• Commentary,  Future of Work,  Technology

    Busting Myths about Technology and the Future of Work

    We are constantly told that ‘technology’ is driving profound changes in work, workplaces and society. We might be concerned about the impacts of some of those changes, but since they are the result of ‘technology,’ and everyone since the Luddites knows you can’t stop technology, there is no point trying to resist or ameliorate those changes. But what is ‘technology’, anyway? We don’t live in the world of Terminator, where machines control society (not yet, anyway!). Technology is just a shorthand way of referring to the composite of human knowledge about how we work, what we produce, and the tools we use to produce it. Human beings, not some irresistible exogenous…

  • Commentary,  Employment & Unemployment,  Wages

    Learning from Minimum Wage History

    This week Ontario increased its provincial minimum wage by a whole dime: from $14.25 per hour to $14.35. Don’t spend it all in one place, oh ye minimum wage workers. That 0.7% wage increase, saved up for a whole week for a full-time employee, will get you a small latte at Starbucks. Or, for those with humbler tastes, two whole double-doubles at Timmie’s. Many commentators argued that such a stingy wage increase was offensive to the ‘essential’ workers whose humble but determined (and often dangerous) work is getting us through the pandemic: grocery store cashiers, building cleaners, fast food chefs, and delivery drivers. We learned that what they do is…

  • Commentary,  Environment & Work

    Submission to Federal ‘Just Transition’ Consultation

    The Centre for Future Work has made a submission to a public consultation hosted by Natural Resources Canada regarding the federal government’s future strategies for supporting the transition of fossil fuel jobs into alternative activities. The government asked for public input regarding the scope of the transition challenge, best practices for facilitating a gradual and supported transition, and potential future initiatives (like a proposed Advisory Body to advise federal transition policy). The submission was prepared by Jim Stanford, Director of the Centre for Future Work. It drew on extensive research published by the Centre earlier this year: Employment Transitions and the Phase-Out of Fossil Fuels.  Major themes stressed in the…