beyond.”
  3. “Retraining will be crucial as some sectors will forever be altered by the impacts of the pandemic. But pre-existing systemic barriers, exacerbated by the pandemic, may prevent many Canadians from acquiring and effectively utilizing skills for which demand is growing, such as digital skills, soft skills, and leadership and management techniques made more relevant for a world of ubiquitous remote work.”

Public Policy Forum, May 19, 2021: Building Inclusive Workplaces, by Eddy Ng, Anjum Sultana, Kory Wilson, Simon Blanchette, Rochelle Wijesingha (49 pages, PDF)

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Labour Policy & Legislation

 

State and Local Prosecutors are Increasingly Cracking Down on Employer Crimes Against Workers

“A new report from the Economic Policy Institute and the Harvard Labor and Worklife Program documents the recent increase in district attorneys (DAs) and state attorneys general (AGs) criminally prosecuting employer crimes against workers. … This includes bringing charges against employers for wage theft, misclassification and payroll fraud, workplace safety hazards, sexual assault, and human trafficking, among other crimes against workers.”

“As the report explains, historically crimes against workers have not been prosecuted. More often, the criminal justice system has intervened to protect employers; for example, a worker stealing from an employer would likely face charges, while an employer committing wage theft likely would not.”

“The report provides dozens of case examples of prosecutions of employer crimes against workers in jurisdictions across the country, including California, Colorado, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, and more. The report also outlines the rationale for bringing such cases criminally and not just civilly, such as increased deterrence of employer violations. Finally, the report includes recommendations for greater enforcement of this kind, and offers tips to prosecutors and worker organizations wishing to get started.”

Economic Policy Institute, May 17, 2021: “State and local prosecutors are increasingly cracking down on employer crimes against workers.”

Economic Policy Institute, May 17, 2021: How district attorneys and state attorneys general are fighting workplace abuses: An introduction to criminal prosecutions of wage theft and other employer crimes against workers, by Terri Gerstein (54 pages, PDF)

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Labour Economics

 

Sunshine Lists Have Helped Narrow the Gender Pay Gap, But Ottawa Won’t Commit to One

“The federal government does not release an annual ‘sunshine list’ – a document outlining the name, compensation and often job title of its high-earning employees – unlike almost every province. And the Trudeau government has no plans to change this practice. … This is despite years of feedback from equity advocates and researchers, who say sunshine laws have helped narrow the gender wage gap, as well as pressure from stakeholder groups concerned about a lack of transparency. Beyond the issue of taxpayer accountability, sunshine laws around the country have revealed inequities in hiring practices, promotion and compensation.”

“Other research, such as a study from economists at the University of Toronto that examined the impact of sunshine laws on gender pay imbalances in academia, suggests disclosure leads to reduced inequities. The gender pay gap, in general, has been shrinking over time, and these laws have accounted for about 30 to 40 per cent of the closure since these laws were passed,’ said one of the authors, Yosh Halberstam. Universities that were unionized showed the clearest improvement, he added, suggesting progress requires both a mechanism to expose inequities, as well as a framework for staff to advocate for themselves.”

“Since January, The Globe has been publishing a series called the Power Gap, which looks at gender imbalances in the modern work force. … The data revealed how women’s careers are stalling out in mid-level management and how, on average, women made less than comparable male colleagues. But The Globe could not analyze federal employees, including those who work for the RCMP, public health, the Canada Revenue Agency or for federal Crown corporations – such as the Bank of Canada or Via Rail Canada – because the information is not available.”

