Funder: Mitacs Accelerate Post-Doctoral Fellowship Grant
Mitacs Intern: Karl Gardner (PhD, York University)
Luann Good Gingrich (York University)
Navjeet Sidhu (Unifor)
Report produced with the support of the Global Labour Research Centre (York University) and Unifor (Social Justice Fund)
This project examines how racism manifests in private service-sector workplaces in Canada and provides recommendations for Unifor (and labour unions more broadly) to more effectively advance anti-racism. Specifically, it investigates the questions: how can labour unions better identify and improve the working conditions of Black, Indigenous, and racialized workers? And how can unions leverage their power to support anti-racism both within the workplace and in society?
This project is national in scope and focuses on the role of unions in the struggle for racial justice––specifically in the areas of health and long-term care, hospitality, retail and wholesale, transportation, and social services––between 2000 and 2021. There is a specific emphasis on examples of unions using internal and external strategies to advance anti-racism within their local as well as within in the community. Internal strategies include collective bargaining language, equity programs, educational opportunities, hiring policies, training programs, joint employer-union initiatives, and internal policies. External strategies include public campaigns and partnerships with governments, employers, and other labour and non-labour groups involved in grassroots advocacy. Through a systematic review of academic, organizational, and grey literature, this project identifies key themes and common approaches that guide evidence-based recommendations for targeted interventions that labour unions can employ to combat racism. Altogether, this project contributes to the development of Unifor’s national Anti-Racism Toolkit and serves as a resource for labour unions interested in anti-racism and social justice across the country.
Gardner, Karl. 2022. Advancing Equity and Racial Justice in Canadian Workplaces and Labour Unions. Toronto: York University. Report produced with the support of the Global Labour Research Centre (York University) and Unifor (Social Justice Fund).