Article

Factors Influencing the Health and Safety of Temporary Foreign Workers in Skilled and Low-Skilled Occupations in Canada

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Abstract

This article reports on a study of occupational health and safety (OHS) challenges for temporary foreign workers (TFWs) in low- and high-skilled occupations, based on twenty-two cases drawn from a broader study in three Canadian provinces. Interviewees in construction, meat processing, hospitality, and fast food reported concerns regarding working conditions and OHS issues. They include precarious migration status affecting voice; contrasting access to social support; and mechanisms undermining regulatory effectiveness. Sources of vulnerability include closed work permits (making workers dependent on a single employer for job security and family reunification); ineffective means to ensure contractual compliance; and TFW invisibility attributable to their dispersal throughout the labor market. Violations include increased workload without an increase in pay and non-compliance with OHS and contractual rules without oversight. Positive and negative practices are discussed. Recommendations include improving migration security to preserve worker voice and facilitating communication between immigration and OHS authorities.

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... Others come from local regions, different parts of Canada, or internationally to work in the service sector including in a hotel or outfitting lodge in rural areas or in major tourism centers like Banff in Alberta, 8 as health care and live-in caregivers, 9,10 or as high or lowskilled workers in occupations in such sectors as construction, agriculture, seafood, and meat processing in urban and rural areas. 11 The challenges to effective OHS protections and for fair access to workers' compensation differ according to the specific situation. ...
... They enter Canada through various programs including as high and low-skilled TFWs, seasonal agricultural workers, live-in caregivers, as well as under the international mobility program. As noted by Cedillo et al., 11 Canada's TFWP population increased eight-fold from 1995 to 2017. These data do not include the numbers of international migrants who come to Canada as international students, a group that has grown substantially in recent years, many of whom would be of working age (postsecondary students) and would have a work permit. ...
... Cedillo et al. 11 present OHS-related findings in a dataset from a larger individual and group interview-based study carried out among TFWs working in low-and high-skilled occupations who had or were transitioning to permanent residence in Canada at the time of the original study (2014)(2015). In the past, access to permanent residence was largely limited to workers in high-skilled occupations but this has changed in some provinces through the introduction of Provincial Nominee programs. ...
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Globally, employment-related geographical mobility (mobility to and within work) is a pervasive aspect of work that has potential health and safety implications. As an introduction to this special issue, this article defines the mobile workforce as those who engage in complex/extended mobility to and within work encompassing >two hours daily, less frequent but more extended mobility between regions and countries, and mobility within work such as between work sites or in mobile workplaces. Focusing on the Canadian context, we discuss the challenges associated with developing a statistical profile for this diversely mobile workforce and provide an overview of articles in the special issue identifying key health and safety challenges associated with extended/complex employment-related geographical mobility. We estimate that up to 16 percent of Canada’s employed labor force (including those commuting > one hour one-way, temporary residents with work permits, and transportation workers) engage in extended/complex mobility related to work.
... Based on a classic legal analysis of regulatory frameworks and administrative tribunal decisions in seven Canadian jurisdictions, combined with information provided from interviews with key 4 informants, we found that the invisibility of the internally (within country) mobile workforce, as well as the alternating visibility and invisibility of the temporary foreign workforce, contribute to reduced effectiveness of the OHS and WC regulatory frameworks, a finding also identified by Cedillo et al. 4 and Hill et al.. 5 As we shall see, the OHS regulatory challenges vary and can be complex depending on the nature of employment, on time and distance considerations, as well as on the worker's status and particular circumstances (gender, language proficiency, nature of migration) which can increase their vulnerability. Challenges for effective application of WC legislation also exist, although their sources are different. ...
... For international migrants, language skills are not always sufficient to understand the safety training provided, and in many cases, safety training is not provided to temporary foreign workers, or is provided after workers have been exposed to hazards for weeks or months. 4 In terms of prevention mechanisms, there is some evidence that mechanisms to ensure worker participation in prevention through health and safety committees and worker safety representatives are more difficult to effectively implement when workers are working in remote worksites or dispersed in multiple geographic locations. Working as an orderly in a long-term care facility, for example, is more conducive to collective governance than providing care individually in multiple private homes where workers rarely come into contact with colleagues, supervisors, or union representatives. ...
... 7 While all forms of mobility can lead to difficulties in the implementation of these rights, an important body of literature has specifically documented the vulnerabilities of temporary foreign workers with regard to the exercise of their OHS rights, "deportability" and isolation clearly decreasing their ability to know and exercise them. 4,27,28 For Canadians working in other countries, hazards may be specific to the political or geographical context of the country to which they are sent. Key informants in several provinces, some relying on case law, d provided examples in which provincially regulated workers had tried to invoke OHS legislation to refuse deployment in a war zone or to obtain support from inspectors because of hazards in their work, only to be told that provincial regulators do not have powers to address hazards outside their jurisdiction. ...
Article
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Although much research has examined the occupational health and safety (OHS) and workers’ compensation (WC) implications of precarious employment and temporary international labor migration, little is known about the implications of diverse types of employment-related geographic mobility for regulatory effectiveness of OHS and WC. This article examines different types of extended mobility to determine regulatory effectiveness of OHS and WC protections. Based on classic legal analysis in seven Canadian jurisdictions, and interviews with key informants, we found that the invisibility of the internally mobile workforce, as well as the alternating visibility and invisibility of temporary foreign workers, contribute to reduced effectiveness of the OHS and WC regulation. Results point to the need for better protections to address working conditions, but also the hazards and challenges associated with mobility itself including getting to and from work, living at work, and maintaining work–life balance while living at the worksite.
... While low-skilled migrants experience many of the same problems as professional migrants, such as misunderstandings arising from cultural differences, they are also likely to face somewhat unique problems at work. For instance, it is noted that, compared to professional migrants, low-skilled migrants are often situated with further risks, such as unsafe and unhealthful work environments (Benach, Muntaner, Delclos, Menendez, & Charlene, 2011), higher workloads, greater discrimination and a lower pay (Cedillo, Lippel, & Nakache, 2019). Furthermore, in performing 3 D manual tasks, they work under strict supervision and control by supervisors at work (Chang et al., 2020). ...
... In addition, our research examined the case of migrant workers in Korea. We believe their conditions share common features with low-skilled workers in other countries because it has been noted that almost half of global migrant workers are described as migrating for economic reasons, serving as the low-skill labor force that their host nationals are often reluctant to embrace, which puts them at risk for having to endure hazardous work environments (Benach et al., 2011) high workloads with low pay, and discrimination (Cedillo et al., 2019). Thus, we believe, the general characteristics of the low-skilled migrant workers as well as the findings of our research have global implications. ...
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An increasing volume of research has examined issues related to working abroad, but studies focusing on low-skilled migrant workers are lagging. Relying on intercultural interaction and social exchange views as overarching frames, we examined determinants of low-skilled immigrant workers’ workplace satisfaction. With a sample of 640 migrant workers from eight countries, we specifically examined and compared the effects of cultural and workplace factors. Results showed that intercultural negativity factors such as intercultural rejection sensitivity and intercultural interaction difficulty reduced the workplace satisfaction of low-skilled migrant workers, while social exchange factors such as supervisory support and distributive justice perception boosted their workplace satisfaction. We further found that workplace factors showed significantly stronger effects than cultural factors on their workplace satisfaction. Finally, we examined interaction effects between cultural and workplace factors, and found that the positive effect of supervisory support was greater for those who perceived more cultural difficulty than for those perceiving less cultural difficulty. Theoretical and practical implications are included.
