History of Labour Law

September 21, 2024 at
9:30 AM - 4:00 PM PST
Maritime Labour Centre 111 Victoria Drive Vancouver, BC V5L 4C4

IN PERSON at the Maritime Labour Centre
9.30am to 4.00pm

Laws are like sausages, the old saying goes: it’s better not to see them being made. The law is not something majestic: it is made by people, by legislators and judges who listen to those with wealth and power. The history of Canadian labour law reveals both how the law has been used against working people and how we shaped it with our votes, legal challenges, strikes and protests. Using role-plays, images, poetry, songs, and examinations of strikes and protests, and drawing on the experiences of people in the course, we will better understand how labour law is made – and how we can change it.

Facilitator: Mark Leier, SFU
Mark Leier is a history professor at Simon Fraser University. He has been a member of several unions over his working life, including the Glaziers, CUPE, TSSU, Carpenters, and SFUFA. Noted for his use of the banjo and   labour songs in his classes, Mark is an award-winning teacher who has taught labour history at the CLC Winter School and for several unions. His books include Where the Fraser River Flows, a history of the IWW in BC; Bakunin: A Creative Passion, a biography of the 19th-century Russian anarchist, and Rebel Life: The Life and Times of Robert Gosden, a BC radical and police spy. His most recent project, with labour studies instructor John-Henry Harter, is Roles of Resistance: Game Plans for Teachers and Troublemakers.