Should a Just Recovery include a Basic Income for BC?

June 25, 2021

Date: June 25, 2021

Time: 12:00 – 1:15pm (PDT)

Registration: Eventbrite

Free & open to all
 

Part four of our webinar series: Just Recovery? Labour, Organizing and the Future We Want

This panel will look at the recommendations and analysis of the Final Report of the British Columbia Expert Panel on Basic Income to ask: should a just recovery for all include a Basic Income? Speakers will also discuss the Report’s recommendations, including improved wages for low-paid workers and a more just labour market for BC. Join us for this important discussion!

This event is supported by SFU Public Square as part of their 2021 Community Summit Series, Towards Equity. For more information on upcoming events and resources, go here

Speakers

Kaitlyn Matulewicz is the Executive Director of the Worker Solidarity Network (formerly the Retail Action Network) and the Co-chair of the BC Employment Standards Coalition. Kaitlyn comes to her organizing work with seven years experience working in restaurants. After getting tired of managers telling her to dress "classy provocative" on the job (yes, those were their actual words) Kaitlyn joined a community of workers to fight for fair and decent working conditions in BC.

Chuka Ejeckam is the Director of Research & Policy at the BC Federation of Labour, and a Research Associate with the BC office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. He holds a Bachelors degree in Rhetoric from the University of Winnipeg, and a combined Bachelors in Political Science & Philosophy from the University of British Columbia. He is currently enrolled in the Masters degree program in Political Science at UBC. His academic work focuses on reparative drug policy, structural racism, and both political and economic inequality. His work at the BCFED focuses on the changing world of work, including deindustrialization, precarious employment, automation and AI, and climate change

David Green is a professor in the Vancouver School of Economics at UBC. He received his BA from Queen’s University and his PhD from Stanford. His areas of research interest include income inequality, immigration, the impact of technical change on the labour market, and policies affecting labour market outcomes. He is a former editor of the Canadian Journal of Economics, an International Research Associate with the Institute for Fiscal Studies in London, and a Research Associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Moderator

Kendra Strauss is the Director of the Labour Studies Program and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at SFU. She is a geographer and feminist political economist with teaching and research interests in the areas of labour and regulation, social reproduction, and migration.

Mega Sporting Events: The Policies, Politics and Practices of Oppression

Date: May 27, 2021

Time: 12:00 – 1:15pm (PDT)

Registration: Eventbrite

Free & open to all
 

Part three of our webinar series: Just Recovery? Labour, Organizing and the Future We Want

Mega sporting events such as the World Cup, the Super Bowl and the Olympics, as a few examples, bring in millions of dollars to a region’s hospitality and tourism sectors. Given the global attention that such events attract, cities hosting these mega-events spend a considerable amount of time preparing and scaling up to meet the demand, investing in construction and upgrading the city’s infrastructure. These efforts require additional staff that are largely low-wage workers, immigrant and BIPOC, who are already vulnerable to exploitation. Some even argue that the athletes themselves are exposed to various forms of exploitation perpetuated by systemic policies, politics and practices within the sports complex that govern their lives as athletes.

Panelists will tackle questions around what can be done to address the various forms of exploitation that the labour force behind mega-events encounter as well as models for building collective power and creating responses and programs to support workers. They will speak to how we must use this moment to address systemic inequalities in how work is valued, whose work is valued and how forms of oppression operate in the sectors that support mega sporting events.

Join webinar panelists for a lively, insightful and important discussion about the precarious and often invisible labour that mega-events rely on and more importantly, about what a just way forward might look like for such workers.

Speakers

Fabien Goa is Research Manager at FairSquare Projects. He has over a decade of human rights experience, focusing on corporate accountability, migrant workers rights and the USA.

Fabien came to FairSquare from BSR, where he provided human rights research and guidance for businesses in the construction, food & beverage and technology sectors. Previously, Fabien was special adviser on sports and labour rights at Amnesty International, with a focus on the Qatar 2022 World Cup. He also worked on Guantanamo Bay, torture in the CIA secret detention programme and US criminal justice issues including police use of force, solitary confinement, and sentencing of juveniles.

