FEB 25 TH 2013
SOC220 Lecture 8 Good Jobs/Bad Jobs and Workers Resistance (Unions and Strikes)
Contemporary Issues in Work
Good jobs versus bad jobs
- Extrinsic rewards
Bad jobs: Nonstandard work and precarious employment
- Cranford et al. (2006) “The Gender of Precarious Employment in Canada” (pp. 99-
119: note correction).
Unions and labour movements
- General overview, views, history of unions in Canada
Worker resistance: Strikes and labour unrest
- Movie clip: Made in Dagenham
Good Job Versus Bad Job
How can we define a job as “good” or “bad”?
- Evaluation of extrinsic and intrinsic job rewards
- Extrinsic rewards
o Income and occupation status
o Employment benefits
o Personal health risks
Income and Occupational Status
- Unequal distributions within industries and between occupations
White, blue, and pink collar
Minorities (i.e., the wage gap)
- Strongly correlated with skill and income
- National Occupation Classification and related scales
- Associated with intrinsic job rewards (to be discussed next week)
What constitutes employment benefits?
“indirect pay or increased security” associated with a given job (KLH, p. 113).
Employment Insurance (EI), CPP (Canadian Pension Plan), Worker’s Compensation (for
work related injuries), paid sick leave, maternity/paternity leave
Often referred to as “fringe” benefits
Fulltime, professionals, and unionized better off.
Personal Risk FEB 25 TH 2013
“[B]etween 1993 and 2005, a total of 11,124 Canadian workers—an average of four
per working day—died as a result of their job”
“…the chances of being killed on the job are still greater than those of being killed on
the road by a drunk driver” (KLH, p. 115).
Construction, transportation jobs, production (p. 118),
Exposure to harmful substances may have more long term effects (i.e., asbestos
Also massive costs (e.g., $4.65 billion-1998).
For these reasons, employees and government regulators taking greater precautions
since 1980’s (i.e., OSHA, “Safe at Work Ontario”),
*it’s a combo of all three factors that make a job good
Critical thinking Worker Injury ….
What about costs associated with “good jobs”, like professional occupations?
What about lucrative jobs that combine severe physical risks, like
Are these “good” or “bad” jobs then?
Bad Jobs: Non-Standard and Precarious Work
Cranford, Vosko and Zukewich (2006)
What is “nonstandard work”?
Employment situations that deviate from the “standard employment relationship”
What is the SER?
“…refers to a normative model of employment where the worker has one employer,
works full-time, year-round on the employer’s premises under his or her supervision,
enjoys extensive statutory benefits and entitlements and expects to be employed
indefinitely” (p. 99)
Stability in schedule, location, and future employment
The Rise of Nonstandard Employment
Nonstandard employment reflects a growing periphery or “secondary” labour
market, with an emphasis on flexibility and cost reduction.
Part-time work (less than 30hrs/wk)
Temporary or contract work
Are all nonstandard jobs bad?
No, but tend to pay less, have fewer benefits, and less security
“Bad” Non-Standard Jobs=Precarious Work
Precarious work refers to “…forms of employment involving atypical employment
contracts, limited social benefits and statutory entitlements, job insecurity, low job
tenure, low earnings, poor working conditions and risks to ill health” (Cranford et al.
How does this differ from nonstandard work? FEB 25 TH2013
Nonstandard work encompasses all employment situations deviating from the SER. This
approach, however, is too broad to really assess the proliferation of bad jobs. Precarious work
refers ONLY to nonstandard work that embody the aforementioned features, and therefore
are detrimental to the individual.
These are the truly “bad jobs” over 50% of the population is employed in some type of non-
Examples? Cleaners, outsource caregivers
What is Precarious Work “Gendered”?
What does “gendered” mean?
“…gender shapes the social relations in key institutions that organize society…” (i.e.,
Differences between men and women come be seen as “social inequalities” (p. 99).
The feminization of employment norms
Decline of the SER after WWII (largely based on the “ideal” male worker)
An instable global economy led to nonstandard types of jobs
Women occupied most of these, and among the most precarious
Their participation in such work was justified by expected domestic obligations
Women’s “overrepresentation” in precarious work had implications for its associations
employment norms (i.e., they became prevalent)
Today, these employment relations have proliferated, but are still founded on the
traditional notion of the female domestic worker, which is not applicable to workers’ (both
men and women) today.
How gender has structured those relations
The Feminization of Employment N