I’m happy to announce that I have been invited to give the annual Sefton-Williams Memorial Lecture at the University of Toronto on November 30, 2023 at 4 p.m. at Hart House. I’m not sure if the event is live-streamed, but if you are in Toronto, please drop by. I’ve attended the Sefton-Williams Lecture regularly since I was a Masters of Industrial Relations student at U of Toronto in the 1990s. Here’s a list of former Sefton-Williams lectures.
My title of my lecture is: “‘Can’t Get There From Here’: Thoughts on the Idea of Labour Law Reform for the 21st Century”.
Brief (tentative) Abstract: Private sector collective bargaining coverage in Canada has halved over the past 60 years, from a high of near 34% in 1961 to just 15% today. Collective bargaining under the Canadian Wagner model that has governed since the 1940s is entirely out of reach for Canada’s most vulnerable workers. The age of the Wagner model is past. And yet, that model holds such a normative grip on Canadian labour law psyche that governments and the labour relations community alike struggle to imagine what comes next. Should we move on, and if so how? Every century develops its own labour laws and a quarter way into the 21st century, we remain tied to a World War II era legal relic. Recognizing this reality is the easy part. Deciding where to go next is the central labour policy question of our time.
Hope to see you there!