Fall 2022 - LBST 101 OL01

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

Class Number: 6123

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Instructor:

    Kendra Strauss
    Office: Zoom
    Office Hours: Mondays, 11am-12pm or by appointment



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.


Introduction to key concepts necessary for understanding the character and organization of work in contemporary society. The discussion of such issues as how our society decides who works, what the work will be, and under what conditions people work, will be situated in the context of current debates, trends, and issues. The course will examine how the Canadian economy and labour market have been shaped by ongoing colonialism, and the implications for Indigenous and non-Indigenous workers and livelihoods.


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

  1. Understand how work is organized in the Canadian economy, and what makes Canada’s economy capitalist.
  2. Identify and discuss how capitalism in Canada relates to settler colonialism as an ongoing process.
  3. Critically assess social difference, inequality, and discrimination in the organization of paid and unpaid work in Canada.
  4. Understand how workers organize, today and in the past, to fight for their rights.
  5. Analyze the development of trade unions and their role in Canadian society.
  6. Investigate how the labour movement intersects with other radical social movements, for example for feminist, queer and Black liberation.
  7. Explore trends in Canada’s labour markets, like migration and automation, and discuss ideas about the future of work.


  • Participation (Discussion & Short reflections) 20%
  • Writing assignments (2 x 15%) 30%
  • Mid-term exam 20%
  • Quiz 5%
  • Open Book Final Exam 25%


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.



There is not required textbook for this course. All readings will be made available on Canvas and through the SFU Library.


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