Self-Employed Workers Organize

Self-Employed Workers Organize: Law, Policy, and Unions

Cynthia J. Cranford
Judy Fudge
Eric Tucker
Leah F. Vosko
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 272
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  • Book Info
    Self-Employed Workers Organize
    Book Description:

    Through case studies of newspaper carriers, rural route mail couriers, personal care workers, and freelance editors - four groups who have led pioneering efforts to organize - the authors provide a window into the ways political and economic conditions interact with class, ethnicity, and gender to shape the meaning and strategies of working men and women and show how these strategies have changed over time. They argue that the experiences of these workers demonstrate a pressing need to expand collective bargaining rights to include them.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-7273-7
    Subjects: Business

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Figures and Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Acronyms
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-2)
    C.J.C, J.F, E.T and L.F.V
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 3-28)

    Early every morning, 2,000 men and women, many of whom have recently immigrated to Canada, deliver theToronto Starto tens of thousands of homes in metropolitan Toronto. This job is their primary source of income. Five days a week, about 6,000 couriers - a significant majority of whom are women - drive across rural and suburban Canada delivering the mail. Every day in Toronto, hundreds of women, many of them members of visible minorities and new to Canada, travel to work in private homes, providing personal care for disabled, ill, and elderly people. Across Canada, professional editors - primarily...

  7. 1 Star Wars: Newspaper Distribution Workers and the Possibilities and Limits of Collective Bargaining
    (pp. 29-55)

    Late in the summer of 1998, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), Local 8y-M, Southern Ontario Newspaper Guild,¹ was approached by a newspaper carrier for theToronto Starwho was seeking its assistance in organizing a union. TheStaris Canada’s largest newspaper, with a daily paid circulation of approximately 500,000. The CEP had represented theStar’seditorial and advertising employees since 1949, and more recently it had begun to represent some distribution workers, including the district representatives in charge of organizing home delivery. The approximately 2,000 carriers who make home deliveries had never been organized. Although...

  8. 2 Deemed to be Entrepreneurs: Rural Route Mail Couriers and Canada Post
    (pp. 56-95)

    Each day, about 6,000 rural route mail couriers sort millions of bills, letters, cards, newspapers, parcels, and advertisements and then drive hundreds of thousands of kilometres across rural and suburban Canada to drop them into private postboxes, group boxes, and super-mailboxes. Prior to 1 January 2004, the couriers used their own vehicles, paid their own operating expenses, and found replacements when they were unable personally deliver the mail. If they were injured, rural route mail couriers were not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits (unless they were self-insured), and if they lost their mail delivery contracts they were not allowed to...

  9. 3 From Precarious Workers to Unionized Employees and Back Again?: The Challenges of Organizing Personal-Care Workers in Ontario
    (pp. 96-135)

    People who do the work of bathing, toileting, feeding, and caring for those with disabilities provide a very important service. Most of these workers are women, and their positions are precarious. Some work at unrecognized, unregulated, low-paying (or often unpaid) jobs on a casual basis in private homes; others find better-paying, but generally part-time, employment through non-profit agencies or public sector institutions. The precariousness of this work stems from the fact that collective bargaining law is based on the norm of a direct and continuous employment relationship with one employer in which the work is performed at one formal work...

  10. 4 The Precarious Status of the Artist: Freelance Editors’ Struggle for Collective Bargaining Rights
    (pp. 136-170)

    On 1 November 2002, after a protracted struggle for legitimacy, the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal (CAPPRT) certified the Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC/ACR) as the representative artists’ association for a sector of editors¹ under the federalStatus of the Artist Act,1992.² Over two decades after its formation, in the face of considerable opposition from other artists’ organizations, the EAC/ACR won the legal right to negotiate scale agreements on behalf of a segment of its membership - agreements that it hopes will benefit its entire membership, but especially freelance editors in precarious situations.

    Although the CAPPRT rescinded...

  11. Conclusion: What Have We Learned?
    (pp. 171-192)

    Self-employed workers organize in order to improve their working conditions and remuneration. The case studies in this book illustrate how such diverse groups of self-employed workers as newspaper carriers, rural route mail couriers, personal-care workers, and freelance editors have attempted to obtain some form of collective representation and bargaining. Their stories make it abundantly clear that the dominant model of labour organization - industrial unionism - which is premised on the organization of all workers of a particular employer at a particular work site, is not a suitable vehicle for organizing the many groups of self-employed workers who work for...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 193-232)
  13. References
    (pp. 233-248)
  14. Index
    (pp. 249-265)