The Globe and Mail, May 17, 2021: “Sunshine lists have helped narrow the gender pay gap, but Ottawa won’t commit to one,” by Robyn Doolittle

National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2019, Revised November 2019: Pay Transparency and the Gender Gap by Michael Baker, Yosh Halberstam, Kory Kroft, Alexandre Mas, and Derek Messacar (40 pages, PDF)

Association of Academic Staff University of Alberta (AASUA), 2017: Gaps in Professorial Compensation by Gender, Visible Minority, and Indigenous People at the University of Alberta by Rhonda J. Rosychuk, Yang Liu, Andrew McGee, Paige Lacy, Zubia Mumtaz, and Malinda S. Smith (137 pages, PDF)

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Regardless of Education or Training, Racialized Immigrant Women Earn Less

“To find out why immigrants receive lower pay, we looked at who earns more or less as a result of their combination of immigrant generation, gender, race and native language. We also wanted to find out whether being a first-generation immigrant is really the most important factor in terms of salary. (Spoiler alert: it’s not, according to our findings.) We compared the annual pay for a sample of 20,000 employees within 6,000 firms that represent Canada’s workforce. Canada is a particularly good test case for examining immigrants’ outcomes because of its high proportion of first- or second-generation immigrants (37.5 per cent of the population).”

“We took an ‘intersectional’ approach to this research. That means we looked at all 24 possible combinations of these four characteristics, rather than measuring how much each characteristic impacts pay on its own: immigrant generation, gender, race, language. … We recognize that these are all rough categories that ignore important complexities. For example, because of data limitations, we couldn’t test for different outcomes between racial groups or across the full gender spectrum. Despite this lack of nuance, rough categories can still be useful as a starting point for making big-picture comparisons between groups.”

“First-generation immigrant white men — most of them from the U.K., France or the United States — working in their native language have the highest pay of any group, including non-immigrants, and are closely followed by their sons. In contrast, another group of first-generation immigrants — racialized women who are neither anglophone nor francophone — earn the least. The gap in annual income between these two groups of first-generation immigrants, even after controlling for other explanations like education and experience, is close to $10,000. This shows why it doesn’t make sense to talk about first-generation immigrants in the workplace as though most of them share similar experiences.”

The Conversation, May 20, 2021: “Regardless of education or training, racialized immigrant women earn less,” by Stacey Fitzsimmons, Jen Baggs, and Mary Yoko Brannen

Fitzsimmons, S., Baggs, J., and Brannen, M.Y. (2020). Intersectional arithmetic: How gender, race and mother tongue combine to impact immigrants’ work outcomes. Journal of World Business 55(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2019.101013

Statistics Canada The Daily, October 25, 2017: “Immigration and ethnocultural diversity: Key results from the 2016 Census” (8 pages, PDF)

PWR: work&labour news&research, January 27, 2020: “Skills Next: What Canadians Will Need to Succeed”

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The Pandemic Created a Child-Care Crisis. Mothers Bore the Burden.

“[Post-pandemic] 56 percent of American women are working for pay, the lowest level since 1986. When the pandemic created a child-care crisis, mothers became the default solution. Even as society starts to reopen, many feel forgotten and shunted to the sidelines. Child care, school and other parts of daily life remain disrupted because young children cannot yet be vaccinated, and government paid-leave programs have expired.”

“Women have more options now for what to do with their lives — but that also means that whether they work for pay or stay home with children is considered a personal choice, and one they’re often judged for. It’s different for men, because society expects them to work. Women’s identities feel hard-earned. ‘Men who are out of work are still presumed to be workers, but women aren’t, because we frame work for women as a choice,’ said Sarah Damaske, a sociologist at Pennsylvania State, whose book, 'The Tolls of Uncertainty,’ published this month, is about how unemployed Americans’ experiences are shaped by gender and class.”

“A new survey by Morning Consult for The New York Times — of a representative group of 1,001 mothers nationwide who were working for pay before the pandemic began, including 448 who quit — found that 60 percent of those who quit were satisfied with their decision. Another 20 percent had considered quitting for child care reasons. But that doesn’t mean it’s what they would have chosen if they had options. Eighty percent said they were the only parent who considered quitting — their partner did not.”

“There are things that could helpstarting with fully opening schools and child care centers. Incentives like tax credits could encourage companies to rehire mothers. Job search and retraining programs could help workers find jobs outside the service industry. Longer term, researchers say, the predicament could be blunted with policies like paid sick and family leave, affordable child care and financial support for unpaid caregivers.”