... Indeed, the connection between these workers and their exploitative living and working conditions is well-established in the Canadian context, and there is even an increasing number of studies discussing the difficulties that these workers face in their transition to permanent residency, especially those in occupations who need employer support to complete the application process (see e.g. Mooten, 2021;Goldring and Landolt, eds., 2013;Akbar, 2022;Ellermann and Gorokhovskaia, 2020;Hennebry, 2021;Cedillo, Lippel and Nakache, 2019;Salami et al., 2022;Binford and McLaughlin, 2021;Haley et al., 2020;Nakache and Dixon-Perera, 2015). It is also worth noting that it is not unusual for Canadian courts to address issues of vulnerability among workers from the TFWP (for more on this topic, see Atak et al., 2018, p. 16). ...
... Personal safety in the hospitality is globally regulated by the International Labour Organization (ILO), and further by the countries' laws and governments [30,31]. However, there is evidence that despite existing laws and regulations, hospitality staff health and safety often gets neglected, even in the most developed countries [7,32]. ...
Article
It is widely accepted that positive safety culture improves organisations' safety performance and reduces the number of injuries and deaths. Safety culture has been well researched in high-risk industries; however, the hospitality industry until recently had no research of the concept unless related to food safety. This paper explores theoretical grounds for research of safety culture in hospitality, based on the aviation safety culture body of knowledge. Using aviation as a foundation is motivated by the similarities in operations between aviation and hospitality, especially when hospitality is compared to other high-risk industries. The paper proposes that safety culture models and their dimensions, frequently used in aviation, could be valuable for investigating and recommending improvements in the hospitality industry's safety culture. This paper's goal and aspiring contribution is to begin a discussion and build a theoretical base for future research about an advancement of safety in hospitality operations and reduction in industry's relatively high numbers of employee injuries.
... Furthermore, workplace harassment, reported by some of the migrant workers we interviewed, as well as other researchers (e.g., [27]), makes the unsafe work environments particularly toxic. At the same time, the provincial legislation concerning occupational health and safety fails to adequately protect the farmworkers [45][46][47], and indeed, research shows that many agricultural worksites are not in compliance [48]. ...
Article
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada imposed certain international travel bans and work-from-home orders, yet migrant farmworkers, declared essential to national food security, were exempt from such measures. In this context, farm worksites proved to be particularly prone to COVID-19 outbreaks. To apprehend this trend, we engaged an expanded and transnational employment strain framework that identified the employment demands and resources understood from a transnational perspective, as well as the immigration, labour, and public health policies and practices contributing to and/or buffering employment demands during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. We applied mixed methods to analyze administrative data, immigration, labour, and public health policy, as well as qualitative interviews with thirty migrant farmworkers employed in Ontario and Quebec. We concluded that the deleterious outcomes of the pandemic for this group were rooted in the deplorable pre-pandemic conditions they endured. Consequently, the band-aid solutions adopted by federal and provincial governments to address these conditions before and during the pandemic were limited in their efficacy because they failed to account for the transnational employment strains among precarious status workers labouring on temporary employer-tied work permits. Such findings underscore the need for transformative policies to better support health equity among migrant farmworkers in Canada.
... The program has been criticized for being a source of employment and legal precarity (Strauss & McGrath, 2017). Temporary foreign workers (TFWs) are vulnerable to employer abuse and exploitation as work permits are tied to one employer (Cedillo et al., 2019). This reliance on one employer is a factor that drives many people out of status. ...
Article
In this qualitative study, researchers conducted interviews with 11 participants who had entered Canada through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and who had since loss status. To understand the lived experiences of participants, this article deploys a theoretical framework of transnationalism centring the concept of precarious status. Findings show policy changes, abuse and exploitation by employers, language barriers, and misinformation and language gaps drive workers out of status. Once without status, people often remain in Canada because they are motivated by issues related to family. These can include the continued desire to bring family members to Canada, financial responsibilities for family members in countries of origin, the desire to stay with Canadian partners or children, or the breakdown of family ties which dissuades the desire to return. Challenges of living without status include mental health struggles, financial strain, and barriers to service access. Interplays between factors driving status loss and experiences of those who live without status in Canada show that the state plays an important role in creating precarity through restrictive immigration and residency policies. Understandings the state’s role in the production of precarity may inform effective policy changes moving forward.
... Migrant workers also experience precarity in employment. The most straightforward definition of precarious work as "work for remuneration characterized by uncertainty, low income, and limited social benefits and statutory entitlements" (Vosko 2010, 3) clearly applies to migrant labour, who experience a range of work insecurities, weak enforcement of employment standards, undesirable working conditions and unreliable access to state benefits (Nakache and Kinoshita 2010;Cedillo, Lippel, and Nakache 2019;Vosko, Preston, and Lathan 2014). For precarious status migrant workers, work extends beyond precariousness to degrees of invisibility. ...
Article
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In recent years the issue of migrant workers with precarious status has increased in importance in Canada, in large part due to economic and policy changes that have led to greater numbers of migrant workers remaining in the country post permit expiry. This study tracks the employment experiences of low-skilled migrant workers who arrived through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and who remained following their permit expiry. Using a temporal analysis , the study identifies four timepoints that shape the workers' employment outcomes both pre-and post-expiry. Events at these timepoints create differing employment pathways that, in turn, reveal different aspects of the workers' precarity. In addition to pathways, workers' ability to access informal support networks shape their employment outcomes as workers with precarious status.
... As with international labour migrants elsewhere, international migrant workers in Canada experience multiple layers of vulnerability to pandemic and other HS negative effects ranging from conditions in their country of origin and under which they travel to work; often substandard and crowded living and working conditions; plus limited access to health care, risk of deportation, and barriers related to language, culture, and discrimination (Sargeant and Tucker 2010). 2 They are more visible to regulators and others than internal labour migrants and other mobile workers but experience greater constraints on their access to support and their ability to exercise their HS rights (Cedillo, Lippel, and Nakache 2019). They also work in agriculture where they have been particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 outbreaks (Lippel, Neis, and James in press). ...
... There is evidence that migrant work is associated with poor mental and physical health (Edwards, Anderson & Stranges, 2019). Migrant workers are vulnerable and may accept poor working conditions, especially in circumstances where their work permit is with one employer, and if they decide to leave that employer they may not have enough resources to take care of themselves until they get another job (Cedillo, Lippel & Nakache, 2019). ...
