The Fraser Institute’s (Not So) Rigorous Data Collection Methods

I’ve written a couple of posts about the questionable research and data collection methodologies of the notoriously right-wing Fraser Institute. But today I have to take my hat off to the researchers over at Press Progress, who discovered that the Institute was (more…)

More About the Coalition of BC Businesses and the BC Teachers’ Federation Court Case

This week, the Coalition of BC Businesses was formally granted intervenor status in the BC government’s appeal of the Supreme Court ruling in the government’s bargaining disputes with the BC Teachers’ Federation. (A copy of the Coalition’s “factum” explaining its legal arguments is here, and the Court of Appeal’s written decision to grant intervenor status to the Coalition is here.)

Most of the Coalition’s members are associations whose members are groups in specific industries or with shared interests. The Coalition’s list of member organizations disappeared from its webpage a few days after its press release announcing the application for intervenor status. However, you can find a list of the Coalition’s members here.  As I noted in my previous analysis of the Coalition’s press release, since the announcement one of the Coalition’s member organizations has expressed its disagreement with the application.

After the release of the decision to approve the Coalition as an intervenor, I was contacted (more…)

Seeing Kate Bush

On the morning of March 21, I looked at my email and saw a message from katebush.com with the title “Pre-Sale Code”. That’s weird, I thought, an obsessed fangirl like myself would know if Kate Bush had a new record coming out, and I haven’t heard anything. What could possibly be going on sale? So I opened the message – and I screamed.

Kate Bush was going to play live.

To understand why this was such momentous news, you need to know that (more…)

All About Work’s Summer Vacation

While it’s still summertime, I’m taking a break from the blog to enjoy the sunshine, hang around in my yard, and kick back for a while.

Butterfly on a butterfly bush: a swallowtail visits a buddleia in the backyard. (credit: own photo)

Butterfly on a butterfly bush: a swallowtail visits a buddleia in the backyard. (credit: own photo)

All About Work will be active again around the second week of September, which means that I won’t be making my usual post about Labour Day. Based on what’s happened in past years, I’m sure that Labour Day will generate more than enough news to reflect on when I return. But in the meantime,  I hope All About Work‘s readers will remember that work and organizations are newsworthy and important not just on Labour Day, but all year long. See you in September!

The Return of Jonah Lehrer

When we last heard about writer Jonah Lehrer – whose career self-destructed after his writing was found to have numerous instances of plagiarism and factual inaccuracies – he had been paid $20,000 to give a much-criticized speech about journalistic ethics. A few months after that, he was reported to be circulating a book proposal – which also allegedly included plagiarized content. Then….nothing.

And now, very quietly, he’s back.

At the end of March, (more…)

The Canadian LabourWatch Association and Its Latest Anti-Union Poll

Last year, the Canadian LabourWatch Association got more publicity than it expected for its 2011 “State of the Unions” poll, after the Canadian Labour Congress filed a complaint with the Market Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) about the poll’s methodology. The MRIA ruled that the company conducting the poll did not violate professional standards, but also found that two of the poll questions were handled in ways that led to the release of “potentially biased” information. The finding of “potential bias” was particularly significant, since information from the poll was being used in Canada’s Parliament to support Bill C-377 – a proposed law that would put exceptional financial reporting requirements on Canadian unions.

Given the attention that the 2011 “State of the Unions” poll received, I was really surprised to randomly discover that in October of last year, LabourWatch released the results of a 2013 “State of the Unions” poll. Most of the media (with the predictable exception of the Toronto Sun and the Sun News Network) ignored the 2013 poll, and that’s probably a good thing – because (more…)

Is the BC Government Bargaining in Bad Faith?

This week, the British Columbia government announced that if the current strike by the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) extends into the start of the new school year, parents of public school students under the age of 13 will receive $40 per day for as long as the strike lasts. The reaction to this announcement was less than positive. Many parents stated they would sooner see the money go into funding public education or settling a collective agreement with the BCTF, and a University of Victoria economist pointed out how poorly organized the plan seemed to be. But another question that was raised in the discussions of the plan was: in announcing that plan, was the BC government bargaining in bad faith?

It isn’t easy to answer that question with a definitive “yes” or “no”.  And here’s why. (more…)

Richard Dawkins Doesn’t Speak For Me

Fiona McQuarrie (@all_about_work):

A very insightful post about the media’s reliance on a few individuals to comment on science and scientific research, and why this is a problem.

Originally posted on The Contemplative Mammoth:

Richard Dawkins is at it again. This isn’t the firsttime he’s made inappropriate or offensive comments, and this infographic nicely illustrates the perpetual cycle of eye-rolling and submission as the people who call him out get fed up and ultimately disengage. What frustrates me so much about Dawkins is that he has this incredible platform– numerous popular books, frequent speaking engagements, nearly a million Twitter followers– and yet, to me, he’s doing more harm than good when it comes to outreach about science. Racist and sexist comments are not only offensive, they contribute to the lack of diversity in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

Dawkins’ comments also bother me for another reason, which is what I’m going to focus on in this post: Richard Dawkins is one of the handful of living scientists that Americans can name. This means that he’s something of a spokesperson for science, and for scientists. Whether I like it or not, he…

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BC Labour Relations Board: IKEA Is Bargaining In Bad Faith

I’ve written several previous posts about the labour dispute at the IKEA store in Richmond, British Columbia, which has seen unionized workers locked out for more than a year.

In May, the union representing the workers, Teamsters Local 213, filed a complaint with the British Columbia Labour Relations Board (LRB) about IKEA’s actions. The union alleged that IKEA was trying to undercut the union’s role as the workers’ representative in bargaining, by offering financial inducements to workers to cross picket lines and return to their jobs.

On Friday, July 25, the LRB ruled that (more…)