Pat Armstrong is Professor of Sociology and of Women’s Studies at York University, Toronto, and holds a Canada Health Services Research Foundation/Canadian Institute of Health Research Chair in Health Services. A sociologist in the fields of social policy, women, work and health and social services, she has published widely, authoring or co-authoring such books as Critical to Care: the Invisible Women in Health Services (University of Toronto Press); Wasting Away; The Undermining of Canadian Health Care (Oxford University Press); and The Double Ghetto: Canadian Women and Their Segregated Work (Oxford University Press). Much of her work makes the relationship between paid and unpaid work central to the analysis. She chairs Women and Health Care Reform, a group funded for more than a decade by Health Canada, and is acting co-director of the National Network for Environments and Women’s Health. She is currently director at York of the Ontario Training Centre and has served as both Chair of the Department of Sociology at York and Director of the School of Canadian Studies at Carleton. In addition, she has served as an expert witness in more than a dozen cases heard before bodies ranging from the Federal Court to federal Human Rights Tribunals on issues related to women’s work, pay equity and women’s rights.
Simon Black’s research employs a feminist political economy approach to the study of work and labour. Simon is primarily interested in how race, class, and gender shape the social organization of care work, domestic labour, and social reproduction. Recent research has explored child care worker organizing and the theory and practice of community unionism. Simon’s thinking and scholarship is indebted to the Marxist Feminist tradition, Black Feminism, and to his mother, Maxine. Simon is active in the labour and anti-poverty movements.
Linda Briskin is Professor Emeritus in the Social Science Department and the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University. She is currently researching union leadership, strategies for ensuring equity representation inside unions, the impact of austerity measures on union equality programming and bargaining, and worker militancies, with a special focus on on gendering labour militancies, and nurse militancy. A recent project focuses on leadership, feminism and equality in unions in Canada. She has published extensively on these themes, including the widely read book Women Challenging Unions: Feminism, Democracy, and Militancy (University of Toronto Press), which she co-edited with Patricia McDermott. Recent publications include “Nurse Militancy and Strike Action” (Workers of the World – International Journal on Strikes and Social Conflicts, 2013); “Merit, Individualism and Solidarity: Revisiting the Democratic Deficit in Union Women’s Leadership” in Leaders, Leadership and Change in Trade Unions (Routledge, 2012); and “Union Renewal, Post-Heroic Leadership and Women’s Organizing: Crossing Discourses, Reframing Debates” (Labor Studies Journal, 2011). Forthcoming publications include “Austerity, Union Policy and Gender Equality Bargaining” (Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research); and “Strategies to Support Equality Bargaining Inside Unions: Representational Democracy and Representational Justice” (for the special Issue on “Rethinking Equality Bargaining” of the Journal of Industrial Relations, April 2014). For more information on her research, visit her website.
Kendra Coulter is Assistant Professor at the Centre for Labour Studies at Brock University. Her recent research focuses on strategies for improving retail work and includes comparative analysis of workers’ organizing, culture, and public policy. She also explores animal work, or the work done with, by, and for animals, particularly horses. Coulter’s scholarship is informed by an interest in gender and emotions at work, anti-poverty work, and how solidarity is conceptualized and practiced. Recent publications include “Feeling Resistance: Gender and Emotions in Retail Organizing,” WorkingUSA: Journal of Labor and Society (2013); “Raising Retail: Organizing Retail Workers in Canada and the United States,” Labor Studies Journal (2013); and “Solidarity in Deed: Poor People’s Organizations, Unions, and the Politics of Anti-Poverty Work in Ontario,” Anthropology of Work Review (2012). Her forthcoming book, Revolutionizing Retail: Workers, Political Action and Social Change, is published by Palgrave Macmillan. Coulter’s commentary on the contemporary issues surrounding retail work can be found on her website and on Twitter. She is also the Treasurer of the Canadian Association for Work and Labour Studies.