Article
Most people value work because of the material and psychological benefits that it offers. However, the workplace has become a source of both joy and in some situations sorrow in terms of ill health and in some cases fatalities. Nevertheless, the workplace is also a key place for safeguarding employees’ health through effective work organisation, management and design. Most developing countries are concerned with the effect of physical aspects of the work environment on workers’ health, safety and well-being whereas most developed countries are now focusing on emerging psychosocial risks. Psychosocial risks have been established as important antecedents of health especially in developed countries where information on them is abundant. However, despite this information, there is a dearth of knowledge on the nature and effects of psychosocial risks in developing countries. The ILO (2016) observed the limited prevalence data on psychosocial hazards and on work-related stress in developing countries. The rise of psychosocial risks has been associated with globalisation, which has brought about many changes in the world of work, including intense competition (Jain & Leka, 2019). The banking sector has not been spared from these changes and their effects and is the focus of this research. Moreover, psychosocial factors are associated with organisational costs in terms of absenteeism, poor performance, negative work attitudes and health costs. Psychosocial risks affect all workers despite their location. This is currently an understudied area in developing countries like Zimbabwe. Consequently, the overall objectives of this thesis were to first explore key stakeholder perspectives and their understanding of psychosocial risks and their relationship with individual and organisational health. Additionally, on the basis of the job demands-resources model, this research sought to explore the relationship between job demands (quantitative demands, emotional demands, work pace, work family conflict), and job resources (possibilities for development, social support from colleagues, social support from supervisors, quality of leadership, influence at work) with general well-being, job satisfaction, job performance, commitment to the workplace and work engagement. A mixed method design was adopted in this research. Thirteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders representing government, regulatory authorities, workers’ unions, employers’ organisations and relevant professions. A follow-up quantitative study comprised of an online survey that was administered to five banks in Zimbabwe. Thematic analysis results indicated that key stakeholders are generally aware of psychosocial risks and their effect on health but these are not prioritized due to other competing needs. There is no legislation pertaining to psychosocial risks and work-related stress although the Occupational Safety and Health policy of 2014 covers a few relevant aspects. Currently, there are no guidelines on implementation. Identified stressors included targets, long working hours and none or late payment of salaries. Barriers included lack of occupational health and safety funding, psychosocial risk prioritization and perception, cultural aspects and lack of research. Opportunities included supportive structures, knowledge of psychosocial issues and current interventions in place to manage safety and health. The priorities for action included training on psychosocial risks and inclusion of risk assessment principles in managing occupational safety and health. Multiple regression analysis results indicated that job demands were negatively associated with general well-being and other organisational health criteria whilst job resources had positive relationships with the same. Interestingly, only work pace had a positive relationship with job performance, work engagement and good general-well-being. Finally, interaction results indicated that some specific job resources moderate the relationship of specific job demands on organisational outcomes. Furthermore, the findings suggest that certain job demands weakened the relationship between specific job resources and organisational outcomes. This research has provided empirical support for the job demands-resources theory in an African country. Developing countries are encouraged to develop comprehensive policies in their efforts to manage occupational health. Workers are exposed to chemical, physical and psychosocial risks, therefore legislation, policies and guidelines should reflect this in a more comprehensive manner. This also implies that occupational safety and health inspections should cover all hazards as much as possible. The level of awareness and knowledge should be scaled up on the nature of psychosocial risks, their effects and how to prevent, monitor and manage them. There is also need to identify the specific job demands that need to be reduced, those that are impossible to reduce but should be monitored and complemented by high job resources, and the specific job resources that need to be availed in each situation according to the work context. The research indicated that workers’ well-being is influenced negatively by different types of demands at work, which calls for serious preventative actions from all stakeholders.
... Job insecurity that may or may not be related to precarious contractual status, as can be seen when full-time unionised employees are faced with the prospect of externalisation of their jobs to other countries, is highly prevalent in developed economies and in middle income countries and is also associated with poorer workers' health and safety outcomes affecting physical and psychological health (Bohle et al., 2001;Landsbergis et al., 2014;Vézina et al., 2011;Vives et al., 2016). Migration insecurity contributes new layers of precariousness, workers with precarious migration status being particularly vulnerable to abuse and particularly lacking in worker voice (Basok et al., 2013;Cedillo et al., 2019;McLaughlin et al., 2014;Sargeant and Tucker, 2009). Employment insecurity, a phenomenon well-documented by Lewchuk and colleagues (Lewchuk et al., 2015), includes both job insecurity and cumulative insecurities on the labour market, which undermine not only worker voice but also worker health and the ability to plan for a family. ...
... Important under-researched areas related to international migrant workers in Canada and their families were explored at the Atlantic Symposium. International migrant workers must deal with policy and other contexts such as rules around immigration that can constrain options and limit voice and opportunities for family reunification (Cedillo et al. 2019;Nakache 2018). The Cooper Institute in PEI has been assessing the impact of long-distance parenting on parent-child relationships among migrant workers in PEI. ...
Article
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An estimated 17% of the Canadian labor force engage in complex/extended employment-related geographical mobility ranging from extended daily commutes to regional, interprovincial and international mobility. The opportunities and challenges of particular types of mobility for family lives have been studied most often in isolation (i.e. daily commutes, fly-in/fly-out or international migration), and attention to mobility is largely absent from the work-family literature. Drawing on presentations and discussions at two recent conferences with a focus on families, work and mobility in Canada, this Research Note highlights some of the gaps in existing knowledge about families, work and mobility and some family-related challenges associated with extended/complex mobility for work from the standpoint of those living it, those studying it and those striving to serve and support these workers and their families. Examples discussed here encompass families where members are employed offshore, in other provinces and in the military. The impact of mobility on the family lives of temporary foreign workers is also discussed. We conclude with a few policy recommendations related to helping workers and their families deal with extended/complex mobility.
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In January 2013, SSEC Canada Ltd. pled guilty to three charges under Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after two of its temporary foreign workers died and two more were seriously injured on the worksite. A fine of $1,225,000—the largest ever ordered in Alberta—was paid to the Alberta Law Foundation, which administered the funds to the Alberta Workers’ Health Centre to develop and provide the “New Alberta Workers program.” In this interview, Jared Matsunaga-Turnbull reflects on the program’s peer-to-peer Occupational Health and Safety workshops for new-to-Alberta workers to illustrate how “creative sentencing” related to serious Occupational Health and Safety violation convictions can play out. He discusses what the team learned about the particular work and life context and related needs of new-to-Alberta workers that created challenges and prompted program changes throughout the three-year workshop period. Finally, Jared considers what is needed to meaningfully support new-to-Alberta workers going forward.
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Canadian temporary foreign worker programs have been proliferating in recent years. While much attention has deservedly focused on programs that target so-called low-skilled workers, such as seasonal agricultural workers and live-in caregivers, other programs have been expanding, and have recently been reorganized into the International Mobility Program (IMP). Streams within the IMP are quite diverse and there are few legal limits on their growth. One of these, intra-company transfers (ICTs), is not new, but it now extends beyond professional and managerial workers to more permeable and expansive categories. As a result, unions increasingly face the prospect of organizing workplaces where ICTs and other migrant workers are employed alongside permanent employees, raising difficult legal issues and strategic dilemmas. This article presents a detailed case study of one union’s response to this situation.
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Background Canada depends on Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs), also known as migrant workers, to fill labour shortage in agriculture, hospitality, construction, child/senior care, and other low-skilled occupations. Evidence shows that TFWs, especially women live-in caregivers (LC), constitute a vulnerable population. Their health is compromised by the precarious and harsh working and living conditions they encounter. There is a paucity of research on the mental health of LCs, their support systems and access to mental health services. Method In this community-based exploratory study, we used mixed methods of survey and focus groups to explore the work related experiences and mental health of migrant live-in caregivers in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada. Convenience and snowball sampling were used to recruit participants. The inclusion criteria were: being 18 years or older, initially migrated to Canada as TFWs under LC program, resided in the Greater Toronto Area, and able to understand and converse in English based on self-report. This paper reports on the focus group results derived from inductive thematic analysis. Results A total of 30 women LCs participated in the study. Most of them were from the Philippines. A number of key themes emerged from the participants’ narratives: (1) precarious migration-employment status (re)produces exploitation; (2) deskilling and downward social mobility reinforce alienation; (3) endurance of hardship for family back home; (4) double lives of public cheerfulness and private anguish; and (4) unrecognized mental health needs. The study results reflected gross injustices experienced by these women. Conclusion A multi-faceted approach is required to improve the working and living conditions of this vulnerable group and ultimately their health outcomes. We recommend the following: government inspection to ensure employer compliance with the labour standards and provision of safe working and living conditions; change immigration policy to allow migrant caregivers to apply for permanent residence upon arrival; the TFWs Program to establish fair wages and subsidized housing so that caregivers can truly access the live-out option; and local ethno-specific, settlement and faith organizations be leveraged to provide TFWs with social support as well as information about their rights and how to access health and social care.
