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CAWLS 2016 Conference, University of Calgary, 1-2 June 2016

Moving Beyond the Low Wage Economy: Strategies, Policies and Politics for Decent Work and Wages

Convenor: Bryan Evans, Ryerson University

A central and enduring characteristic of capitalist labour markets for 25 or more years has been the stagnation in workers’ wages and income. This is a consequence of a restructuring of work organization and employment relations, more part-time, temporary, contract employment but also of a marked decline in the capacity of workers to bargain for better wages. The expansion of low waged work has, as a result, become increasingly normalized with dire consequences for social and economic equality, political contestation, and economic development. While primarily located in the private service sector, low waged work and strategies to pursue such, have entered into the public sector as states restrain compensation through austerity policies.

We invite proposals for papers which explore the movements and campaigns in Canada and around the globe seeking to restore decent wages and work. We are particularly interested in papers which compare living wage movements across Canada and internationally, campaigns of low waged workers for meaningful and sustained increases in the minimum wage, as well as papers exploring the politics and economics of the transition to low waged labour markets in the Global North. In addition, proposals examining the challenges and opportunities for implementing living wage policies by private and public sector employers are most welcome.

Please send your paper proposal to [email protected]

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