Fabien has a Masters in Migration & Law from Queen Mary’s, University of London. He speaks English, French and Mauritian creole. He is based in Paris.

Vani Saraswathi is the Editor-at-Large and Director of Projects at Migrant-Rights.org and the author of Stories of Origin: The Invisible Lives of Migrants in the Gulf. In 1999, she relocated to Qatar, working with several local and regional publications, and launching some of Qatar’s leading periodicals. In her 17 years in Qatar, she mobilised a grassroots community to help migrants in distress.  

Since 2014, in her role with Migrant-Rights.org she has reported from the Gulf states and countries of origin. She also organises advocacy projects and human rights training targeting individual employers, embassies, recruitment agents and businesses in Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE. A special emphasis of Vani’s work is on female migrants, including domestic workers and advocacy effort towards mainstreaming issues facing female migrant workers.

She is a member of the Migration Advisory Group (previous Policy Advisory Committee) of ILO ROAS, the Policy Advisory Group of Freedom Fund’s Ethiopia hotspot and Humanity United’s Advisory group on Forced Labour and Human Trafficking.

She also contributes as an expert commentator on issues related to human rights in the GCC for various international publications and at international forums, including various UN forums.

Vani currently divides her time between India, Qatar and other GCC states.

Jules Boykoff is the author of four books on the Olympic Games, most recently NOlympians: Inside the Fight Against Capitalist Mega-Sports in Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Beyond (Fernwood 2020) and Power Games: A Political History of the Olympics (Verso 2016). His work has appeared in academic journals like the International Review for the Sociology of SportNew Political Science, and the International Journal of the History of Sport and outlets like the New York TimesThe Nation, and the Los Angeles Times. He teaches political science at Pacific University, USA.

Moderator

Laya Behbahani is a PhD student at SFU’s School of Communication researching human trafficking, slavery and forced labour in the Gulf states of the Middle East. Laya is also the Director of the Student Experience Initiative and a Sessional Lecturer in Labour Studies. She lives and works as an uninvited guest on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the west coast.

Beyond the Pandemic: Building a Just Recovery for the Arts

Date: April 23, 2021

Time: 12:00 – 1:15pm (PST)

Registration: Eventbrite

Free & open to all
 

Part two of our webinar series: Just Recovery? Labour, Organizing and the Future We Want

The COVID-19 pandemic has unequally impacted those who work in the performing arts and other creative industries. Join webinar panelists for a lively, insightful and important discussion about what a just recovery might look like for creative workers and artists in Canada.

Panelists will tackle questions around the precarity of creative workers, models for building collective power and creating programs to support workers in the arts. They will also speak to how we must use this moment to address systemic inequities in how creative work is valued, whose work is valued, and how forms of oppression operate in the arts and creative sectors.

Speakers

Maiko Yamamoto is a Vancouver-based artist who creates new, experimental and intercultural works of performance. Many of these works are built through a practice of collaboration and include theatre projects, public art works, and performance installations. 

Since 2003, Maiko has been Co-Artistic Director of the Vancouver-based performance company, Theatre Replacement, founded with James Long. With the company she has created over 20 new works, many of which have toured to festivals and venues around the world. 

In addition, Maiko teaches performance and mentors artists for a range of different companies and organizations, both in Canada and abroad. She also occasionally works as a curator and writes about performance for a variety of publications. 

She holds a BFA in Theatre from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts, and a Masters of Applied Arts in Visual Art from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Maiko is the 2019 recipient of the Siminovitch Prize in Directing, with James Long.

Kadon Douglas is the executive director of BIPOC TV & Film, a Toronto-based grassroots nonprofit organization advocating for increased representation of screen-media professionals from Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour communities in front of and behind the camera.

