Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Part-time, Poorly Paid, Unprotected: Experiences of Precarious Work in Retail, Food Service, and Hospitality in Victoria, BC

Document type Report
Author Hardman, Stefanie
Date 2016 Spring
Pages 29 pages


In this report, we begin by setting the context of living and working in Greater Victoria, examining low wages, high cost of living, and employment trends, particularly in relation to work in the retail, food service, and hospitality industries. We characterize retail, food service, and hospitality work as “precarious work,” providing workers with very little in the way of wages, benefits, job security, stability, protection, or basic respect and dignity. Existing employment standards are not adequate to protect workers in retail, food service, and hospitality. The key contribution of this report is its exploration of key areas of concern – low-wages, lack of benefits, unstable scheduling practices, unfair job expectations, disregard for workersʼ health and safety, poor treatment, workplace justice – through the workersʼ own experiences and voices. We would like to thank these workers for sharing their experiences with us. By bringing these various and similar experiences together, we hope this report will help provide a grounding to fight for workplace justice.