Spring 2024 - LBST 101 D100

Work and Worker's Rights: Introducing Labour Studies (3)

Class Number: 1943

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 8 – Apr 12, 2024: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 18, 2024
    Thu, 6:00–6:00 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    Evelyn Encalada Grez
    1 778 782-3657
    Office Hours: Wednesdays 1-2 pm



Introduces key concepts and approaches for understanding the character and organization of work, employment relations, worker’s rights, and labour movements in contemporary society. Explores who does paid and unpaid work and under what conditions through the study of trends and issues, including migration and immigration, unionization, precarious employment, and automation. Breadth-Social Sciences.


This is an introductory course to key concepts necessary for understanding the character and organization of work in late-stage capitalism. The discussion of such issues as how our society decides who works, what the work will be, and under what conditions, will be situated in the context of current debates, trends, and issues. We will also examine how the Canadian economy and labour market continue to be shaped by extractive settler-colonialism and racial capitalism and the implications for Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers’ livelihoods. We consider how workers are fighting back, protecting their rights and their very lives in our contemporary period.


By the end of the course, students will be able to:

o Identify basic structures of work under capitalism.
o Comprehend how wage labour has evolved and organized in Canada today.
o Analyze the relationship between capitalism, racism, and colonialism as an ongoing process.
o Understand how workers’ resistance and labour movements have developed in Canada.
o Apply key labour studies concepts such as inequality, labour segmentation, and precarity to asses peoples’ differential work and life experiences.


  • Attendance, Participation and Engagement 15%
  • Written Assignment 25%
  • In class closed midterm exam 30%
  • Final exam (open book -remote) 30%


Grading: Where a final exam is scheduled and the student does not write the exam or withdraw from the course before the deadline date, an N grade will be assigned. Unless otherwise specified on the course syllabus, all graded assignments for this course must be completed for a final grade other than N to be assigned. An N is considered as an F for the purposes of scholastic standing.

Grading System: The Undergraduate Course Grading System is as follows:

A+ (95-100) | A (90-94) | A- (85-89) | B+ (80-84) | B (75-79) | B- (70-74) | C+ (65-69) | C (60-64) | C- (55-59) | D (50-54) | F (0-49) | N*
*N standing to indicate the student did not complete course requirements

Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies: The Labour Studies Program follows SFU policy in relation to grading practices, grade appeals (Policy T 20.01) and academic honesty and student conduct procedures (S10.01‐S10.04). Unless otherwise informed by your instructor in writing, in graded written assignments you must cite the sources you rely on and include a bibliography/list of references, following an instructor-approved citation style.  It is the responsibility of students to inform themselves of the content of SFU policies available on the SFU website.

Centre for Accessible Learning: Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need classroom or exam accommodations are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (1250 Maggie Benston Centre) as soon as possible to ensure that they are eligible and that approved accommodations and services are implemented in a timely fashion.



This course will utilize a variety of readings, media, and films that will be made available digitally through the SFU Library, public websites, and canvas.

All readings will be available through canvas. There is no need to purchase any materials.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html