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Contemporary Trade Unionism (IRE 1640)

This subject guide is meant to assist students, particularly those enrolled in IRE 1640, with research papers and assignments.

Precarious Work - Books Available Through U of T Libraries

Precarious Work - Selected Books in the CIRHR Library

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Precarious Work

precarious workPossible search terms:

-precarious work

-precarious employment

-vulnerable workers

-part-time work

-self-employed

-fixed-term work

-temporary work

-non-standard employment

-contingent work


Databases for searching:

Summons     ProQuest     Google Scholar (articles available through the UofT catalogue)

Precarious Work - Selected Resources

See the Tumblr: work&labour news&research for the latest on precarious work

Closing the Employment Standards Enforcement Gap: Improving Employment Standards Protections for People in Precarious Jobs is a collaborative research initiative of seven Ontario universities and 16 cross-sectoral partner organizations. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the five-year project seeks to inform effective employment standards enforcement in Ontario.

Ryerson University, October 2016: ““Working so hard and still so poor!” A Public Health Crisis in the Making: The Health Impacts of Precarious Work on Racialized Refugee and Immigrant Women”, by Winnie Ng, Aparna Sundar, Jennifer Poole, Bhutila Karpoche,Idil Abdillahi, Sedef Arat-Koc, Akua Benjamin, Grace-Edward Galabuzi. (52 pages, PDF)

International Labour Office, “Non-standard forms of employment” (Geneva, Switzerland: International Labour Organization, 2015).
Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, V. 34, No. 1 (Fall 2012) -- This issue contains the following articles:

  • "The Legal Determinants of Precariousness in Personal Work Relations: A European Perspective", by Nicola Kountouris

  • "A Quid Pro Quo in Temporary Agency Work: Abolishing Restrictions and Establishing Equal Treatment - Lessons to Be Learned from European and German Labor Law", by Bernd Waas

  • "The Principle of Proportionality in Labor Law and Its Impact on Precarious Workers", by Guy Davidov

  • "The Human Right to Livelihood: Recognizing the Right to Be Human", by Kamala Sankaran

  • "Precarious Migrant Status and Precarious Employment: The Paradox of International Rights for Migrant Workers", by Judy Fudge

  • "Human Rights for Precarious Workers: The Legislative Precariousness of Domestic Labor", by Virginia Mantouvalou

  • "New Frontiers of Regulation: Domestic Work, Working Conditions, and the Holistic Assessment of Nonstandard Work Norms", by Deirdre McCann

  • "Human Rights and the Multiple Dimensions of Precarious Work", by Einat Albin

  • "Human Rights and Labor Rights: Why Don't the Two Tracks Meet", by Guy Mundlak


Toronto’s Workers’ Action Centre, March 2015:"Still Living on the Edge: Building Decent Jobs from the Ground Up," addresses cultural, legal, and social issues facing Ontario’s workers. (84 pages, PDF)

Occupational & Environmental Medicine, November 2014: “Chronic effects of shift work on cognition: findings from the VISAT longitudinal study,” by Jean-Claude Marquié, Philip Tucker, Simon Folkard, Catherine Gentil, and David Ansiau

The Globe and Mail, October 7, 2014: “As jobs become more precarious, Canadians ought to be worried about the middle class” [video, 8:17 min.]

Hatton, E. (2014). Temporary weapons: Employers' use of temps against organized labor. ILR Review, 67(1), 86-110. Link to ILR Review.

rabble.ca, June 3, 2014: “Organizing precarious workers: Unifor’s community approach,” by H.G. Watson

rabble.ca, May 30, 2014: “Organizing precarious workers: Unions think sector-wide to help freelancers,” by H.G. Watson

rabble.ca, May 28, 2014: “Organizing precarious workers: Workers’ centres open their doors,” by H.G. Watson

rabble.ca, May 27, 2014: “Organizing precarious workers: Looking for a new model,” by H.G. Watson

MetCalf Foundation, April 2014: “Profiting from the Precarious: How recruitment practices exploit migrant workers,” by Fay Faraday -- Read the full report here (98 pages, PDF), and a summary of the report here (57 pages, PDF).

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, March 2014: “Seismic Shift: Ontario’s Changing Labour Market,” by Kaylie Tiessen (32 pages, PDF)

Vosko, L. F. (2013). Rights without remedies: Enforcing employment standards in Ontario by maximizing voice among workers in precarious jobs. Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 50(4), 845-873.

International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies [website]

International Confederation of Private Employment Agencies, March 2013: "The Agency Work Industry Around the World" 2013 Report

McMaster University, PEPSO and The United Way, February 23, 2013: Its more than poverty: employment precarity and household well being (120 pages, PDF)

Conference Board of Canada, 2013: Managing the Total Workforce: Bringing Contingent Labor Inside the Strategic Workforce Planning Tent (36 pages, PDF)

Fudge, J. (2012). Precarious Migrant Status and Precarious Employment: The Paradox of International Rights for Migrant Workers. Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal. 34, 95-131.

Metcalf Foundation, September 2012:  “Made in Canada: How the Law Constructs Migrant Workers’ Insecurity,” by Fay Farady (120 pages, PDF)

IRPP Study, October 23, 2012: "The Impact of Precarious Legal Status on Immigrants’ Economic Outcomes," by Luin Goldring and Patricia Landolt

Law Commission of Ontario, April 3, 2013: Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work: Final Report, December 2012 (HTML)

Law Commission of Ontario, April 3, 2013: Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work (175 pages, PDF)

Law Commission of Ontario, 2012: Vulnerable Workers and Precarious Work: Interim Report (166 pages, PDF)

Kalleberg, A. L. (2009). Precarious work, insecure workers: Employment relations in transition. American Sociological Review, 74(1), 1-22.

Gomez, R., Gunderson M., (2005). Non-Standard and Vulnerable Workers: A Case of Mistaken Identity? Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal, 12, 177-203.

Weil, David. (2010). Improving Workplace Conditions Through Strategic Enforcement. Boston University School of Management Research Paper, Paper No. 2010-20.