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This special issue of Relations industrielles / Industrial Relations presents articles based on original research on fundamental changes to work and work arrangements that undermine workers’ health and safety, exacerbate health inequalities and pose major challenges to those who want to resist a 'race to the bottom' in working conditions and imagine and promote regulatory reforms to better protect workers and their health. The papers in this special issue not only make a contribution to knowledge about work intensification and employment precariousness and their impact on health and safety, but also shed light on further challenges presented by the current globalized work environment: the association of precariousness with international, regional and local employment-related mobility, both in developed and developing countries; the commuting difficulties faced by some workers in precarious employment; the non-standard work schedules resulting from work intensification pressures and the consequential health and work family balance difficulties; and the dilution of responsibility for health and safety and for workers’ compensation in international supply chains. One paper illustrates an old but still pervasive challenge: the production of a 'paradigm of doubt' which uses and even produces scientific uncertainty to obscure the effects of hazards to workers’ health, thus delaying the prevention and compensation of their negative effects on health.
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Polish workers are the largest group of migrant workers in Norway and are particularly well represented in the construction industry. According to several studies, migrant workers are more prone to occupational accidents than the native workers are. This difference is often attributed to poor communication and lack of linguistic skills. We explored factors affecting occupational safety related to migrant workers with an emphasis on communication, culture and language through interviews with Polish and Norwegian workers. The study shows that the construction industry in Norway mainly focuses on language as an issue. Culture is seen as a contributing factor, but is somewhat neglected. Fewer measures to cope with challenges related to migrant workers were found for cultural issues as compared to linguistic. However, the study shows that cultural aspects are at least as important. This gives implications for safety management in the construction industry. This paper suggests considering cultural aspects more in safety management related to migrant workers to achieve the desired safety focus at construction sites.
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For governments concerned with enhancing labour market efficiency, employer-sponsored temporary labour migration schemes have become increasingly popular. However, the equity implications of these arrangements, which constrain the mobility of migrant workers, have largely been ignored. This paper assesses the factors affecting the vulnerability of employer-sponsored migrant workers and addresses the question of whether these schemes comply with ethical principles relating to fair treatment. It draws upon migration ethics, political economy and socio-legal perspectives to evaluate visa schemes in Australia, Canada and Sweden. The paper argues that there is an ethically justifiable case for selectively restricting certain rights of migrant workers within clearly defined parameters. However, policies facilitating worker mobility, restricting sponsorship to higher-skilled occupations, promoting enforcement and worker representation, and providing accessible opportunities for permanent residency and citizenship help to ensure that employer-sponsored temporary labour migration schemes comply with ethical principles relating to the fair treatment of workers.
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Chapter
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Worker representatives were formally recognised as agents in regulating workplace health and safety in most Canadian jurisdictions in the late 1970s. This was one component of the transition to an Internal Responsibility System that included mandated Joint Health and Safety Committees, right to know regulations, and the right to refuse dangerous work. Very little has changed in this regulatory framework in the ensuing three decades. The effectiveness of these regulations in improving health and safety was contentious in the 1970s and continues to be debated. Earlier work by Lewchuk et al. (1996) argued that the labour-management environment of individual workplaces influenced the effectiveness of worker representatives and Joint Health and Safety Committees. In particular, the framework was more effective where labour was organised and where management had accepted a philosophy of co-management of the health and safety function. The Canadian economy has experienced significant reorganisation since the 1970s. Canadian companies in general face more intense competition because of trade deals entered into in the 1980s and 1990s. Exports represent a much larger share of GNP. Union density has fallen and changes in legislation make it more difficult to organise workers. Non-standard employment, self-employment and other forms of less permanent employment have all grown in relative importance. This chapter presents new evidence on how these changes are undermining the effectiveness of the Internal Responsibility System in Canada, with a particular focus on workers in precarious employment relationships. Data is drawn from a recent population survey of non-student workers in Ontario conducted by the authors.
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Objectives: Temporary foreign workers contribute to economic prosperity in Canada, but they experience forms of structural inequities and have minimal rights, which can contribute to their ill health. The objective of this scoping review is to examine the extent, range and nature of the Canadian literature on the health of temporary foreign workers and their families in Canada. Methods: The review was guided by Arksey and O'Malley's five stages for conducting a scoping review. We performed a comprehensive search of seven databases, which revealed 994 studies. In total, 10 published research papers, which focused exclusively on the health of temporary foreign workers in Canada, were included in the study; these 10 papers represented the findings from 9 studies. Synthesis: The majority of the studies involved seasonal agricultural workers in the province of Ontario (n = 8). Major health issues of temporary foreign workers included mental health, occupational health, poor housing and sanitation, and barriers to accessing health care, including fear of deportation and language barriers. These health issues are highly shaped by temporary foreign workers' precarious immigration status in Canada. Conclusion: Findings from this study demonstrate the need to reduce barriers to health care and to conduct more research on other groups of temporary foreign workers, outside the agricultural sector.
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Although more and more temporary migrant workers are becoming permanent residents in Canada, their experience with immigration opportunities remains under-studied. This study aims to fill that gap by examining the lived experience of migrant workers — in skilled and low-skilled occupations — who transition to permanent residence. Authors Delphine Nakache and Leanne Dixon-Perera rely on interviews and focus group discussions with 99 participants (including current and former migrant workers who have become permanent residents, nongovernmental organizations, employers and public servants) to address the following research questions: What factors lead migrant workers to seek permanent residence? What challenges do they face in their transition to permanent residence, and how do they overcome them? What are the implications of two-step migration for settlement? A considerable number of the migrant workers interviewed indicated that their decision to seek permanent residence was not made before they arrived in Canada. Their decisions were influenced by recruiters abroad, friends, family, settlement agencies and employers. Federal and provincial governments’ policies have especially important implications for those decisions. For example, the federal policy that allows migrant workers to stay in Canada for no more than four years at a time (the “four-in, four-out” rule) has encouraged workers to pursue permanent residence but has created risks — including seeking work underground — that may outweigh the potential benefits. Once the decision to immigrate is made, however, migrant workers are usually not willing to give up, despite the difficulties they face. During their transition to permanent residence, migrant workers encounter several types of obstacles. Especially difficult are language proficiency requirements and the often-stringent rules of employer-driven streams that are an important part of most Provincial Nominee Programs. Applying for permanent residence entails challenges such as navigating existing immigration programs and intransigent decisions by some immigration officers. In addition, prolonged family separation during the transition to permanent residence has negative impacts, especially for workers in low-skilled occupations who had to leave their families at home to come to Canada. Temporary workers do not have access to federally funded settlement services. Some provincial governments and other players are filling this gap, but research participants agreed that migrant worker legal services and language training need to be urgently addressed. To facilitate linkages between temporary labour migrants’ experience and pathways to permanent residence, the authors recommend removing the “four-in, four-out” rule, extending the right to family accompaniment to migrant workers in low-skilled positions, reassessing language requirements for migrant workers who transition to permanent residence, and providing language training for migrant workers upon arrival. They also put forward two policy ideas for further study and discussion: reconsidering the reliance on employer sponsorship and introducing a federal pathway to permanent residence for workers in low-skilled occupations.
