Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Janitors and Sweatshop Citizenship in Canada

Document type Article
Author Aguiar, Luis L M
Journal Antipode
Volume 38
Date 2006
ISSN 1467-8330
Pages 440-461


Janitors in Canada increasingly suffer from what I call here “sweatshop citizenship”, which is a combination of disintegrating workplace rights and eroding social citizenship rights. This condition has been institutionalized by neoliberal state policies which have undermined the welfare state and the assumptions of citizenship which it embodied. Through an exploration of how sweatshop citizenship is being instituted in Ontario and British Columbia, I consider the difficulties which contemporary industrial practices in the cleaning industry and anti-union legislation are presenting janitors, together with the possibility for their resisting such conditions.