Summer 2022 - LBST 101 OL01

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

Class Number: 3915

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Aug 12, 2022
    7:00 PM – 7:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Katie Gravestock
    Office: Meeting ID: 643 069 6129
    Office Hours: Wednesdays from 11:00am – 12:00pm via Zoom 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.


This course offers an introduction to key concepts necessary for understanding labour, employment, and workers' struggles in contemporary Canadian society. We will explore how our society decides who works, what the work will be, and under what conditions people work, situated in the context of current debates, trends, and issues. We also 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 you should 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 inequality and discrimination in 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. Explore trends in Canada’s labour markets, like migration and automation, and discuss ideas about the future of work.


  • Participation: Discussion Comments (10%); Lead Discussion Post (5%); Reflective/Practice Writing (5%) 20%
  • Writing assignments (2 x 15%) 30%
  • Midterm exam 20%
  • Final exam 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.



Jackson, A. & Thomas, M. (2017). Work and Labour in Canada: Critical issues (3rd ed.). Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press.

You will need to purchase either a hardcopy or digital copy of the textbook for this course which can be purchased through the SFU Book Store.

This course will also utilize a variety of readings and media. All of these sources are available through this Canvas course, linked either from the Library Reserves section in the left hand navigation, in the Files section (in the folder called “Course Readings”), or linked from individual sections.

Films and online media are listed for different Weeks, with links or instructions for how to access them online. All films are available to stream on the Internet or through the SFU Library website.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site 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.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction.  Some courses may be offered through alternative methods (remote, online, blended), and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes. 

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote, online, or blended courses study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the summer 2022 term.