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Horticulture work in many high-income economies is increasingly performed by temporary migrant workers from low-wage economies. In Australia, such work is now performed predominantly by international backpackers - young well-educated workers with mostly sound English language skills. These workers are drawn to harvesting work by a government scheme that provides an incentive for completing a specified number of days work in horticulture. This paper examines the health and safety experience of these workers, through focus groups, interviews and an online survey. Notwithstanding their distinctive backgrounds, the harvesting experience of these temporary migrant workers is similar to that of low-skilled migrants working in other high-income countries. Health and safety risks associated with work organisation and payment systems, and a lack of compliance with occupational safety and health legal requirements, are commonplace, but potentially compounded by a sense of invincibility among these young travellers. Furthermore, a growing pool of undocumented workers is placing downward pressures on their employment conditions. The vulnerability associated with work and earnings uncertainty, and the harsh environment in which harvesting work occurs, remains a constant, notwithstanding the background of these workers.
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Background: Depressive symptoms are potential outcomes of poorly functioning work environments. Such symptoms are frequent and cause considerable suffering for the employees as well as financial loss for the employers. Accordingly good prospective studies of psychosocial working conditions and depressive symptoms are valuable. Scientific reviews of such studies have pointed at methodological difficulties but still established a few job risk factors. Those reviews were published some years ago. There is need for an updated systematic review using the GRADE system. In addition, gender related questions have been insufficiently reviewed. Method: Inclusion criteria for the studies published 1990 to June 2013: 1. European and English speaking countries. 2. Quantified results describing the relationship between exposure (psychosocial or physical/chemical) and outcome (standardized questionnaire assessment of depressive symptoms or interview-based clinical depression). 3. Prospective or comparable case-control design with at least 100 participants. 4. Assessments of exposure (working conditions) and outcome at baseline and outcome (depressive symptoms) once again after follow-up 1-5 years later. 5. Adjustment for age and adjustment or stratification for gender. Studies filling inclusion criteria were subjected to assessment of 1.) relevance and 2.) quality using predefined criteria. Systematic review of the evidence was made using the GRADE system. When applicable, meta-analysis of the magnitude of associations was made. Consistency of findings was examined for a number of possible confounders and publication bias was discussed. Results: Fifty-nine articles of high or medium high scientific quality were included. Moderately strong evidence (grade three out of four) was found for job strain (high psychological demands and low decision latitude), low decision latitude and bullying having significant impact on development of depressive symptoms. Limited evidence (grade two) was shown for psychological demands, effort reward imbalance, low support, unfavorable social climate, lack of work justice, conflicts, limited skill discretion, job insecurity and long working hours. There was no differential gender effect of adverse job conditions on depressive symptoms Conclusion: There is substantial empirical evidence that employees, both men and women, who report lack of decision latitude, job strain and bullying, will experience increasing depressive symptoms over time. These conditions are amenable to organizational interventions.
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The meat processing sector is a significant contributor to the food economy, particularly in the Canadian province of Ontario. The sector contributed over $8 billion to the food manufacturing sector, and it employed over 647,000 people in 2011. In Ontario, there has been a great decline in the number of provincially licensed plants in the past 7 years. There were 183 provincially licensed slaughter plants in 2005; this number decreased to 142 by 2012. This study seeks to understand what challenges abattoirs and processors are currently facing and why abattoirs have closed in the past. The research shows that the major challenges facing abattoirs and processors are: regulatory challenges and administrative-related responsibilities, high overhead costs and a limited skilled labour force. These challenges have been mitigated by consumer preferences toward local food. Limitations of the study are presented and foundations for further research are suggested.
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Over 20,000 temporary foreign agricultural workers come to Ontario each year, primarily from Mexico and the Caribbean. Agricultural workers are exposed to a number of occupational health and safety (OHS) risks. This article discusses the various OHS protections available to workers and their limitations, and analyzes the specific challenges that temporary foreign workers face in accessing rights, such as language and cultural barriers, information gaps, and precarious employment and immigration status. It also analyzes the limitations with respect to OHS training and the provision and use of personal protective equipment, arguing that these protections are under-regulated and inconsistent. The article concludes with recommendations to improve shortcomings, including standardized and specific OHS training, random OHS inspections, and full inclusion of agricultural workers in provincial legislations. Findings are based primarily on interviews with 100 migrant farmworkers who reported injuries or illness, as well as with key stakeholders such as employers and government officials.
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Background: The province of Ontario hosts nearly a half of Canada's temporary foreign migrant farm workers (MFWs). Despite the essential role played by MFWs in the economic prosperity of the region, a growing body of research suggests that the workers' occupational safety and health are substandard, and often neglected by employers. This study thus explores farm owners' perceptions about MFWs occupational safety and general health, and their attitudes towards health promotion for their employees. Methods: Using modified grounded theory approach, we collected data through in-depth individual interviews with farm owners employing MFWs in southern Ontario, Canada. Data were analyzed following three steps (open, axial, and selective coding) to identify thematic patterns and relationships. Nine employers or their representatives were interviewed. Results: Four major overarching categories were identified: employers' dependence on MFWs; their fragmented view of occupational safety and health; their blurring of the boundaries between the work and personal lives of the MFWs on their farms; and their reluctance to implement health promotion programs. The interaction of these categories suggests the complex social processes through which employers come to hold these paradoxical attitudes towards workers' safety and health. There is a fundamental contradiction between what employers considered public versus personal. Despite employers' preference to separate MFWs' workplace safety from personal health issues, due to the fact that workers live within their employers' property, workers' private life becomes public making their personal health a business-related concern. Farmers' conflicting views, combined with a lack of support from governing bodies, hold back timely implementation of health promotion activities in the workplace. Conclusions: In order to address the needs of MFWs in a more integrated manner, an ecological view of health, which includes the social and psychological determinants of health, by employers is necessary. Employers and other stakeholders should work collaboratively to find a common ground, harnessing expertise and resources to develop more community-based approaches. Further research and continuous dialogue are needed.
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This article draws on an exploratory study of the experiences of precarious status migrants in their attempts to access healthcare. We surveyed 211 men and women migrants and did 31 semi-structured follow-up interviews. For the purposes of this article, we report on the 78 respondents who were either recruited to Canada specifically as workers (temporary foreign workers) or who had no access to income support and were therefore likely to be working (undocumented workers). We begin the article with an overview of the literature linking migration status to difficult healthcare access and higher risk of OHS problems. After presenting our methods, we turn to the results, outlining how migrant workers are using a combination of social networks, Quebec professionals and transnational healthcare connections to address their health concerns. Our findings offer insight to OHS professionals seeking to understand the differential outcomes for immigrants faced with workplace accidents or illnesses. Can difficult access to healthcare become a barrier to full recourse in cases of workplace injury or illness among migrant workers ?
