York prof predicts bitter fight in ‘jobs for life’ dispute

David Doorey, a professor of employment and labour law at York University [in the School of Human Resource Management, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies], is predicting the job security battle [with the city’s garbage collection employees] will trigger either a lockout or a strike in 2012, and the Ford administration will try to hire private contractors to pick up the trash, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 9.

“We’re going to have the same situation as (the strike in 2009), but instead of being about banking sick days, it’s going to be about whether people have jobs or not. We thought it was nasty last time? This time you’re going to have private collectors trying to cross the lines of picketers whose jobs are on the line.”

Proposed TSX-LSE merger shows lucrative nature of exchange business

Businesses listing on the [TMX] Group’s various exchanges make up [a] key revenue stream, since each company must pay a fee in order to be eligible to trade on an index, wrote The Canadian Press Feb. 9, in a story about a proposed merger between stock exchanges in London, England and Toronto.

That fee buys more than just listing privilege, said Mark Kamstra, professor of finance in the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Exchange operators take on some basic administrative and regulatory responsibilities for the companies they list, he said, adding these efforts ensure prospective traders can conduct their business regardless of their financial literacy. “Exchanges help perform some of that regulation, and they charge companies for monitoring whether or not they meet the regulatory requirements of the exchange,” Kamstra said.

Asset mix is critical to a good retirement

The traditional thinking goes that the closer you get to retirement, the more conservative your investments, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 10. A 75-year-old should have much more fixed-income in his or her portfolio than a 35-year-old who still has decades of paycheques ahead.

The trouble is that if your portfolio mix is too conservative, it could lead to problems later when you really need the money.

“The retiree or soon-to-be retiree is damned if they do and damned if they don’t,” says Moshe Milevsky, an author and finance professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University. “If they decide to play it safe because they can’t handle the volatility, and they put their money in a bank account or GIC, they’re getting nothing, a negative return on an after-inflation basis. On the other hand, if they put their money in the stock market, there’s another chance of a big wipeout. We saw what happened a few years ago.”

York student wins award from Somali youth organization

Farah Abdi, a volunteer with the Somali Student Association at York University, where she currently studies, received a Youth Recognition Award from the Somali Youth Association of Toronto, wrote InsideToronto.com and Hiiraan Online, Feb. 11. Despite only coming to Canada four years ago, Farah has already played “a significant role in enriching the lives of others” through her volunteerism at such organizations as The Caring Village, The Spot, and the Relay for Life.

Group lobbies for harsher penalties for human trafficking

A local lobby is looking at whether migrant workers, sex trade workers and victims of forced marriages should be treated under the law as participants in the human trafficking, wrote The Gleaner’s Extra North American edition Feb. 9.

The group, Alliance Against Modern Day Slavery, met recently at York University in a first ever conference to define the limits of human trafficking as well as recommend solutions.

Stretch of University-Spadina subway line closed for weekend

For the second weekend in a row, a stretch of the University-Spadina subway line is being closed for the weekend for track upgrades, wrote CP24 News Feb. 9.

Subways won’t be running between Wilson and Downsview stations starting Saturday at 6am. All northbound trains will turn back at Wilson Station.

Shuttle buses will be ferrying passengers between the stations until regular service resumes Monday at 6am.

A Wheel-Trans vehicle will be on standby at Eglinton West Station, the TTC says.

The line will be closed so TTC crews can work on the Spadina extension to York University and Vaughan. Intermittent closures are scheduled to continue until April.

On air

  • Leo Panitch, Distinguished Research Professor in Political Science and Social & Political Thought, and Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, spoke about a number of economic issues in a panel discussion on AM640 Radio, Feb. 9.
  • York student Tugba Karademir, a former member of Turkey’s national figure skating team, spoke about her memories of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, on A Channel News Feb. 9.
  • Glendon student Courtney Tresidder spoke about the origins of her concerns about the environment, on TFO-TV’s “Relief” Feb. 9.
  • Haideh Moghissi, professor in York’s Department of Equity Studies and the School of Women’s Studies, in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, took part in a panel discussion about how political change in the Middle East will result in changes for women, on TVO’s “The Agenda” Feb. 9.