The New York Times, May 17, 2021: “The Pandemic Created a Child-Care Crisis. Mothers Bore the Burden.” by Claire Cain Miller

Damaske, S. (2021). The Tolls of Uncertainty: How Privilege and the Guilt Gap Shape Unemployment in America. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. (UofT Community Access Here, available soon)

Harvard Business Review, April 20, 2021: “To Keep Women in the Workforce, Men Need to Do More at Home,” by Daniel L. Carlson, Richard J. Petts, and Joanna Pepin

Landivar L.C., Ruppanner L., Scarborough W.J., Collins C. (2020). Early Signs Indicate That COVID-19 Is Exacerbating Gender Inequality in the Labor Force. Socius (6) 1-3. https://doi.org/10.1177/2378023120947997 (3 pages, PDF)

Petts, R.J., Carlson, D.L., and Pepin, J.R. (2020). A gendered pandemic: Childcare, homeschooling, and parents’ employment during COVID-19. Gender, Work & Organization, 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12614 (20 pages, PDF)

United States Census Bureau, August 18, 2020: Working Moms Bear Brunt of Home Schooling While Working During COVID-19 by Misty L. Heggeness and Jason M. Fields

Sevilla, A. and Smith, S. (2020). Baby Steps: The Gender Division of Childcare During the Covid-19 Pandemic. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13302, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3614250 

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, October 26, 2020: Why Is Mommy So Stressed? Estimating the Immediate Impact of the COVID-19 Shock on Parental Attachment to the Labor Market and the Double Bind of Mothers, by Misty L. Heggeness 

Reid, E. (2015). Embracing, Passing, Revealing, and the Ideal Worker Image: How People Navigate Expected and Experienced Professional Identities. Organization Science 26 (4). https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2015.0975

Collins, C. (2019). Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. https://doi.org/10.1515/9780691185156 (UofT Community Access Here)

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Middle-Class Pay Lost Pace. Is Washington to Blame?

“One of the most urgent questions in economics is why pay for middle-income workers has increased only slightly since the 1970s, even as pay for those near the top has escalated. For years, the rough consensus among economists was that inexorable forces like technology and globalization explained much of the trend. But in a new paper, Lawrence Mishel and Josh Bivens, economists at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, conclude that government is to blame. ‘Intentional policy decisions (either of commission or omission) have generated wage suppression,’ they write.”

“Included among these decisions are policymakers’ willingness to tolerate high unemployment and to let employers fight unions aggressively; trade deals that force workers to compete with low-paid labor abroad; and the tacit or explicit blessing of new legal arrangements, like employment contracts that make it harder for workers to seek new jobs. Together, Dr. Mishel and Dr. Bivens argue, these developments deprived workers of bargaining power, which kept their wages low. … Since [the 1970s], productivity has continued to grow, while hourly compensation largely flattened. According to the paper, the typical worker earned $23.15 an hour in 2017, far less than the $33.10 that worker would have earned had compensation kept up with productivity growth.”

“Dr. Mishel and Dr. Bivens argue that a decades-long loss of leverage largely explains the gap between the pay increases that workers would have received had they benefited fully from rising productivity, and the smaller wage and benefit increases that workers actually received. To arrive at this conclusion, they examine numerical measures of the impact of several developments that hurt workers’ bargaining power — some of which they generated, many of which other economists have generated over the years — then sum up those measures to arrive at an overall effect.”