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This article explores how precarious legal status circumscribes differential inclusion in the agricultural labor market and affects workers' lives through a comparative study of workplace health and safety among temporary migrant guest workers and immigrants in Canada. Original, multimethod research with South Asian immigrant and Mexican migrant farmworkers examines employment practices, working conditions, and health-care access. We find that both groups engage in precarious work, with consequences for their health and safety, including immigrant workers with citizenship. Nevertheless, migrant guest workers are subject to more coercive forms of labor discipline and a narrower range of social protection than immigrants. We argue that while formal citizenship can mitigate some dimensions of precariousness for farmworkers racialized as non-white, achieving a more just, safer food system will require broader policies to improve employer compliance and address legislative shortcomings that only weakly protect agricultural labor.
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Qualitative research is recognized as an important method for including patients' voices and experiences in health services research and policy-making, yet the considerable potential to analyse existing qualitative data to inform health policy and practice has been little realized. This failure may partly be explained by: a lack of awareness amongst health policy makers of the increasing wealth of qualitative data available; and around 15 years of internal debates among qualitative researchers on the strengths, limitations and validity of re-use of qualitative data. Whilst acknowledging the challenges of qualitative secondary data analysis, we argue that there is a growing imperative to be pragmatic and to undertake analysis of existing qualitative data collections where they have the potential to contribute to health policy formulation. Time pressures are inherent in the policy-making process and in many circumstances it is not possible to seek funding, conduct and analyse new qualitative studies of patients' experiences in time to inform a specific policy. The danger then is that the patient voice, and the experiences of relatives and carers, is either excluded or included in a way that is easily dismissed as 'unrepresentative'. We argue that secondary analysis of qualitative data collections may sometimes be an effective means to enable patient experiences to inform policy decision-making.
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Research examining the relationship between social support and psychological well-being has largely ignored the negative side of social interactions. However, empirical evidence suggests that negative interactions can potentially be more harmful than social support is helpful. This article critically reviews the literature investigating the relationship between social support and negative social interactions and their simultaneous effect on psychological well-being. A review of 28 studies revealed that there are conceptual, theoretical, and methodological limitations associated with this body of research. In order to unravel some of these limitations, studies are grouped according to three conceptual models: the additive effects model, the moderator model, and the domain-specific model. Finally, the article discusses directions social work practice research should take to tackle and fully appreciate the complexities of the relationship between social support and psychological well-being.
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To evaluate the process of a job-specific workers' health surveillance (WHS) in improving occupational health care for construction workers. From January to July 2012 were 899 bricklayers and supervisors invited for the job-specific WHS at three locations of one occupational health service throughout the Netherlands. The intervention aimed at detecting signs of work-related health problems, reduced work capacity and/or reduced work functioning. Measurements were obtained using a recruitment record and questionnaires at baseline and follow-up. The process evaluation included the following: reach (attendance rate), intervention dose delivered (provision of written recommendations and follow-up appointments), intervention dose received (intention to follow-up on advice directly after WHS and remembrance of advice three months later), and fidelity (protocol adherence). The workers scored their increase in knowledge from 0-10 with regard to health status and work ability, their satisfaction with the intervention and the perceived (future) effect of such an intervention. Program implementation was defined as the mean score of reach, fidelity, and intervention dose delivered and received. Reach was 9% (77 workers participated), fidelity was 67%, the intervention dose delivered was 92 and 63%, and the intervention dose received was 68 and 49%. The total programme implementation was 58%. The increases in knowledge regarding the health status and work ability of the workers after the WHS were graded as 7.0 and 5.9, respectively. The satisfaction of the workers with the entire intervention was graded as 7.5. The perceived (future) effects on health status were graded as 6.3, and the effects on work ability were graded with a 5.2. The economic recession affected the workers as well as the occupational health service that enacted the implementation. Programme implementation was acceptable. Low reach, limited protocol adherence and modest engagement of the workers with respect to the intervention were the most prominent aspects that influenced the intervention process. The increase in the workers' knowledge about their health status and work ability was substantial, and the workers' satisfaction with the intervention was good. The perceived effect of the advised preventive actions on health status was sufficient. Netherlands Trial Register: http://NTR3012.
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In many high-income countries, such as Canada and the UK, there has recently been a significant increase in the number of migrant workers. This paper examines the occupational safety and health implications of this phenomenon. We identify a framework for assessing the occupational safety and health vulnerabilities of migrant workers, using a layered approach, which assists in identifying the risk factors. Using this layer of vulnerability framework, we compare the situation of at-risk migrant workers in these two countries.
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This paper seeks to demonstrate the nature and value of a 'standpoint' perspective in occupational safety and health research. Argued through the case of workers in small enterprises, the paper discusses the notion of 'standpoint'; describes and accounts for the primacy of the managerial standpoint and the invisibility of workers in occupational safety and health research and practice; and draws on several of the author's research projects on small workplace health and safety to illustrate the kind of knowledge that can emerge from taking the workers' standpoint (including studies of the impact of injury and ill health on social relations in the workplace, of the experience of return to work, of small employers' perspectives and practices, and of frontline service work in a government agency that administers a workers' compensation scheme). The paper considers why a standpoint perspective matters in understanding occupational safety and health problems, and argues that the analytic integration of multiple standpoints is necessary to our understanding of the occupational safety and health system as a whole and the possibilities for change.
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This paper analyzes the institutionalized production of precarious migration status in Canada. Building on recent work on the legal production of illegality and non-dichotomous approaches to migratory status, we review Canadian immigration and refugee policy, and analyze pathways to loss of migratory status and the implications of less than full status for access to social services. In Canada, policies provide various avenues of authorized entry, but some entrants lose work and/or residence authorization and end up with variable forms of less-than-full immigration status. We argue that binary conceptions of migration status (legal/illegal) do not reflect this context, and advocate the use of ‘precarious status’ to capture variable forms of irregular status and illegality, including documented illegality. We find that elements of Canadian policy routinely generate pathways to multiple forms of precarious status, which is accompanied by precarious access to public services. Our analysis of the production of precarious status in Canada is consistent with approaches that frame citizenship and illegality as historically produced and changeable. Considering variable pathways to and forms of precarious status supports theorizing citizenship and illegality as having blurred rather than bright boundaries. Identifying differences between Canada and the US challenges binary and tripartite models of illegality, and supports conducting contextually specific and comparative work.
The posting of migrant workers has become an important employment channel for cross-border employment within the European Union (EU). Although posted workers are not formally excluded from labour rights, regulations are enacted in such a way that de facto they often are, as posted workers face many irregularities in their employment relations, while receiving hardly any protection from established representation and law enforcement authorities. Drawing on qualitative interview research in the Dutch construction and meat processing sector, this article shows how posted employment creates socio-economic precariousness for the workers involved. Although migrants in the meat sector have more opportunities to fight the exclusionary effects of posted employment because they usually reside for longer periods in the Netherlands than the more mobile migrants in construction, both groups of workers experience similar social and economic vulnerabilities, and a lack of protection mechanisms to change their precarious position.