Raju J Das
Raju J Das teaches in the Geography Department at York. His work on labour is at two levels. At a more general level, it concerns labour, accumulation and class struggle, focusing on the dual modes of subsumption of labour under capital, and free-unfree character of labour. He is also interested in state-labour relations, and
materialist-dialectical critique of academic approaches to labour agency. At a more specific level, he conducts research on labour in the development context (in peripheral-capitalist societies such as India). In this research: he examines the operation of (rural) labor markets, and the ways in which they are contested; relation between labour and technology including in its bio-chemical and mechanical forms; poverty of laboring families in relation to welfare policies; everyday lives of labour, including norms of reciprocity (social capital) in labor-dominated places, and resistance of proletarian and semi-proletarian wage-earners to class exploitation and social oppression. His 2006-2010 SSHRC project was on labour and neoliberal capitalism, in which the super-exploitation of male and female labour and child labour in export-oriented production was unpacked, and the concept of ‘labour metabolic rift’ was advanced.His work on labour is published in places such as: /Review of Radical Political Economics/ /Dialectical Anthropology,/ /Geoforum,/ /International Journal of Urban and Regional Research,/ /Journal of Contemporary Asia,/ /Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers/, and /Human Geography: A new radical journal/. Some of the more conceptual issues involving labour are also in his ‘/A Contribution to the Critique of Contemporary Capitalism: Theoretical and International Perspectives/’ (Nova, New York, 2014) and will appear in a book manuscript (for Brill) tentatively entitled /Class theory for a sceptical world/.
David Doorey is Associate Professor in the School of Human Resources Management and Academic Director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s executive LLM Program in Labour and Employment Law. He has degreed in law and industrial relations from the University of Toronto (B.A., M.I.R.), the London School of Economics (LLM), and Osgoode Hall Law School (LL.B., Ph.D). He is called to the Bars of Ontario and British Columbia, and practiced labour and employment law in both provinces prior to returning to academic life. His research interests include labour and employment law, legal theory, regulatory theory, and labour practices governance within global supply chains. Recent publications include “Graduated Freedom of Association: Worker Voice After the Wagner Model,” Queen’s Law Journal (2013); “A Model of Responsive Workplace Law,” Osgoode Hall Law Journal (2012); and “The Transparent Supply Chain: From Resistance to Implementation at Nike and Levi-Strauss,” Journal of Business Ethics (2011). He is also the author of the award-winning blog, The Law of Work and a frequent commentator in the media and on Twitter.
Evelyn Encalada Grez
Evelyn Encalada Grez is an adjunct university professor, transnational community organizer and labour researcher. She teaches in Work and Labour Studies at York University and also online for the University of British Columbia. For over thirteen years she has been working with Mexican migrant farmworkers in rural Canada and with their families throughout rural Mexico. She founded the award winning collective, Justicia/Justice for Migrant Workers (J4MW) that is at the forefront of the migrant rights movement in the country. She worked with Min Sook Lee behind and in front of the cameras on the first documentary about migrant farmworkers called “El Contrato”. And right now they are both collaborating on a new documentary titled “Migrant Dreams” about the lives of migrant women in the most precarious of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Programs. Evelyn has shared her knowledge as activist scholar for migrant justice in various venues, including at the United Nations in New York and Parliament Hill.
She is currently finishing her doctoral dissertation about the lives of Mexican migrant farmworker women and their non-migrating kin for a PhD in Sociology and Equity Studies at OISE of the University of Toronto. Her work with Doctor Kerry Preibisch has been published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society and recently Citizenship Studies published their article titled “Between hearts and pockets: locating the outcomes of transnational homemaking practices among Mexican women in Canada’s temporary migration programmes.” Evelyn brings her life experiences of displacement and emigration from Chile to all of her work along with a deep sense of spirituality and respect for the sacred and ancestral.
