April 27, 2009

April 27, 2009

John Crispo Remembered

We are sad to announce that the founding Director of the Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, Professor John Crispo, passed away yesterday. John joined the Department of Political Economy at UofT in 1961 and established the Centre a short time later, in 1965. He served as its Director until 1971 when he was asked to take on the role of Dean at the Faculty of Management. After his term ended in 1975, he continued to teach industrial relations to generations of both graduate and undergraduate students. He retired from the university in 1996 and became Professor Emeritus.

John remained active as a media commentator and public speaker on many aspects of Canadian life, including free trade, Medicare, and labour-management relations. In 2002, he published his memoirs, titled, Rebel Without a Pause: Memoirs of a Canadian Maverick.

John will be remembered by his many friends, colleagues, and students for his passionate beliefs, boundless energy, great enthusiasm, enormous charm and incredible humour. He is described by current Dean of the Rotman School of Management, Roger Martin, as a “class act” and “great man”-- indeed, a fitting tribute.

JOHN CRISPO: Political Economy Pundit


Auto Industry in the News

Globe and Mail, April 28, 2009: U.S. reaches key deal with Chrysler bondholders

General Motors Plan:

Globe and Mail, April 27, 2009: GM Canada to shed jobs, dealers: Number of sellers will be slashed by 42 per cent, in line with U.S. restructuring, by Greg Keenan

Toronto Star, April 28, 2009: GM Canada to kill 38,000 jobs; auto graveyard: Blueprint cuts 6,000 more workers, plus 14,000 at dealerships and 18,000 at parts plants by Tony Van Alphen

CBC, April 27, 2009: GM to drop Pontiac in 2010, cut thousands more jobs

“Unionized auto workers will begin making a direct contribution to their own pensions in Canada for the first time, in a historic agreement with Chrysler Canada Inc. that was approved yesterday and will be extended to cover the other two Detroit auto makers.”

Globe and Mail, April 27, 2009: Auto workers agree to historic concession by Greg Keenan

The State of Auto Industry Pensions -- Who’s to Blame?
Andrew Steel’s current blog post blaming the CAW for the states of auto pensions receives numerous postings from autoworkers.

Andrew Steel Blog, April 27, 2009: Searching for the real (pension) killers


Tough Economic Times do not Excuse Employer Discrimination

A recent Toronto Star editorial looks at the increased number of complaints received by the Ontario Human Rights Legal Support Centre concerning pregnant women who have lost their jobs for ‘economic reasons.’ The Human Rights Commission has reposted its policy on discrimination because of pregnancy and childbirth.

Toronto Star, April 27, 2009: Protect workers' rights (editorial)

Toronto Star, April 25, 2009: Employers fire mothers-to-be: Recession used as excuse for surge in pink slips

Policy on Discrimination because of Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, Ontario Human Rights Commission, December 2008 (35 pages PDF)


Cutting Pension Benefits and Costs

The most recent edition of “News and Views”, a Moreau Sobeco publication, takes a look at funding relief for DB plan sponsors, Quebec’s draft regulation on pension plan funding, and the impact of the financial crisis on defined contribution pension plans.

News and Views, April 21, 2009 (12 pages, PDF)


Impact of Work Organization on Job Stress

The current issue of the Health and Safety Report from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety features an article on workplace stress and includes information for both employees and employers on coping and prevention. As well, the article contains links to publications on this topic – these links are provided below.

Health and Safety Report, Volume 7, Issue 4, April 2009: Beyond Your Control and Causing You Stress: Impact of Work Organization on Job Stress

Work Organization & Stress: systematic problem approaches for employers, managers and trade union representatives, World Health Organization, 2004 (35 pages, PDF)

Stress at work, ILO SafeWork

Workplace Stress, CCOHS

NIOSH Publication No. 99-101: STRESS... At Work


The Failure of Disability Policy in Canada

The Caledon Institute has released a paper titled, Paved with Good Intentions: the Failure of Passive Disability Policy in Canada. The author has found that one-size-fits-all benefits, passive income strategies and over-simplified disability concepts have failed to achieve real economic integration of adult citizens with disabilities.

Report, April 2009 (31 pages, PDF)


Collaborating on Policy Development

The Caledon Institute has released a manual titled, Collaboration on Policy: A Manual developed by the Community-Government Collaboration on Policy. Developed by a group of ten partners, manual provides practical lessons for the establishment and operation of effective government-community collaborations on policy. Though poverty reduction was the lens through which collaboration on policy was viewed, the lessons presented are applicable to any complex problem. The many examples, tools and references provided in the manual are helpful both to those new to policy work and to groups already engaged in collaborations on policy.

Manual, April 2009 (94 pages, PDF)


Family Work Week Hours Increasing

The most recent issue of Perspectives on Labour and Income features a study on hours of work of families and dual-earners. Although the average work week has been declining, overall family work hours have increased. In 2008, dual-earners accounted for three-quarters of all couples with dependent children, compared with just over one-third in 1976. Over the period, the combined paid work hours of couples increased from an average of 58 hours per week to 65 hours per week.

Perspectives on Labour and Income, April 2009 issue: The Family Work Week (9 pages, PDF)


Statistics Canada Socio-economic Conference 2009

The Statistics Canada Socio-economic Conference, May 4-5, 2009, provides an annual forum for empirical research which sheds light on economic, social, health and environmental issues. Several workshops on health issues have been organized.

Statistics Canada Socio-economic Conference, May 4-5 2009.


National Graduates Study

The National Graduates Survey, jointly undertaken by Statistics Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada presents information on the further education and labour market experiences of graduates in the two years following graduation. For those who did not pursue further education, it also provides information on their student debt both at the time of graduation and two years later. To date, six graduating classes have been surveyed: 1982, 1986, 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005.

Graduating in Canada: Profile, labour market outcomes and student debt of the class of 2005, April 22, 2009 (79 pages, PDF)

More than 80% of college and university students who graduated in 2005 and did not pursue further studies had found full-time employment by 2007. In general, earnings increased by level of study. In 2007, two years after graduation, just over one-quarter of those who owed student debt at the time they graduated had paid it off.

National Graduates Survey Highlights, The Daily, April 22, 2009


Vancouver Ties for Fourth Place for Best Quality of Living

Vienna has passed Zurich to take the top spot as the world’s city with the best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2009 Quality of Living Survey. Geneva retains its position in third place, while Vancouver and Auckland are now tied for fourth place in the rankings. Toronto placed 15h, Ottawa placed 16th, Montreal placed 22nd and Calgary 25th.

Mercer 2009 Quality of Living Survey Highlights

Globe and Mail, April 28, 2009: Vancouver shines in quality of life rankings by Tavia Grant


Book of the Week

Why Work?: the Perceptions of a "Real Job" and the Rhetoric of Work Through the Ages, by Robin Patric Clair ... [et al.] West Lafayette, Indiana. : Purdue University Press, 2008. 196 p. ISBN 978-1-55753-151-5

This book explores the contemporary cultural construction of work, beginning with the expression, "A Real Job." This volume examines "work" in the writings of Aristotle, Plato, Confucius, St. Benedict, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Mother Jones, Emma Goldman, Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Frederick Winslow Taylor, and Mary Parker Follett to answer the question, "Can the concept of work be divorced from the thinker's past?" A final chapter re-examines the core issue in light of the vary concept of "work" and ask one more time "why work?" This work is a result of an Honors seminar at Purdue University.


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Editor: Vicki Skelton
Designer: Nick Strupat

Copyright © 2008 Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Date posted: 
Monday, April 27, 2009