June 09, 2008

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Harry Arthurs Receives the ILO Decent Work Research Prize: The International Labour Organization has announced that the ILO Decent Work Research Prize 2008 will be awarded to Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz and leading Canadian labour researcher Harry Arthurs.

Links: ILO Press Release Professor Harry Arthurs awarded a prestigious research prizeYFile York's Daily Bulletin.


CAW Collective Bargaining & Political Action Convention Opens, June 10, 2008: CAW President Buzz Hargrove spoke on the recent round of Big Three bargaining, the manufacturing jobs crisis in Canada and the need for federal government action to stem the accelerating loss of good jobs. According to Bloomberg News two proposals were circulated to members at the conventionin response to the closing of the GM truck plant in Oshawa –  that the federal government require automakers to give Canada a “proportional share” of hybrid vehicle production and that automakers also be required to meet minimum Canadian production targets.

Links: CAW Collective Bargaining & Political Action Convention Opens, June 10, 2008CAW website; “Canada Auto Union Seeks `Proportional' Share of Hybrid Output,” by Hugo Miller, June 10, 2008, Bloomberg News;   " Union wants Auto Pact Resurrected," by Jillian Follert, June 10, 2008,newsdurhamregion.com.


Current News Roundup on the CAW's response to GM's closing of the Oshawa Truck Plant:“GM seeks to end workers' blockade of head office,” Greg Keenan, Globe & Mail, June 10, 2008;CAW not surprised by GM's expected injunctionctvtoronto.ca, June 10, 2008;

“Hargrove rules out strike over Ontario GM plant closing,” CBC News, June 9, 2008; “CAW asks Ottawa for trade action,” Tony Van Alphen, Toronto Star June 9, 2008; “GM union protest temporarily halts production,” CBC News, June 7, 2008.


Drug Testing by the TTC: The Toronto Transit Commission may introduce drug and alcohol testing for employees. The union leader for the Amalgamated Transit Union called the idea an invasion of privacy and will recommend that employees not submit to testing. A current decision, on a pre-employment drug testing policy, is being appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada by the Alberta Human Rights Commission.

Links: “Drug tests for TTC staff?” by Tess Kalinowski, Toronto Star, June 5, 2008; Pre-employment drug testing policy survives appeal court scrutiny , Donna Seale, Human Rights in the Workplace, January 3, 2008; Drug testing case moves on to Supreme Court of Canada, Donna Seale, Human Rights in the Workplace, March 11, 2008.


Quebec's Report on Cultural Accommodation: Quebec's Consultation Commission on Accommodation Practices Related to Cultural Differences (the Bouchard-Taylor Commission) submitted its final report on May 22, 2008. The recommendations touch on many aspects of the workplace such as skill recognition, dress codes and religious holidays.

Links: Building The Future: A Time for Reconciliation (Abridged report) by Gérard Bouchard and Charles Taylor, May 22, 2008 (99 pages, PDF). The complete report is available only in French (310 pages, PDF). For information on the Commission go to its website.


Multicultural Canada in the 21st Century: The Policy Research Initiative of the Government of Canada has released three papers examining the current second generation immigrants in Canada . The first paper presented a framework for assessing existing research, which was then used to examine the integration environment in Canada . The second paper used the framework to review how the second generation is currently integrating into Canadian society, with an emphasis on the children of immigrants from non-European countries. The final paper examined the situation in other countries, showing what has worked in various national contexts.

Link: All three papers, released in April and May of 2008, can be downloaded from the Policy Research Initiative Publications website.


Retaining Employees: A recent paper from the Conference Board New York says that companies will need to modernize their work-life approach to engage and retain employees. Moving beyond flex-time and taking a holistic approach that includes an employee's commitment to his/her community, home life, and career, is the suggested strategy.

Link: Shifting the Focus: Updating Your Work-Life Approach to Integrate Employee Engagement and Talent Management , by Toddi Gutner, The Conference Board New York, May 2008, (7 pages, PDF). Available to the University of Toronto community by signing into the Conference Board's e-Library.


Work Absence Rates: Statistics Canada has released its annual report on work absence rates for 2007. The report analyses data on demographic, industrial, occupational, provincial, and union versus non-union differences in absence rates in Canada . Since 2000, both the incidence and the number of days lost for personal reasons have risen. An aging workforce, the growing number of women in the workforce with young children, high worker stress, and more generous sick-and family-related leave benefits have contributed to the increase.

Links: Work Absence Rates – 2007, Statistics Canada, May 22, 2008 (143 pages, PDF); Work Absence Rates - 2007 HTML version); Links to Work Absence Rates for 2003 – 2007, Statistics Canada


The World's Most Livable Cities: Mercer has released its latest ranking of the world's most livable cities. European cities again dominated the rankings, while Canada dominated the North American rankings. Zurich, Vienna, Geneva, Vancouver and Auckland were the five highest ranking cities. Other Canadian cities ranked were Toronto (15), Ottawa (19), Montreal (22) and Calgary (25). Honolulu was the highest ranking American city (28). The British magazine Monocle also published its 2008 list of 25 most livable cities. European cities also dominated that list. Two Canadian cities were ranked: Vancouver (8) and Montreal (12).

Links: Quality of Living global city rankings – Mercer surveyJune 10, 2008. “The World's Top 25 Most Livable Cities” Monocle, Issue 15, (6 pages, PDF).


Resource Guide on Child Labour: The International Labour Organization has updated its resource guide providing links to the most recent articles, books and reports available from its Labordoc database on the topic of child labour. Access to international labour standards, child labour statistics, and information by country is available.

Link: Resource Guide on Child Labour website.


Employees on Sick Leave Entitled to Look for New Job: The Swedish government has proposed a new law that would grant employees on long-term sick leave the right to work for a different employer for 12 months without losing their former job. This would enable such employees to find a job where they can work despite their illness, thereby avoiding detachment from the labour market.

Link: Employees on sick leave entitled to look for new jobEIROnline, June 3, 2008.

Date posted: 
Monday, June 9, 2008