The New York Times, May 13, 2021: “Middle-Class Pay Lost Pace. Is Washington to Blame?” by Noam Scheiber

Economic Policy Institute Press Release, May 13, 2021: “Workers would be earning $10 more per hour if their wages had kept up with the increase in productivity”

Economic Policy Institute, May 13, 2021: Identifying the policy levers generating wage suppression and wage inequality by Lawrence Mishel and Josh Bivens (105 pages, PDF)

Brookings Institution, March 18, 2020: Declining worker power and American economic performance by Anna Stansbury and Lawrence H. Summers (96 pages, PDF)

National Bureau of Economic Research, May 2018, revised April 2021: Unions and Inequality Over the Twentieth Century: New Evidence from Survey Data by Henry S. Farber, Daniel Herbst, Ilyana Kuziemko, and Suresh Naidu (61 pages, PDF)

Weil, D. (2019). Understanding the Present and Future of Work in the Fissured Workplace Context. The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences 5 (5) 147-165; https://doi.org/10.7758/RSF.2019.5.5.08 (19 pages, PDF)

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Health & Safety

 

Safety Effect for Unionized Ontario Construction Sites Grows Stronger

“A new study confirms previous research which finds unionized construction sites in Ontario are safer and workers on those sites experience fewer work-related injuries. The 'union safety effect’, a short-hand phrase for the role unions play in improved occupational health and safety outcomes, has grown stronger in recent years according to the study.”

Study Findings

“Researchers reaffirmed a union safety effect and report with 'a high degree of confidence' the association had grown stronger since the previous study. The researchers report, on unionized construction sites (compared to non-union sites):

  • Lost-time injury claims were 31 per cent lower (23 per cent in 2015)
  • Critical injury claims were 29 per cent lower (30 per cent in 2015).
  • Musculoskeletal injury claims 25 per cent lower (17 per cent in 2015)
  • The union effect was stronger in larger workplaces. Work sites with 50 or more employees had LTA rates 44 per cent lower, with 20-49 employees, rates were 24 per cent lower, with 5-19 employee, rates were 25 per cent lower. No union effect was observed in workplaces with less than 4 employees.”

“The authors of the new study suggest training is among the factors that may promote a safety effect noting, ‘With training and union backing, unionized workers could be more empowered to report on unsafe conditions, refuse unsafe work and ensure enforcement when needed.’ Other factors in play may include higher journeyman-to-apprentice ratios, less worker turnover and longer job tenure.”

Workers Health & Safety Centre News, January 15, 2021: “Safety effect for unionized Ontario construction sites grows stronger, study”

OCS Ontario Construction Secretariat, January 2021: 31% SAFER: The Union Safety Effect Updated Report, Infographic (1 page, PDF), Press Release (2 pages, PDF), Full Report (65 pages, PDF), YouTube Summary (2:27, video)

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Long Working Hours Killing 745,000 People a Year, Study Finds

“Long working hours are killing hundreds of thousands of people a year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The first global study of its kind showed 745,000 people died in 2016 from stroke and heart disease due to long hours. The report found that people living in South East Asia and the Western Pacific region were the most affected. The WHO also said the trend may worsen due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

“The research found that working 55 hours or more a week was associated with a 35% higher risk of stroke and a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease, compared with a working week of 35 to 40 hours. The study, conducted with the International Labour Organization (ILO), also showed almost three quarters of those that died as a result of working long hours were middle-aged or older men. Often, the deaths occurred much later in life, sometimes decades later, than the long hours were worked.”

“The report said working long hours was estimated to be responsible for about a third of all work-related disease, making it the largest occupational disease burden. The researchers said that there were two ways longer working hours led to poor health outcomes: firstly through direct physiological responses to stress, and secondly because longer hours meant workers were more likely to adopt health-harming behaviours such as tobacco and alcohol use, less sleep and exercise, and an unhealthy diet.”

BBC News, May 17, 2021: “Long working hours killing 745,000 people a year, study finds”

ILO Newsroom, May 17, 2021: “Long working hours can increase deaths from heart disease and stroke, say ILO and WHO”

Pega, F. et al. (2021). Global, regional, and national burdens of ischemic heart disease and stroke attributable to exposure to long working hours for 194 countries, 2000–2016: A systematic analysis from the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury. Environment International, in press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2021.106595 

Canadian Perspective: Statistics Canada Perspectives on Labour and Income, March 8, 2000: “Long working hours and health,” by Margot Shields (8 pages, PDF)

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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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