The rise of the once-silent, once-hidden food worker

Given our heightened consciousness about food systems, workers have more political capital than ever

The rise of the once-silent, once-hidden food workerWorkers across the food supply chain are expressing concerns about their livelihood. Last weekend, workers at the online grocery retailer Instacart went on strike for better conditions and higher wages. Instacart is a symbol of the new gig economy in food – you use a phone app to have someone else pick up your groceries…

Gig economy offers new efficiencies for public sector

Unfortunately, government hiring rules and public sector unions make it hard to leverage the gig economy

Gig economy offers new efficiencies for public sectorMy landlord friend had a problem and the solution was so novel he had to tell me about it. He lives in Winnipeg but his house tenant in Regina couldn’t remove snow from the property. Not long ago, finding someone to deal with that might have been difficult or expensive, especially if a long-term arrangement…

Finding work in a pandemic

Offer to do what needs to be done on a contract basis. Since there’s no long-term commitment, it’s easier for the employer to agree

Finding work in a pandemicSummer ends, September approaches. Schools may be opening or closing or something in between – even though the ads for back-to-school sales have been conspicuously fewer than usual. As the days shorten, our thoughts reluctantly turn from beaches, picnics and holidays to getting back to work. Perhaps you, like so many others, are out of…

Unionizing the gig economy would be a disaster for workers

Unionization would mean fewer jobs and fewer hours of work. The workers might be unsatisfied with their current position, but it’s certainly better than unemployment

Unionizing the gig economy would be a disaster for workersThe push for unionization among some food couriers at Foodora Canada and among hundreds of Uber drivers in Canada will ultimately do more harm than good for workers in the gig economy. The drive for unionization will actually result in increased unemployment and underemployment. Unionization defies the law of demand, a central economic concept. Unionizing…

We need a big-picture perspective on house prices and mortgages

Taking on more debt is not a good thing. In fact, it could be devastating for the Canadian economy

We need a big-picture perspective on house prices and mortgagesThe future, when it arrives, isn’t always what we imagined. Technology hasn’t yet brought us vacation trips to the moon or Mars. But it has brought us Twitter, where even world leaders communicate in 140 character blocks. Does this affect our brains? Can we no longer hold more than one simple idea in our heads…

The gig economy poses hurdles but offers big potential

An advantage of working on your own is that there’s no ceiling on how much money you can make

The gig economy poses hurdles but offers big potentialMoving into a new year is a good to time to plan ahead. But it’s become difficult and even frightening to do so in our work lives. Jobs are disappearing. People are being replaced by robots and other forms of automation. And it’s not just mechanical tasks, but also higher-level white-collar work like medical diagnosis…