In recent decades, profound transformations in the global economy, as well as the recent and ongoing economic crisis, have fundamentally altered patterns of work, labour, employment and unemployment, the structure of labour markets, relations between employers and employees, and the traditional institutions of workplace organizing and representation. These dynamics challenge scholars to forge a new research agenda. Motivated by these changes, the Global Labour Research Centre (GLRC) promotes the study of work, employment and labour at York University. The GLRC orients its research mandate around four strategic research themes: (1) Work, Employment & Labour Rights; (2) Labour, Migration & Citizenship; (3) Work, Employment & Gender Relations; and (4) Labour Movement Revitalization. These four areas capture dynamics and processes centrally connected to the organization of work in the contemporary global economy, and are related to key public policy debates about the organization of the economy and workers’ place within it.

The GLRC has as its primary goals and objectives the following:

  1. To support engaged, interdisciplinary, collaborative and accessible research with academic and community-based partners on pressing issues of economic and social justice linked to the changing nature of work (both paid and unpaid), employment, labour markets (local, national, and global), and labour (especially worker education, mobilization and organization).
  2. To foster collaborative intellectual community and mentoring relationships amongst faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and community partners.
  3. To develop and deliver innovative educational programs, tools and materials through collaboration between university and community-based researchers and educators.
  4. To cultivate and expand knowledge mobilization activities around work, employment, and labour research and critical practical knowledge about these areas both within the York University student body and the broader community (including but not limited to York’s immediate geographic community of Black Creek and York Region).
  5. To develop international linkages with leading research and learning centres for faculty and students engaged in the study of work, employment and labour. The GLRC works to facilitate connections between York researchers and international networks, and promote faculty and student exchanges and research collaborations through these networks.

The activities of the GLRC include:

  • Organizing the Global Labour Speaker Series, a monthly public seminar series that highlights the research activities of resident and visiting associates and those working on research themes related to the GLRC’s focus areas.
  • Hosting regular conferences and workshops
  • Providing an administrative home for faculty and graduate students’ existing funded projects as well as those under development for submission to SSHRC, CIHR, CFI, MRI, and relevant foundation granting competitions.
  • Hosting visiting scholars (national and international), connecting them to scholars and research networks at York and across the GTA.