AP/SOSC 4240 6.00
Labour Studies Work Placement
The purpose of the course is to provide students with first-hand experience regarding the different ways organizations pursue workplace improvements and broader social and political change for all working people. The course has both seminar (in-class) and placement (cooperative learning) components. The placement component of the course involves work directed by a supervisor (usually a staff person or leader of a union, community-based or social justice organization). The weekly placement hours will be spent doing a variety of tasks assigned by the placement supervisor, including but not limited to: sitting in on decisions, observing grievances, job demonstrations, actions, outreach, conducting research, organizing workers, writing bulletins and so forth. Cooperative learning acquaints students with the nature of employment by a union or worker organization. Second, it teaches students, through on-site field research, about the particular labour organization they are working with: its history and structures, how strategy and policy are formulated, how its internal processes works. Third, the course brings students in internships together with the instructor in order to subject their new, first-hand knowledge of their placement organization to a structured intellectual analysis in a seminar situation. Students finishing the placement will have gained first-hand knowledge of how an institutional actor in the field of labour relations identifies its priorities, attempts to realize its goals, and deals with other institutional actors in the field. Each student is expected to work one day a week, or its equivalent, at a placement organization to be determined in consultation with the instructor. Second, students will be expected to attend seminars where they will discuss their work in a structured fashion. Each student will be responsible for presenting discussion on their placement experience in relationship to specific work and labour studies topics.