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Where's Work Headed Essay

1476 words - 6 pages

Over the last few decades’ significant changes to Canada’s economy and labor force have transpired. Gone are the days where the rich owned servants and the metal smiths flourished with business. Employment became centralized around assembly lines and factory work initializing the biggest change the economy had seen and capitalists were at large with their ability to mass-produce. Post industrialism and globalism silenced the roar, leading us where we are today, with a heavily populated and unskilled service industry. This leaves society wondering, “what is the future of work”? In this written essay, we will explore the future of work by focusing on the current situations and what ...view middle of the document...

The rich will continually get richer and the poor poorer, diminishing the remainder of a middle class.

Over the years employees have gained control over work and earned rights in support of themselves. Laws such as human rights, abolition of child and forced labor and the ability to engage in collective bargaining have all been introduced. Unions were the beginning of worker empowerment. Just as they did years ago, unions serve as a healthy channel for conflict, meant to collectively protect workers interests and rights in the work place. Unions decreased the competition for employment, which resulted in higher wages (Khran et al. 2011, pp. 346). The purpose of laws governing pay, working time, health and safety and human rights is to take human labor out of the realm of competition. Unfortunately, current patterns of development (globalization) are, in effect, putting workers back into competition and therefore eroding many of these gains (Howard, J & Gereluk, W. 2001). Although unions are active, their presence is minimally decreasing. Between 2000 and 2008 union membership decreased 1% (Khran et al. 2011, pp. 369). It is no surprise that unions are loosing support. Members most in need of collective bargaining aren’t received the benefits of being unionized. Precarious worker, Samuel Yaul, was nearly fired for agreeing to meet with a union representative to discuss an organizing campaign (Is work working? pp. 19). This makes it extremely difficult for employees to engage in unionization and collective bargaining.

The future focus is shifting towards strategic human resource planning. This high-performance type of workplace model is aimed to be sympathetic towards employee wants and needs, while still pursuing the organizations goals. The basic assumption is that if management treats employees well and listens to their concerns, a union won’t be necessary (Khran et al. 2011, pp. 382). Futuristically this will result is a complete loss of power for non-unionized workers. A loss of power will likely never mean that workers will back-pedal and return to that in-humane type of work environment that once existed, but rather the issues with todays statutory and common law won’t be resolved. Workers were once on pace to even out the employer-employee obligations, however with unions being replaced it is highly unlikely they’ll gain back their position to change work.

Industry has shifted from goods producing to services. Jobs in the goods-producing industry have diminished, remaining position include natural resources, manufacturing and construction but those still in existence are very sensitive to the economic conditions (Statistics Canada 2007, p. 38). The ability for Canadian entrepreneurs to have products manufactured elsewhere, for a fraction of the cost, is extremely attractive. This idea of globalization and international business is what killed the primary industry in Canada. The future of the primary industry will rely heavily...

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