March 17, 2008

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26th Annual Sefton Lecture presented by Woodsworth College & The Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources: New Union Strategies for Tough Times: The CAW-Magna Deal, and other Responses, Speakers: Charlotte Yates, Dept of Political Science/Labour Studies, McMaster University and Jim Stanford, Canadian Auto Workers Union, on Thursday, March 27, 2008, 7:00 p.m. at the University of Toronto Multi-Faith Centre 569 Spadina Avenue (Entrance off Bancroft Avenue) ~ Free Admission - All are Welcome ~ Reception Follows the Lecture.

Link: Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources What's New

Human Rights and Accommodation Conference TorontoPresented by Lancaster House & the University of Toronto, Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, on Tuesday, April 1, 2008 and Wednesday, April 2, 2008, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, 222 Bremner Blvd., Toronto, Ontario.

Link: Lancaster House website.

Criminal Negligence Conviction in Death of Employee: Transpave Inc., a paving stone company north of Montreal, was convicted of criminal negligence and fined $110,000 in the death of employee, Steve L'Ecuyer who died in a workplace accident in 2005. This is the first Canadian company to be charged since the Criminal Code was amended in 2004 making it easier to charge companies for health and safety offences. Bill-C45 amendments were written in response to the 1992 Westray mine disaster in Nova Scotia where 26 men died but the company was not convicted of negligence.

Links: “Safety ruling likely to set legal precedent: Company Fined,” Graeme Hamilton, National Post, March 18, 2008; “Sentencing for workplace death a first 2005 Accident; Transpave Inc. to learn penalty for disabling safety device,” by Graeme Hamilton, National Post, February 26, 2008; Bill C-45 Home Page.

Unfair Labour Practice Remedies: Labour remedies for unfair labour practices are widely criticized as inadequate for failing to compensate for the harm caused by violations. Consequently, they do not deter unfair practices, particularly during union organizing. An article by Professor Sara Slinn contends that such remedies ultimately encourage rather than discourage unfair labour practices by allowing employers to benefit from wrongdoing.

Link: "No Right (to Organize) Without a Remedy: Evidence and Consequences of Failure to Provide Compensatory Remedies for Unfair Labour Practices in British Columbia," by Sara Slinn, McGill Law Journal, Forthcoming. Full text available at SSRN:

Women's Court of Canada: The Women's Court was formed as a response to concerns about the Supreme Court's equality jurisprudence. At a recent conference held jointly by Osgoode Law School and the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, panels discussed six judgments written by the Women's Court. These judgments are presented as alternatives to the Supreme Court's decisions in Symes v. Canada , Eaton v. Brant County Board of Education, Native Women's Association of Canada v. Canada , Gosselin v. Quebec , and Newfoundland v. NAPE. The judgments are available in the most recent edition of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law and The Court ( Osgoode Law School blog) intends to post them as well.

LinksRewriting Equity: Report back from the Women's Court of Canada conference, by John Bricker March 11th, 2008, The Court., Osgoode Law School Blog; Introducing the Women's Court of Canada,by Diane Marjury (12 pages, PDF)

Women Feel Unprepared for the Global Business Environment: An international survey by management consulting company Accenture found that 43% of female business professionals surveyed did not feel prepared to succeed in a global environment. Respondents to the survey which included both women and men rated technological skills as the most important to future career success. The survey included responses to questions concerning career advancement and limitations for both men and women.

LinksOne Step Ahead of 2011: A New Horizon for Working Women (16 pages, PDF); Less than Half of Female Professionals Feel Prepared to Succeed in Global Business Environment of 2011, Accenture Research Finds, news release, March 6, 2008:

Women and the Recent Federal Budget: A report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives looks at the effect of the recent federal budget on women. It concludes that the budget does very little to address the problems of women struggling with balancing work and family, or with the services of most concern to women such as child care and housing.

LinkBudget 2008: What's In It For Women? by Armine Yalnizyan, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, March 2008 (26 pages, PDF).

Hours of Work: According to a recent Statistics Canada report fewer full-time Canadian workers are putting in long hours on the job, but the decline has occurred mostly among men and older workers. Canada's strong labour market in the last 10 years has influenced the length of the workweek attracting more women, mothers with dependent children, youth and older workers into the labour force.

Link: “Hours polarization revisited,” by Jeannine Usalcas, Perspectives on Labour and Income, Statistics Canada, March 2008 (11 pages, PDF ); Highlights.; “More moms opting for full-time jobs,” by Virginia Galt, Globe and Mail, March 18, 2008.

Women Using Flexible Work Arrangements: A report by the Centre for Gender in Organizations describes a survey of the career choices of 400 professional women in the United States. It found that most women, instead of opting out of the workforce at some point in their career, are using flexible work arrangements to stay in the labour force. However, in many organizations there is still a high cost for women using flexible work arrangements.

Link: Optioning In versus “Opting Out”: Women Using Flexible Work Arrangements for Career Success, by Shelly Strowman and Scott Barge, Center for Gender in Organizations, January 2008 (4 pages, PDF).

Workplace Bullying: A recent study comparing bullying and sexual harassment at work found bullying to be more harmful. The study, by two Canadian professors, Julian Barling of Queens University and Sandy Herschcovis of the University of Manitoba, compared the effect of sexual harassment and workplace aggression on job satisfaction and work stress. Employees subjected to workplace aggression were more likely than victims of sexual harassment to leave their jobs and to have a poorer sense of well-being. There is also a very interesting blog on bullying titled, Bullying of Academics in Higher Education.

Links: “Co-workers must say no to office bullying: Legislation needed to curb aggression,” by Natalie Armstrong, National Post, March 12, 2008; Meet the Work BullyNew York Times blog, March 11, 2008; Bullying of Academics in Higher Education blog, March 17, 2008 entry is recommended.

Updated Guidelines on Developing Human Rights Policies and Procedures at Work: The Ontario Human Rights Commission has released an updated version of its guidelines previously titled,Developing Procedures to Resolve Human Rights Complaints within Your Organization.

Link: Guidelines on Developing Human Rights Policies and Procedures, Ontario Human Rights Commission, March 13, 2008 (37 pages, PDF).

International Workplace Trends: The International Organization of Employers has published its annual, worldwide survey of workplace trends. The report urges national policymakers to adapt more quickly to changes in the labour market. More women and immigrants in the labour force, the desire for more flexible working arrangements and skill shortages are among the issues governments must address.

LinkTrends In the Workplace 2008: Enterprises in a Globalizing World, International Organisation of Employers, March 17, 2008 (52 pages, PDF).

Date posted: 
Monday, March 17, 2008