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In January 2013, SSEC Canada Ltd. pled guilty to three charges under Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act after two of its temporary foreign workers died and two more were seriously injured on the worksite. A fine of $1,225,000—the largest ever ordered in Alberta—was paid to the Alberta Law Foundation, which administered the funds to the Alberta Workers’ Health Centre to develop and provide the “New Alberta Workers program.” In this interview, Jared Matsunaga-Turnbull reflects on the program’s peer-to-peer Occupational Health and Safety workshops for new-to-Alberta workers to illustrate how “creative sentencing” related to serious Occupational Health and Safety violation convictions can play out. He discusses what the team learned about the particular work and life context and related needs of new-to-Alberta workers that created challenges and prompted program changes throughout the three-year workshop period. Finally, Jared considers what is needed to meaningfully support new-to-Alberta workers going forward.
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This study examines the occupational health and safety experiences of migrant workers employed as live-in caregivers in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Interviews with and surveys of caregivers identify four categories of common occupational hazards, including fatigue, psychosocial stress, physical hazards, and exposure to harassment and abuse. These hazards are systemically perpetuated, made invisible, and rendered irremediable by intertwined (im)mobilities. At the macrolevel, they include highly circumscribed and precarious conditions of transnational care migration such as indenturing to private and underregulated recruiters, federal policies that tie status to employers and employment, and changeable, rule-bound pathways to permanent residency. At the mesolevel, we find a volatile mix of mobilities and immobilities associated with employment in the oil economy of Fort McMurray, such as high population mobility and turnover, long work and commuting hours, and remoteness. And, at the microlevel, we find the everyday immobilities and highly circumscribed conditions and complexities of working and living with employers in private homes.
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The global weakness of collective bargaining and state regulation has spawned growing interest in employment protection though private governance. However, scepticism about the efficacy of unsupervised codes of conduct has triggered debate about external discipline through state regulation. This article seeks to contribute to debates about the processes that shape the nexus between private governance and state regulation. It is based on an empirical study of Australian harvest workers who formally benefit from state regulation of pay and occupational health and safety (OHS). However, industry changes have undercut standards. Product market pressures from supermarkets squeeze growers’ capacity to pay. Also, the labour market is increasingly supplied by vulnerable Asian temporary migrants (including undocumented workers), often supplied to growers by unscrupulous temporary work agencies. While pay and OHS practices vary, many harvest workers are exploited. Nor is private governance (which extends to horticulture through the codes of conduct of supermarkets and peak temporary work agency bodies) effective. All codes draw their standards from minimum legal employment conditions, and all possess loopholes allowing breaches to escape attention and rectification. In 2015, media and political attention fell on the working conditions of temporary migrants in horticulture. Government inquiries found evidence of exploitation, but were divided over solutions. Progressive politicians (influenced by unions) favoured stronger state enforcement powers and temporary work agency licensing. Conservative politicians (influenced by business lobbies) claimed these steps would fail, and favoured the status quo. Political reform therefore stalled. This study illustrates the importance of political processes in shaping the nexus between state regulation and private governance. In this case, a political stalemate leaves both regulation and governance deficient. Lacking protection from either source, harvest workers remain exposed to exploitative employment conditions.
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We combined Bakker and Demerouti's spillover–crossover model with Taylor's biobehavioral perspective, tested the comprehensive model, and pursued a set of gender-related research questions. Negative work interactions were expected to entail two strain responses, high- and low-arousal negative affect. Both should be related to cortisol secretion but transmitted via different social pathways, a positive and a negative one. During a 7-day ambulatory assessment with 56 couples, we assessed daily variations in the severity of negative social interactions at work and at home along with participants' affect and cortisol levels. Using multilevel structural equation modeling, we found evidence for the three hypothesized processes: strain at work as a consequence of social stress, spillover of strain into the home, and crossover to the partner. On socially more stressful days, participants showed increased high- and low-arousal negative affect at work. Low-arousal negative affect spilled over into the home. Only for men, high-arousal negative affect spilled over, and only women showed a tendency for slowed decline of cortisol levels on more socially stressful days (i.e., slower recovery). Surprisingly, high-arousal negative affect at work tended to be negatively related to partners' high-arousal negative affect. Commonalities predominated differences between men and women. Copyright
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We develop a framework for understanding noncitizenship that combines attention to systemic processes with interest in contingency and indeterminacy in the production and substantive practices associated with noncitizen legal status categories and trajectories. We argue that noncitizenship is a dynamic, multi-scalar assemblage that brings together disparate elements in patterned and changing ways. Individuals and institutions generate the formal and substantive systems that confer or deny noncitizens the formal and substantive right to be present in a country and/or to access entitlements. Noncitizens exercise agency in choosing to make claims (or choosing to not make claims) to substantive rights, and the individuals and institutions with which they interact may facilitate or hinder such claims-making. In this process, social actors are enacting conditionality; they are working to meet the conditions required to maintain presence and access. Discretion, migrant agency, unequal social interactions, and social learning unfold over time and can generate a range of experiences of noncitizenship and legal status trajectories. These do not necessarily conform to expected pathways and timelines, and may combine access to various resources and public goods in variable and contingent ways. We illustrate the framework with data from research conducted in Toronto.
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While there is much anthropological literature concerning transnational mobility and identity of migrants and refugees, tourists and even entrepreneurs, less explored is the great complexity of the many different factions within mobile worker communities of resort destinations. If it is unexpected that these tourism workers are understudied, it is even more surprising given that they are key agents in (re)producing the identity and character of the place, which they then "sell" to tourists. At the same time, the identity of tourism workers is profoundly shaped by their experiences. This article examines approaches for studying the experiences of travel, work and life in Banff National Park.
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This interdisciplinary volume offers a multifaceted picture of precarious employment and the ways in which its principal features are reinforced or challenged by laws, policies, and labour market institutions, including trade unions and community organizations. Contributors develop more fully the concept of precarious employment and critique outmoded notions of standard and nonstandard employment. The product of a five-year Community-University Research Alliance, the volume aims to foster new social, statistical, legal, political, and economic understandings of precarious employment and to advance strategies for improving the quality and conditions of work and health.
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Working Holiday programs have been identified as an increasingly significant source of temporary migrant labor for several wealthy states. This case study adds to limited work on this phenomenon in the Canadian context by offering a partial chronology of Irish Working Holiday migration to Canada and a critical analysis of Canadian government discourse that positioned Irish migrants as not only “culturally compatible” but also part of white settler Canadianness thus making them desirable workers and potential future immigrants. The Canadian case study raises questions about how Working Holiday and related youth mobility programs may be linked to classed and racialized migration and dominant ideologies of nationalized belonging
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Does dangerous work encourage young workers to speak up about their safety concerns? We conducted two experimental studies to test this question, with Hirschman's (1970) theory of behavioral responses to decline as a theoretical rationale. Study 1 (n= 159) manipulated two indicators of dangerous work - hazardous working conditions and experiencing injuries - to predict safety voice intentions, or willingness to speak up about safety concerns. Women had overall higher safety voice intentions than men, and in particular greater intentions to speak up about safety concerns under safe working conditions. Study 2 (n= 78) extended this model, showing that the relationship between experiencing an injury and safety voice intentions was moderated by psychological safety (i.e., belief that speaking up about safety concerns would be received without hostility), such that being injury-free in a psychologically unsafe environment yielded the lowest safety voice intentions. The results suggest that the extent to which young workers speak up about safety concerns may differ by gender and psychological safety when work is not particularly hazardous. We discuss implications for voice theory and safety in organizations.
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Skip Main Navigation Click here! The Lancet . RSS Feeds Subscribe | Register | Login Close. Username: Password: Forgotten Username or Password? Remember me on this computer until I logout. ... outline goes here. The Lancet , Volume 377, Issue 9765, Pages 537 - 539, 12 ...