Prior to BIPOC TV & FILM, Kadon championed gender equity and inclusion in screen-based media at Women in Film & Television-Toronto (WIFT-T) as the manager of communications and engagement. Most recently, she worked within the Dean’s Office at FCAD, Ryerson University’s faculty of communication and design. There she revitalized the brand (digital, PR, internal communications) and provided strategic guidance to the FCAD ecosystem as its manager of marketing and communications.

Kadon also worked for several years in documentary as a production coordinator, researcher and digital marketing specialist; and is a 2019 Ontario Nonprofit Network RBC Leading the Future fellow, and a two-time fellow of the Hot Docs Film Festival: Doc Accelerator (2013) and Shaw Media Diverse Voices (2015). Kadon is also an active member of the screen-based media community, volunteering her time on various committees and juries, and is the former chair of the Reelworld Film Festival.

Jonny Sopotiuk is a visual artist, curator, and community organizer living and working on the Unceded Indigenous territories belonging to the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His interdisciplinary arts studio practice explores compulsion and control through the lenses of production, labour, and work.

In addition to his arts practice, Jonny has spent the last decade working in the labour movement as a union organizer. He is currently the Lead Organizer for IATSE Local 891, a union representing over 9000 professional artists and technicians in the film industry across British Columbia and is the President of the Arts and Cultural Workers Union (ACWU), IATSE Local B778.

Jonny is a founding member of the Vancouver Artists Labour Union Cooperative (VALU CO-OP), an innovative new worker cooperative organizing initiative transforming labour practices within the arts and cultural sector and a founding member of it's new sibling cooperative the Vancouver Sewing Labour Cooperative (VSLU). In the past year the ACWU has organized 5 non-profit arts organizations and grown to over 50 members working between the two cooperatives.

Moderator

Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte is currently completing a PhD at SFU’s School of Communication, with a focus on Canadian cultural policy and artist-run organizations. Her doctoral research is supported by a SSHRC Bombardier Doctoral Scholarship (2018-2021). In 2019, she received the Canadian Communication Association’s Doctoral CRTC Prize for Excellence in Policy Research for the paper “Creative Canada: A Critical Look at a ‘New’ Cultural Policy Framework.”

She is a member of the Archive/Counter Archive Cultural Policy, IP and Rights Ecosystems Working Group. Mariane obtained an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts in 2012 and has exhibited artistic and curatorial projects across Canada. She has worked as lead consultant on various sectoral research and community consultation projects commissioned by national and provincial arts service organizations. Mariane has served on the board of directors of the Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres (2016-2018), VIVO Media Arts Centre (2014-2019), and Aphotic Theatre (2017-present).

Learning From Gig Worker Organizing

Date: Feb 12, 2021

Time: 12:00 – 1:00pm (PST)

Registration: Eventbrite

Free & open to all
 

Part one of our webinar series: Just Recovery? Labour, Organizing and the Future We Want

Co-sponsored by the Canadian Association for Work & Labour Studies

From food delivery workers to rideshare drivers, organizing by gig and platform workers is one of the big labour stories of recent years. So is the subsequent push back by employers, including efforts to pass Proposition 22 in California and Foodora’s decision to leave the Ontario market. This webinar brings together two organizers of these struggles to consider the lessons learned and the implications for the future of work and worker organizing as we exit the pandemic

We ask: What is the future of work post-COVID-19, and how do recent struggles to organize gig workers speak to broader challenges of organizing for a just recovery from the pandemic?
 

Speakers

Cherri Murphy is a social justice minister in the East Bay, California and a doctoral student at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.  She is also a Lyft driver and lead organizer for Gig Workers Rising.

Aaron Spires is a letter carrier at Canada Post, and in 2015 was elected as the National Union Representative responsible for external organizing for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. He worked with field organizers and foodora couriers to successfully challenge the couriers' misclassification at the Ontario Labour Relations Board, and secure an 89% 'Yes' vote in favour of unionization.

Moderator

Dr. Enda Brophy is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and an Associate in the Labour Studies Program at Simon Fraser University. He is the author of Language Put to Work: The Making of the Global Call Centre Workforce. His current research explores labour organizing through and against digital platforms.