November 10, 2008

November 10, 2008


Strike continues at York University

CUPE Local 3903 representing contract faculty and teaching assistants at York University went on strike on November 6, 2008. For current links to articles and websites concerning the strike see below.

Globe and Mail, November 11, 2008: Worried about grades, students call for end to strike

YFile: York students voice anger online over strike, November 11, 2008, November 8, 2008: York University strike is CUPE’s Waterloo, November 7, 2008: Ontario dismisses combined bargaining for university unions

CUPE 3903: Strike FAQ

CUPE 3003: Summary of bargaining demands

York University offer, November 4, 2008


Older employees and overtime

The Conference Board of New York has released a paper on overtime and older workers titled, Can They Take It? What Happens When Older Employees Work Overtime. The global manufacturing company Navistar, Inc. found that there were elevated risks to health and safety, and productivity in working overtime but that the but risks were not uniform and were balanced by older employees strengths in other areas.

Executive Action Report, November 2008 (7 pages, PDF) this paper is available free to the University of Toronto community only by registering on the Conference Board’s e-Library – scroll down to the title


Lower salary increases projected

According to an online survey conducted by Hewitt in October 2008 many employers are reconsidering their planned salary increases for 2008/2009. The article, Economic Crisis Means Lower Salary Increases for Some Canadian Employees, discusses the results of the survey.

Hewitt Associates, November 6, 2008


Gender and negotiation

The working paper, Beyond Gender and Negotiation to Gendered Negotiations, by Deborah Kolb and Kathleen McGinn is currently available for downloading from the Social Sciences Research Network website. The paper will appear in an upcoming special issue on “Gender and Negotiation in Organizations” in the Negotiation and Conflict Management Journal.

Working paper, October 30, 2008 (18 pages, PDF)


Better pensions for more Canadians

A paper released by the C.D. Howe Institute titled, A Pension in Every Pot: Better Pensions for More Canadians, by James Pierlot, offers practical approaches to making Canada’s retirement saving system work for private sector employees as well as it does for those in the public sector.

Commentary: the pension papers, November 6, 2008 (33 pages, PDF)


Canada’s skills crisis

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce has released the report, Building a Twenty-First Century Workforce: A Business Strategy to Overcome Canada’s Skills Crisis. Recommendations include: making phased retirement a more attractive option for older workers, removing interprovincial barriers to labour mobility, encouraging employer investment in training, modifying the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, and streamlining the current immigration processes.

Report, November 7, 2008 (52 pages, PDF)

News release, November 7, 2008


Information and communication technology investment

The Centre for the Study of Living Standards has released its first research note, The Canada-U.S. ICT Investment Gap in 2007: Narrowing but Progress Still Needed. The note provides an overview of information and communication technology (ICT) investment in the business sector for Canada and the United States. The gap between Canadian and the U.S. ICT investment per worker has narrowed in the computers ICT component, but has changed little in the communication equipment and software components.

Research Note, November 5, 2008 (13 pages, PDF)


Alberta’s energy industry

Two recent papers on Alberta’s energy industry are available. The first from Deloitte is titled, Producers’ dilemma? The role of game theory in anticipating industry outcomes. It uses a game theory-based approach to help producers determine long term strategies. The second paper from the Centre for the Study of Living Standards is titled, The Valuation of Alberta’s Oil Sands, and provides new estimates of the present value of oil sands reserves based on a set of assumptions different from those used by Statistics Canada.

Deloitte, November 2008 (15 pages, PDF)

Centre for the Study of Living Standards, November 10, 2008 (73 pages, PDF)


University research and industrial innovation

According to a study released by the Institute for Research on Public Policy titled, Connecting the Dots between University Research and Industrial Innovation, Canada invests large sums of money in academic research but the fruits of these investments are not reflected in more industrial innovation and improved productivity.

IRRP Choices, V.14, no. 14, 2008, October 2008, (32 pages, PDF)

Summary (1 page, PDF)


Talent management in European cultures

Catalyst and the Families and Work Institute have released a third title in the series Leaders in a Global Economy. The current release subtitled, Talent Management in European Cultures, focus on women in leadership positions in companies in Europe.

Study, November 2008 (64 pages, PDF)



Book of the Week

Transnational Tortillas: Race, Gender, and Shop-floor Politics in Mexico and the United States, by Carolina Bank Munoz. Ithaca, N.Y. : ILR Press, 2008. 202 p. ISBN 978-0-8014-7422-4 (pbk.)

This book looks at the flip side of globalization: How does a company from the Global South behave differently when it also produces in the Global North? A Mexican tortilla company, “Tortimundo,” has two production facilities within a hundred miles of each other, but on different sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. The workers at the two factories produce the same product with the same technology, but have significantly different work realities. This “global factory” gives Carolina Bank Muñoz an ideal opportunity to reveal how management regimes and company policy on each side of the border apply different strategies to exploit their respective workforces' vulnerabilities.

About the Author:

Carolina Bank Muñoz is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College–City University of New York.


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

Date posted: 
Monday, November 10, 2008