Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Rising up: The Fight for Living Wage Work in Canada

Document type Book
Editor Evans, Bryan
Editor Fanelli, Carlo
Editor McDowell, Tom
Publisher UBC Press; Vancouver, BC
Date 2021
Pages x, 287 pages: illustrations


Canada has one of the highest rates of low-wage work among advanced industrial economies. In a labour market characterized by the ongoing fallout from COVID-19, deepening income inequality, increasingly uncertain job tenure, and steadily diluted union representation, the living wage movement offers a response. Rising Up traces the history and international context of living wage movements across Canada. Contributors to this astute and compassionate collection of essays examine union- and community-based approaches to organizing in marginalized communities, the role of social reproduction, migrant labour, and media (mis)representations, among other key topics. In the 1970s, the balance of political and economic power began to shift in favour of business, as trade unions weakened and governments proved unwilling to check corporate power. By the 2000s, austerity measures had dismantled social services spending, facilitating the growth of precarious, often gendered or racialized low-waged employment. Rapidly increasing wealth and income inequality has followed in the wake of these deteriorating labour market conditions and mounting social disparities.As more and more workers in Canada and elsewhere face permanent low-paid work, Rising Up will stimulate debate about living wages and social inequality, promoting alternatives to a neoliberalized labour market. --Publisher's description.