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Background: Manual meat cutters in India are at high risk of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) for a variety of reasons including holding awkward postures, repetitive forceful exertions, and inadequate rest. This is the first study of its kind to investigate the nature and magnitude of WMSDs among manual meat cutters in India. Objective: The aim of this study was to measure the ergonomic risk factors for WMSDs among adult male manual meat cutters working in Jabalpur, India. Methods: We used direct observation, activity analysis, questionnaires, interviews, photography, and video to measure the quantitative ergonomic risk factors. Results: Ovako working posture analysis indicated high scores (four for the back in peeling, six for the arms in cutting, and six for the arms during mincing tasks). Rapid entire body assessment method (REBA) scores were also high at 10/10 for deboning and mincing tasks, all associated with repetitive movements of the arms and awkward posture of the upper part of the body. Conclusions: The study indicates that most tasks for meat cutters fall in the high-risk category for occupational injury. Results suggest that ergonomic interventions that address retooling and workstation and process redesign would be useful in reducing the number of injuries.
Article
Deportability, or a threat of deportation, can be viewed as a technique of discipline employed to make migrant workers efficient and compliant. Under the threat of deportation, migrants accept dangerous, dirty, degrading and difficult jobs for low pay. Deportability also prevents them from challenging their working and living conditions either individually or collectively. Most of the literature on deportability applies to unauthorised migrants. Yet, as illustrated in this article, migrants employed legally on temporary contracts are also disciplined through a threat of deportation. While for unauthorised migrants, it is the receiving state that is the most important actor (re)creating the regime of deportability, for legally employed migrants, other actors––such as employers, the sending states, recruiters and international organisations––assume a more important role in employing the threat of deportation as a disciplinary technique. In this article, we explore how power is reproduced in this disciplinary regime of deportability. We examine migrants' responses to the techniques of discipline that subjugate them. We argue that when migrants adopt calculative and reflexive practices to avoid deportation and secure their own employment, they often end up reproducing the disciplinary power of the deportation regime.
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The hospitality sector in New Zealand is characterised by high turnover, long hours and a diverse workforce. Rather than being perceived as problematic, these aspects are usually regarded as cultural norms in the industry. In addition to these conditions, common occupational safety and health issues for employees in the industry include intense emotional labour, physical and verbal abuse from customers, and physical injury. These concerns are not always addressed in the workplace, despite employee participation in occupational safety and health being legislated for in New Zealand. This paper presents findings from in-depth interviews with employee representatives on occupational safety and health committees in the hospitality industry. The paper considers why those committees may, or may not, be effective for what is an increasingly diverse workforce. The findings suggest that existing occupational safety and health committees do not adequately address the needs and representation of diverse employees in the industry.
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This paper examines the impact of payment systems on workers' exposure to body-stressing injuries. Data are drawn from interviews with managers and focus groups of room attendants in Australian luxury hotels. We find that the most important factor predicting work-related bodily injury is the payment system. Payment on the basis of the number of rooms cleaned (piece rates) was found to result in task 'speed-up'. The capacity to earn a living wage was therefore reliant on work intensification, leading to the use of unsafe working methods and injury. By contrast, attendants paid an hourly wage worked at a slower pace, earned a living wage and sustained fewer, if any, injuries. Mediating factors include the shift towards the contracting-out of housekeeping services to labour hire agencies, which typically pay on a per room basis, and their preference for employing migrant workers on temporary work visas. The paper concludes by considering regulatory strategies that might be used to reduce the incidence of work-related injuries among room attendants and workers subject to similar modes of employment in other sectors.
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This paper provides an extensive review of studies carried out in lean production environments in the last 20 years. It aims to identify the effects of lean production (negative or positive) on occupational health and related risk factors. Thirty-six studies of lean effects were accepted from the literature search and sorted by sector and type of outcome. Lean production was found to have a negative effect on health and risk factors; the most negative outcomes being found in the earliest studies in the automotive industry. However, examples of mixed and positive effects were also found in the literature. The strongest correlations of lean production with stress were found for characteristics found in Just-In-Time production that related to reduced cycle time and reduction of resources. Increased musculoskeletal risk symptoms were related to increases of work pace and lack of recovery time also found in Just-In-Time systems. An interaction model is developed to propose a pathway from lean production characteristics to musculoskeletal and psychosocial risk factors and also positive outcomes. An examination is also made of the changing focus of studies investigating the consequences of lean production over a 20-year period. Theories about the effects of lean production have evolved from a conceptualization that it is an inherently harmful management system, to a view that it can have mixed effects depending on the management style of the organization and the specific way it is implemented.
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A growing body of international research points to an association between precarious employment or contingent work arrangements and a higher incidence of injury, disease and psychological distress as well as inferior knowledge/compliance with occupational health and safety (OHS) standards. Despite this, published research on the OHS problems of young workers in hospitality and other service industries largely ignores the fact that many are engaged on a temporary basis. To address this gap we surveyed 304 young temporary workers employed in Australian outlets of a well-known multinational fast food chain. Indices assessed included work-related injuries, exposure to occupational violence, and knowledge of OHS practices and legislative rights. In trying to explain the adverse OHS outcomes associated with contingent work, researchers have repeatedly identified three sets of factors; economic and reward pressures, work disorganisation and regulatory failure. Like most other multinational fast food companies, this firm adopted a Fordist production system. Given suggestions that Fordist systems adversely affect worker health and wellbeing, it seemed plausible that the combination of Fordism with reliance on a young casualised workforce would result in markedly inferior OHS outcomes. Contrary to this expectation, workers surveyed had an incidence of injury around the norm for full-time permanent workers, and an excellent knowledge of risk control measures and OHS legislation. On the other hand, they had limited knowledge of their workers’ compensation entitlements and faced an elevated risk of low-level occupational violence.
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This article focuses on the legal regime that regulates the entry and exit of low-skilled temporary foreign and these workers’ rights and terms and conditions of employment while in Canada. We have chosen to study this program because little has been written on it and it is an example of the international trend towards a proliferation of temporary migration programs for low-skilled workers. Our primary concern is the employment-related rights of the temporary foreign workers, although we are also interested in beginning to explore the impact of this program in relation to the Canadian labour market. In order to understand the distinctive features and effects of the low-skilled temporary foreign workers program, we situate the low-skill Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) in the context of the emergence and development of Canada’s general TFWP. We begin by tracing the changes in the TFWP from its birth in the 1970s, and the gradual shift from immigration for permanent settlement to a reliance on temporary workers to address labour market shortages. We show how changes introduced in the 1990s resulted in the polarization and proliferation of targeted temporary migrant worker programs with different restrictions and entitlements for different groups of workers. We present data to demonstrate the rise in the numbers of temporary foreign workers entering Canada associated with these Program changes. The data also foreshadows the changes to the low-skill TFWP, which we concentrate on in the second part of the article. In our discussion of the low-skill TFWP, first we analyze the changes that have made the program more “employer-friendly” and then we examine the mechanisms designed to protect temporary foreign workers. In the conclusion, we offer a preliminary (and tentative) assessment of the impact of the program on the Canadian labour market and evaluate whether or not the employment rights of the workers who are admitted under it are protected. We also indicate how the economic crisis has influenced the legitimacy of the low-skilled TFWP.