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Charlotte Yates
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Charlotte Yates

Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences

Professor, School of Labour Studies & Department of Political Science

Kenneth Taylor Hall Room 715
Office Hours

Hamilton , ON L8S 4M4
Work: (905) 525-9140 ext. 22884


Areas of Research Interest
Current Research Projects
Academic Service
Community Involvement
Selected Pubications

Areas of Research Interest

Automotive Policy Research Centre (APRC):

  • Union Renewal in the Anglo-American democracies
  • Union Organizing in Canada and the impact of membership recruitment on union strategy and diversity
  • Political Interest Intermediation: political economy of political parties and interest groups; organized labour and the state.
  • Globalization and Social Cohesion amongst workers: How global economic forces and changes filter through to impact on workers and their communities.

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Current Research Projects

Labour Market Institutions, Strategies and Segmentation and Auto Industry Restructuring
This project will develop labour market segmentation theory by looking at how labour market segmentation is likely to be affected by new technological developments in the automotive industry, in particular modularization, and whether resulting changes will disproportionately benefit certain groups in the labour market over others. This project will also develop an argument about labour market fragmentation. I am proposing to explore whether local labour markets have become increasingly divergent from one another in terms of wages, taxes, labour supply and so on and the implications of this for corporate investment decisions and patterns of economic growth.

Organizing Unions and the Representation of New Groups of Workers
This research project seeks to explore the strategies used and the factors contributing to success and failure of unions in their attempts to arrest recent membership declines through organizing the unorganized, in particular by seeking to represent groups of workers hitherto marginal to the labour movement, namely women, youth, people of colour and those employed in the private service sector.

Workers and Social Cohesion in the Auto Parts Sector
This project is being done in collaboration with Belinda Leach, an anthropologist at the University of Guelph. It seeks to explore:

  • whether workers in the auto parts sector experience social integration or isolation
  • the factors that contribute to these conditions
  • how the resulting sense of connectedness or isolation influence workers sense of and willingness to act in support of their self-defined community.

One of the underlying questions posed by our research is whether unions play any role in shaping the extent to which workers have a sense of belonging and solidarity in their community.

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School of Labour Studies

  • Labour Law & Policy
  • Trade Unions
  • Canadian Labour History
  • Theories of the Labour Movement

Political Science Department

  • Canadian Politics
  • Politics in Canada
  • Topics in Canadian Politics
  • Comparative Public Policy
  • Social, Cultural and Economic Foundations of Canadian Politics

Graduate Courses Taught

  • Employment Policy and Labour Market Issues (Work & Society Graduate Programme)
  • Comparative Public Policy (Political Science Graduate Programme)
  • The Social, Cultural and Economic Foundations of Canadian Politics (Political Science Graduate Programme)

Certificate Courses

  • History of the Canadian Autoworkers

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Academic Service

  • Member of SSHRC Adjudication Panel, 2001-2002.
  • Editorial Board Member, Studies in Political Economy, 1998-present.
  • Editorial Board Member, Labour/Le Travail, 1999-present.
  • "International Symposium on the Future of Trade Unions: Prospects for Union Renewal" (with Gregor Murray, Département des relations industrielles, Université Laval; Pradeep Kumar, School of Industrial Relations, Queen's University, Christian Lévesque, Ecole des hautes études commerciales, Montréal), Université Laval, Quebec, May 25 and 26, 2001.
  • "New Labour Politics: Social Democracy and the Third Way", Workshop organized with Studies in Political Economy, McMaster University, Hamilton, February 2, 2001.
  • "Organizing Part-time Firefighters - Challenges for the OPFFA", A Special Report and Policy Paper prepared for the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association Convention (with Sam Vrankulj), May 2000.
  • Public speaker on union organizing to unions and labour federations in Canada, US, UK and Australia including CLC, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario Federations of Labour.
  • Coordinator of Future of Unions Research Network (FUN).

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Community Involvement

  • Expert Source on Canadian Autoworkers, General Motors - Canada, for Financial Post, Wall Street Journal, Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, CBC News World (TV), CHCH - Hamilton, Canadian Labour, Windsor Star, Hamilton Spectator, Southham News, Business Week, The National, TVO, CBC News (Radio).
  • Member of Community group involved in 'fair employment, living wage' campaign. Email for more information.

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Selected Publications
(*denotes peer-reviewed)