Jan Kainer is Associate Professor at York University in the Work & Labour Studies Program in the Department of Social Science and in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. Her research and publications are in the area of gender and work with particular focus on equity and women’s participation in organized labour. She has published on pay equity, food retail, nurse risk, women in the legal profession, and youth internships. She is currently involved in the CURA SSHRC grant Work in a Warming World in which she is researching the impact of climate change on work in the food sector. Publications include “Exploring risk in professional nursing practice: an analysis of work refusal and professional risk” (with Barbara Beardwood) in Nursing Inquiry (2013); “Gendering Union Renewal: Women’s Contributions to Labour Revitalization” in J. Foley and P. Baker (eds.), Unions, Equity and the Path to Union Renewal (UBC Press, 2009); “Learning Social Justice? Assessing the Benefits of Work Study Placements for Marginalized Students in Post-Secondary Education” in D. Livingston, K.Mirchandani and P. Sawchuk (eds.), The Future of Lifelong Learning and Work: Critical Perspectives (Sense Publishers, 2008); and Cashing In on Pay Equity? Supermarket Restructuring and Gender Equality in Employment (Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2002).
Viviana Patroni is Associate Professor in the Department of Social Science at York University and Coordinator of the International Development Studies Program. Her work has focused on the experience of development in Latin American, the changing nature of state-labour relations under neoliberalism and the emergence of new forms of unionism in Argentina. She is currently also the co-director of a Canadian-funded project of activities aimed at supporting the development of a Latin American network for human rights education and research.
Dennis Pilon is Associate Professor and Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Political Science at York University. His current research deals with unravelling the social struggles and conflict that have given contemporary democracy its shape, both good and bad. One line of research involves an historical analysis of the emergence of democratic institutions, highlighting the key role of organized labour and left/labour parties. Another examines elections as particular spaces of social and political conflict, informed and shaped by the larger capitalist context within which they occur. Finally, his research is exploring the ‘electoral subaltern’ via an ethnographic approach to interviewing non-participants in Canadian elections, who disproportionately are from the ranks of the poor and working class. His recent publications include Wrestling With Democracy: Voting Systems as Politics in the 20th Century West (University of Toronto Press, 2013).
Eric Tucker has been a professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto since 1981. He has degrees from Columbia, Yale and York University. He has published extensively on labour and employment law and occupational health and safety regulation and on legal history. He is the author of Administering Danger in the Workplace (1990) and co-author of Labour before the Law (2001) and Self-Employed Workers Organize (2005). He is also the editor of Working Disasters: The Politics of Recognition and Response (2006) and co-editor of Work on Trial: Canadian Labour Law Struggles (2010), Property on Trial: Canadian Property Law Cases in Context (2012) and Constitutional Labour Rights in Canada: Farm Workers and the Fraser Case (2012).
Steven Tufts is Associate Professor and Chair in the Department of Geography at York University. He has degrees from McGill (BAHons), Queen’s (MA) and York (PhD) Universities. His research interests are related to the geographies of work, workers and organized labour. His current projects involve the use of strategic research by labour unions and labour union renewal in Canada, the integration of immigrants in urban labour markets, labour market adjustment in the hospitality sector, the impact of climate change on workers and workplaces, and the intersection between labour and populism. He has contributed to a number of edited collections and published articles in journals such as Geoforum, Antipode and Environment and Planning A.
Leah F. Vosko
Leah F. Vosko is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Feminist Political Economy at York University. She is the author of Temporary Work: The Gendered Rise of a Precarious Employment Relationship (University of Toronto Press, 2000), Managing the Margins: Gender, Citizenship and the International Regulation of Precarious Employment (Oxford University Press, 2010) and co-author of Self-Employed Workers Organize: Law, Policy, and Unions (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2005). She is the editor and co-editor of six books, including Liberating Temporariness?: Migration, Work and Citizenship in an Age of Insecurity (McGill-Queen’s University Press: forthcoming). She has also overseen the collaborative Gender and Work Database and Comparative Perspectives on Precarious Employment Database projects since 2001. She is currently the Principal Investigator of “Closing the Enforcement Gap: Improving Employment Standards Protection for People in Precarious Jobs.” Involving 33 researchers and 16 partner organizations and funded through the SSHRC Partnership Grant program, “Closing the Enforcement Gap” examines the role of employment standards enforcement in ensuring minimum conditions for workers in precarious jobs in Ontario. The objectives of the project are to map the nature and scope of employment standards violations and document enforcement practices to identify regulatory challenges and develop alternative models of enforcement.