Workshop looks at migration and precarious work

The Migration, Work & Citizenship: Toward Decent Work and Secure Citizenship workshop, taking place at York today through Oct. 3, will look at citizenship, organizing precarious workers, legal and institutional insecurities and more.

The workshop is a response to growing academic interest and public debate about precarious work and migratory status in Canada, and international migration more generally, from the global south to the north and between countries in the global south.

Right: Luin Goldring

A group of about 30 academic and non-academic participants from several continents, disciplines and institutions will take part in the workshop. One of the goals of the workshop is to identify the contemporary ways in which work and citizenship are being redefined as they intersect with international migration. The strategies and responses of various stakeholders in diverse arenas, including organized labour, advocacy groups and worker coalitions, will also be addressed.

Organizers also hope to expand networks between academics and non-academics working on these issues to develop and strengthen networks and promote international collaboration.

Annette Bernhardt, policy co-director of the National Employment Law Project in New York City, will present “An Introduction to the ‘Gloves-off” Economy’ as part of the Legal and Institutional Insecurities – Migration, Work & Citizenship panel. Fellow panelist Abigail Bakan, a professor of political science at Queen’s University, will discuss “Negotiating Citizenship in the Context of Systemic Discrimination”, while Oscar Chacón, executive director of the National Alliance of Latin America & Caribbean Communities in Chicago, will address “Migrant Communities as a Challenge to Citizenship and the Meaning of Rights”.

York sociology Professor Luin Goldring and University of Toronto sociology Professor Patricia Landolt will present “Persistent Precarity: Long-Term Impacts of Precarious Status among Caribbean and Latin American Workers in the GTA" as part of the Work and Citizenship panel.

Maria Cook of Cornell University will discuss “The New Normal: Illegality, Detention, Exclusion”, while York political science Professor Leah Vosko (left), Canada Research Chair in Feminist Political Economy, will look at “From Precarious Employment to ‘Decent Work’: The Challenge of SER-Centric Regulatory Regimes”, during the panel on Normalizing Exclusion: Borders, Employment Standards and the Classification of Workers.

Topics to be tackled in some of the other panels, include "Temporary Foreign Workers: The First and Last (?) Stand on Work and Citizenship", "Organizing Precarious Workers & Reorganizing Social Citizenship", and "Mobilizing to Redefine Citizenship Rights".

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