• PowerShare,  Research,  Technology,  Time & Working Hours,  Trade Unions

    Bargaining Tech: Shaping New Technologies to Improve Work, not Devalue It

    The Centre for Future Work has published another major paper in its PowerShare project, dealing with the impact of new technology on the quantity and quality of work in Canada – and strategies for ensuring that new technology produces more benefits for workers. The paper is entitled Bargaining Tech: Strategies for Shaping Technological Change to Benefit Workers, co-authored by Jim Stanford and Kathy Bennett. It provides an overview of the complex, contradictory ways that technological change is affecting jobs in Canada. It also discusses how technology could be better managed and implemented to achieve better, fairer, more inclusive high-tech outcomes. The report reviews recent debates about whether new technology will…

  • Commentary,  Skills & Training,  Technology

    Video: Myth & Reality About Technology, Skills & Jobs

    We are constantly told that the world of work is being turned upside down by ‘technology’: some faceless, anonymous, uncontrollable force that is somehow beyond human control. There’s no point resisting this exogenous, omnipresent force. The best thing to do is get with the program… and learn how to program! Acquiring the right skills (usually assumed to be STEM or computer skills) is the best way to protect yourself in this brave new high-tech future. But what if technology isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? And what if you invest in learning the current hot coding language, only to see it replaced by something totally different as soon as…

  • Commentary,  COVID,  Young Workers

    The ‘Class of COVID’ Needs Support After the Pandemic

    Young people have been among the hardest-hit by the economic fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession. More than one in four workers under age 30 lost their jobs when the pandemic hit. And young workers now account for two-thirds of remaining job losses. Earnings for workers entering the job market at this time will be suppressed for many years to come, perhaps for their entire working careers. In this commentary, originally published in the Toronto Star, Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford describes the disproportionate losses experienced by young workers – and urges powerful measures to support their recovery after the pandemic. By Jim Stanford We have…

  • Commentary,  Economic Literacy

    10-Part Online Course in the “Economics of Life”

    This fall, the Centre’s Director Jim Stanford is teaching a 10-part on-line course in “Economics for Everyone” through a University of Toronto-affiliated program called Later Life Learning (LLL). The course will dig under conventional economic jargon (about ‘markets’, ‘supply and demand,’ and ‘efficiency’), focusing instead on the economic issues that average people encounter in their daily life. The LLL program usually offers in-person courses at the U of T. But because of the pandemic it has moved on-line, and anyone can participate. You first have to join the LLL network (it’s free). Then you can register for this course (which costs $70 for the 10 sessions). The course is number…

  • Commentary,  COVID,  Fiscal Policy,  Gender and Work

    Podcast on the Federal Budget, Early Child Education, and the Recovery from COVID

    Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford was a guest in this post-budget special edition of The Herle Burly podcast, hosted by David Herle. He and fellow panelists Dr. Kate Bezanson (from Brock University) and Peter Nicholson (former head of policy for the PMO) dissected the budget’s eye-popping deficit forecast, whether deficits matter, and the economic importance of universal high-quality early child education. Watch the full discussion here. https://youtu.be/fC92ZAs4P5g Budget Panel: Bezanson, Nicholson, Stanford + the Political Panel: Byrne and Reid | The Herle Burly

  • Commentary,  Fiscal Policy,  Gender and Work

    National Child Care Roll-Out Will Boost Economy More Than Budget Estimates

    Today’s federal government pledge to implement a national affordable child care program will significantly accelerate Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, according to research from the Vancouver-based Centre for Future Work. And the Centre suggests that the resulting boost to output and employment will be significantly larger than estimated by today’s federal budget. “Universal high-quality early child education is a vital ingredient in a high-performance economy, and this plan will spark job-creation and income growth across the country,” said Dr. Jim Stanford, Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work. “In fact, the improvements in employment and GDP growth arising from the plan are likely to be…

  • Commentary,  Environment & Work,  Finance,  Inequality

    The Contradictions of ‘Caring Capitalism’

    Many companies these days try to promote a ‘socially responsible’ image: giving money to charities, speaking broadly about ‘stakeholders’ and ‘sustainability’, and even joining debates about issues like racism. But when it comes to their own bottom lines, few diverge from the fundamental goals of minimizing costs, avoiding taxes, and maximizing profits – regardless of the harm that might result to their workers, communities, or the environment. In this commentary, originally published in the Toronto Star, Jim Stanford takes aim at contradictions of this ‘kinder, gentler’ image corporations are trying to create. His jumping-off point is Hasbro’s effort to improve the image of its iconic Monopoly board game. The commentary…

  • Commentary,  Future of Work,  PowerShare,  Trade Unions

    Media & Video Coverage of New Report on Workers’ Voice

    The Centre for Future Work recently released a major report on the theory and practice of “workers’ voice,” as part of its ongoing PowerShare project. The report is titled Speaking Up, Being Heard, Making Change: The Theory and Practice of Worker Voice in Canada Today, was co-authored by Jim Stanford and Daniel Poon. The full report is available here. The report was launched with a special 50-minute webinar featuring presentations by: Shannon Daub, B.C. Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives Co-authors Jim Stanford and Daniel Poon Christine Maclin, Director of Human Rights for Unifor, speaking on that union’s new Racial Justice Advocate program Pamela Charron, with the Worker…

  • Future of Work,  PowerShare,  Research,  Trade Unions

    Strengthening Workers’ Voice in the Future of Work

    The Centre for Future Work has published a major new report on the economic and social benefits of workers’ voice. There is abundant evidence that jobs are better when workers can provide input, express opinions, and influence change in their workplaces. Providing workers with regular, safe channels of “voice” increases their personal motivation and job satisfaction. It benefits their employer, too, through reduced turnover, enhanced productivity, and better information flows. And it contributes to a range of positive economic and social outcomes: from stronger productivity growth, to less inequality, to improved health. Given the dramatic changes occurring in Canadian workplaces (including automation, digital employment platforms, climate change, and pandemics), the…

  • Commentary,  COVID,  Inequality

    To Each According to their Need: The Morality of Vaccinations

    The accelerating roll-out of COVID vaccines has stirred optimism among Canadians that the pandemic may be entering its last stages. An interesting dimension of the roll-out is the strong consensus among Canadians that the most at-risk Canadians should get vaccinated first: older Canadians, residents of long term care facilities, front-line workers, Indigenous people, prisoners, and others. In this commentary, a version of which was originally published in the Toronto Star, Jim Stanford considers the implications of this moral position – and wonders why we don’t apply the same principle (“To Each According to Their Need”) in other areas of economic life. By Jim Stanford Excitement over the rollout of COVID…