  • With Belinda Leach, “Gendering the Concept of Social Cohesion through an understanding of women and work”, in Robert O’Brien, ed., Solidarity First: Canadian Workers and Social Cohesion (UBC, 2008), pp.21-37.
  • And Belinda Leach, “Industrial Work in a Post-industrial Age” in Shalla, Vivian and Wallace Clement (eds.), Work in Tumultuous Times: Critical Perspectives. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007, Chapter 6, pp.163-191.
  • “Missed Opportunities and Forgotten Futures: Why Union Renewal in Canada has Stalled” in Craig Phelan, ed., Trade Union Revitalisation: Trends and Prospects in 30 Nations. Peter Lang Publishers, 2007, pp. 57-74.
  • “With Austina Reed “Regulating International Labour Standards: The Perils of Volunteerism, Moral Suasion and Benchmarking” in Andrew Gamble, et all (eds.), Labour, the State, Social Movements and the Challenge of neo-liberal globalization, (Manchester University Press, 2007), pp..45-61
  • "Women are Key to Union Renewal: Lessons from the Canadian Labour Movement", Chapter 4 in Pradeep Kumar and Chris Schenk, eds., Paths to Union Renewal: Canadian Experiences (Toronto: Broadview and Garamond Press, 2006), pp. 103-112.
  • *"Challenging Misconceptions about Organizing Women into Unions", Gender, Work and Organization, Vol. 13 (6), (November 2006): 565-584.
  • *And Belinda Leach, "Why 'Good' jobs lead to Social Exclusion", Economic and Industrial Democracy, Vol. 27 (3) (2006): 343-371.
  • *"Segmented Labour, United Unions? How unions in Canada cope with increased diversity", TRANSFER: Quarterly Journal of the European Trade Union Institute for Research, Education and Health and Safety (4) (Winter, 2005): 617-628.
  • "Women are Key to Union Renewal: Lessons from the Canadian Labour Movement" Chapter 4 in P. Kumar and C. Schenk, eds. Paths to Union Renewal: Canadian Experiences, (Toronto: Broadview and Garamond Press, 2005), pp. 103-112.
  • "The ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principals and Rights at Work: The Limitations to Global Labour Standards" in M. Irish ed., The AutoPact and Beyond (Kluwer Law International, 2004, pp. 243-56.)
  • Andy Danforth, Wayne Lewchuk, Masaki Saruta, Paul Stewart, and Charlotte Yates "Patterns of Labour Control and the Erosion of Labour Standards: Towards an International Study of the Quality of Working Life" in Elsie Charron and Paul Stewart (eds, Work and Employment Relations in the Automobile Industry (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2004), pp.258-90.
  • * Felice Martinello, (Economics Brock University), and Charlotte Yates "Union and Employer Tactics in Ontario Certification Attempts". Accepted for publication with minor revisions in Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations (UCLA, Calfornia), vol. 13, 2004.
  • * "Sustaining Union Militancy and Mobilization: Critical Reflections on Dan Clawson's The Next Upsurge, Labor History, Vol. 45, No. 3 (August 2004): 397-402.
  • * "Rebuilding the Labour Movement by Organizing the Unorganized: Strategic Considerations", Studies in Political Economy 74 (Autumn, 2004): 171-79.
  • Peter Fairbrother and Charlotte Yates, "Unions in Crisis, Unions in Renewal?", Chapter 1 in Fairbrother and Yates, editors. Union Renewal and Organizing: A Comparative Study of Union Movements in Five Countries (London and New York: Continuum Publishers, 2003, pp. 1-31.)
  • Charlotte Yates, "The Revival of Industrial Unions in Canada: The Extension and Adaptation of Industrial Union Practices to a New Economy", Chapter 11 in Fairbrother and Yates, editors. Union Renewal and Organising: A Comparative Study of Union Movements in Five Countries (London and New York: Continuum Publishers, 2003, pp. 221-243.)
  • "Expanding Labour's Horizons: Union Organizing and Strategic Change in Canada", Just Labour e-journal, Vol. 1 (2002).
  • "In Defence of Unions: A Critique of the 'Third Way' ", Studies in Political Economy, 67 (Spring 2002): 123-131.
  • * "Empowerment as a Trojan Horse: New Systems of Work Organization in the North American Automobile Industry", Economic and Industrial Democracy, Vol. 22, No. 4 (Nov. 2001), pp. 517-541 (with Paul Stewart and Wayne Lewchuk).
  • "From Hegemony to Despotism? An International Study of the Quality of Life at Work in the Automobile Industry", New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 16, No. 2 (May-June, 2001), (with Paul Stewart and Wayne Lewchuk).
  • *"Staying the Decline in Union Membership: Union Organizing in Ontario, 1985-99", Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, Vol. 55, No. 4, 2000, pp. 640-674.
  • "Defining the Fault Lines: New Divisions in the Working Class", Capital and Class, Vol. 66: 121-149, (1998).
  • "Unity and Diversity: Challenges to an Expanding Canadian Autoworkers' Union", Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, 35 (February 1998); 93-118.
  • "Changing Strategic Capacities: Union Amalgamations in Australia & Canada" (with Peter Ewer), M. Sverke (ed.) The Future of Trade Unionism: International Perspectives on Emerging Union Structures (Ashgate, 1997), pp. 131-148.
  • * "Neo-Liberalism and the working Girl: The Dilemmas of Women and the Australian Union Movement." Economic & Industrial Democracy (1996) 17: 627-665.
  • "Mergers and Organizing: CAW Responses to Challenges of the 1990s" M. Steedman, P. Suschnigg and D. Buse eds. "Hard Lessons: The Mine Mill Union in the Canadian Labour Movement", (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1995), pp. 68-80.
  • * From Plant to Politics: Autoworkers in Postwar Canada, 1936-90 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1993).

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