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Upcoming Work Law Conferences

It’s a busy time for labour and employment law academics. I, like many other scholars in work law and industrial relations, am bogged down right now in preparing papers for upcoming academic conferences.  This means fewer blog postings in May and June.  Here’s my tour schedule over the next month:

Canadian Industrial Relations Association 50th Anniversary Conference (Toronto, May 29-31)


Harry Arthurs: The Past and Future of Industrial Relations and Work Law Scholarship

I was on the planning committee for this one, which will bring together top IR and work law scholars from Canada and abroad.  Of particular note is the opening key note address by Professor Harry Arthurs, who will be reflecting on the past and possible futures of industrial relations and work law scholarship. I’ve read the speech, and it is classic Harry, entertaining and extremely insightful.  Harry’s talk is at 1:30 on Wednesday, May 29th.

Here is a list of papers being presented.  I have one paper on the list, co-authored with Shayna Frawley (a York HRM Ph.D student) and Professor Parbudyal Singh (York) looking at the mysterious disappearance of labour issues from CSR business school rankings.  I’m also chairing two other panels, one on the Rand Formula in Canadian context and the other looking at Saskatchewan’s controversial labour and employment law reforms.

The Law and Society Association Annual Meeting, Boston, May 31 – June 3

This is a huge international conference that covers all things law related.  There is a labour and employment law subgroup.  This year, I am presenting a co-authored piece with Professor Ruth Dukes of the University of Glasgow called “What is the Point of Labour Law Scholarship?”.  I’m still cramming to figure out the answer to our own question!

Labour Law Research Network Conference, Barcelona, June 13-June 15

This is the mother load of labour law conferences.  It may be the largest gathering of the world’s top labour and employment law even convened.  I hope someone takes one of those nice group photos of the attendees.  Harry Arthurs is there again, receiving a life time achievement award, presented by Professor Brian Langille (Toronto).  Then there are three days of paper presentations by the who’s who of the world of labour law scholarship.

I’m presenting a new paper I have in process looking at the views and perceptions of supply chain management professionals on labour codes of conduct.  What do they think of labour codes?  Do they perceive supplier labour practices as a source of personal, professional, or business risk?  How do the manage that risk?  Have codes of conduct changed the ways they deal with suppliers?  This is the empirical work that will be tied to my work on ‘risk regulation’.  I ask how law could ‘inject risk’ into the management of supply chains to provoke greater attention on supplier labour practices.  It’s a timely topic given recent tragic events in the Bangladesh garment industry.

Hope to see some of you there. Best, David


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