Spring 2023 - LBST 101 D900

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

Class Number: 2654

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Wed, 2:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Instructor:

    John-Henry Harter
    1 778 782-7693
    Office: Burnaby Campus AQ 6008
    Office Hours: Tuesdays 1:15 – 2:15 @ Burnaby Campus AQ 6008 and anytime by apt. on Zoom



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.


In this course, we will examine the nature of work and class in Canada. We begin by looking at the concept of class and what it means to be working class. Then we move onto examining the history of working-class organization in Canada and an examination of the current state of the labour movement and working-class politics. We will also look at the contemporary nature of work and our economy. While our jobs often seem individual, isolated, temporary, even random, they are part of a global economic system, and so understanding work means understanding that system. We will think critically about work to better understand our own jobs, the Canadian economy, and corporate organization.


This course will allow students to learn about the labour movement in Canada. Students will come away with an understanding of how class operates in society. This course will also provide students with the basic vocabulary for understanding concepts in the field of labour studies.

The course will draw on students' experiences and will further develop research, writing, and presentation skills through the lectures, films, and class assignments. In addition, the course will provide the tools we need to understand the increasingly complex world of work and labour. We'll stress themes of social justice, labour relations, and the work process, ranging from contingent labour to the boardroom.


  • Participation 10%
  • Midterm Exam 35%
  • Short Assignment 15%
  • Final Essay 40%


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.



All readings will be available online via Canvas.


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