December 15, 2008

December 15, 2008


Happy Holidays happy holidays

We wish you all the best for the holidays and will return with a new edition of the Perry Work Report in the New Year!


Economic Impact of the Detroit Three Auto Manufacturers in Canada

The Ontario Manufacturing Council has released a report titled, The Economic Impact of the Detroit Three Auto Manufacturers in Canada, prepared by The Centre for Spatial Economics: Assessing past, present and future economic and demographic change in Canada. The report “estimates the economic impact – in terms of jobs and GDP – of a major contraction involving one or more of the Detroit Three automakers. Two scenarios are presented: first, what would be the impact of the Detroit Three automakers ceasing operations globally and second, what would be the impact from a 50% reduction in overall Detroit Three employment and production.” “The initial job losses of between 157,000 and 323,000 (depending on the scenario) quickly rise to between 296,000 and 582,000. The job losses continue to mount after the first year because the weaker economy depresses investment, discourages immigration and puts the breaks on new housing leading to a negative economic spiral that is eventually halted by lower interest rates, a falling Canadian dollar and lower production costs.”

Report, December 16, 2008 (11 pages, PDF)

CBC News, December 16, 2008: “582,000 Canadian jobs would be lost with collapse of Big Three: report”


Is Canada's Union Movement Stagnating?

Queen’s University IRC Research Program has released a paper by Pradeep Kumar titled, Whither Unionism: Current State and Future, Prospects of Union Renewal in Canada. The following is a quote from the introduction: “Is the union movement in Canada stagnating? Has the momentum to revitalize the movement in response to changing environment stalled? It is difficult to answer these questions unequivocally, partly due to the lack of information on all dimensions of union effectiveness but also, as Gregor Murray (2004) has noted, because of the need to confront the “many myths, enigmas, and half truths” around the change process.”

Discussion paper, December 2008 (14 pages, PDF)


Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities, 2008

Human Resources and Social Development Canada has released its sixth annual federal progress report on disability titled,Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities, 2008. It provides an overview of key initiatives that federal departments have implemented in 2007 – 2008. Includes: Chapter 4: Learning, Skills and Employment; Chapter 6: Aboriginal Labour Market Programs and Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy.

Report, December 2008 (html)

Report, December 2008 (144 pages, PDF)


First Report from the Aboriginal Labour Force Analysis Series

The Statistics Canada report titled, Aboriginal People Living Off-reserve and the Labour Market: Estimates from the Labour Force Survey, 2007, presents the first national estimates on the labour market experiences of Aboriginal people living off-reserve in 10 Canadian provinces. It also examines employment and unemployment rates as well as wages by Aboriginal identity.

Report, December 15, 2008 (25 pages, PDF)

Summary, December 15, 2008, (html)


Supreme Court Ruling on Employment Insurance Premiums

“The Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Thursday that the federal government acted within its constitutional authority when it spent tens of billions in employment insurance (EI) surpluses to balance its books rather than benefit workers.”* However it did find that the Federal government’s collection of employment insurance premiums in 2002, 2003 and 2005 was unlawful.

* National Union of Provincial Government Employees, December 11, 2008: “Supreme Court sides with federal government on EI surplus”

Toronto Star, December 12, 2008: “Ottawa broke law on EI, court rules; Liberals turned jobless insurance premiums into a back-door tax”

Full text of Supreme Court Decision: Confédération des syndicats nationaux v. Canada (Attorney General), 2008 SCC 68, 2008/12/11


People Needed to Power up Canada's Electricity Industry

People needed to power up Canada's electricity industry Canada's Electricity Sector Council has released its 2008 workforce planning report titled, Powering Up the Future: 2008 Labour Market Information Study. According to the report the electricity industry faces an immediate shortfall of 1,300 jobs every year for the next three years, and must replace nearly 30 per cent of industry or approximately 25,000 people within the next six years to meet Canada's energy demands, currently rising by one per cent each year. The project was funded by the Government of Canada’s Sector Council Program

News release, November 25, 2008

Report, November 25, 2008 (145 pages, PDF)


Pension Funding Problems

The OECD publication, Pension Markets in Focus, December 2008, Issue 5, finds that “the ongoing financial crisis has dealt a heavy blow to private pension systems. Between January and October this year, private pensions in the OECD area have registered losses of nearly 20% of their assets (equivalent to USD 5 trillion). Some OECD countries with large defined benefit systems such as Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States are reporting lower funding levels and in some cases large funding gaps (pension liabilities greater than assets).” There has been a 22% drop in Canadian pension funds.

Pension Markets in Focus, December 11, 2008 (20 pages, PDF)

OECD News Release, December 11, 2008

Financial Post, December 11, 2008: Canadian private pension funds in bottom three this year


Voices from a Changing World

Homelands Productions is an independent, non-profit journalism cooperative whose mission is to illuminate complex issues through compelling broadcasts, articles, books, and educational forums, and to foster freedom of expression and creative risk through the media arts. Homelands has launched the Worker Browser, an experimental web tool that lets people tell the world how they feel about their jobs.

Worker Browser website


Book of the Week

Managing the Human Factor: The Early Years of Human Resource Management in American Industry, by Bruce E. Kaufman, Cornell University Press, 2008. ISBN-10: 0801442273

In Managing the Human Factor, Bruce E. Kaufman chronicles the origins and early development of human resource management (HRM) in the United States from the 1870s, when the Labor Problem emerged as the nation's primary domestic policy concern, to 1933 and the start of the New Deal. Through new archival research, an extensive review and synthesis of the historical and contemporary literatures, and case studies illustrating best (and worst) practices during this period, Kaufman identifies the fourteen ideas, events, and movements that led to the creation of specialized HRM epartments in the late 1910s, as well as their further growth and development into strategic business units in the welfare capitalism period of the 1920s.

The research presented in this book not only uncovers many new aspects of the early development of personnel and industrial relations but also challenges central parts of the contemporary interpretation of the concept and evolution of HRM. Rich with insights on both the present and past of human resource management, Managing the Human Factor will be widely regarded as the definitive account of the early history of employee management in American companies and a must-read for all those interested in the indispensable function of managing people in organizations.


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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, December 15, 2008