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"Behind closed doors", exploring a municipal plannimg response to the growth of deregulated employment… Harrington, Madeline Mary 1994

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“BEHIND CLOSED DOORS” EXPLORING A MUNICIPAL PLANNING RESPONSE TO TILE GROWTH OF DEREGULATED EMPLOYMENT  A CASE STUDY OF VANCOUVER’S PLANNING RESPONSE TO INDUSTRIAL HOMESEWING By Madeline Mary Hamngton B.A., University of Toronto, 1981  A THESIS SUBMITTED iN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES School of Community and Regional Planning  We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  Signature(s) removed to protect privacy  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1994 © Madeline Mary Harrington, 1994  In presenting this thesis  in  partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives, It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  Signature(s) removed to protect privacy  (Signature)  Department of  cCi4ObLcE  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date C \ l \L 1  DE-6 (2/88)  &‘cr 6 L- PLAN’  ABSTRACT  The period of economic restructuring of the 1980s has fundamentally altered the institutional, social and economic tenets of the welfare state in Canada and many other industrialized countries.  One major consequence of this transformation is growing social polarization.  This is largely based on the bifurcation of the labour force into a small number of so-called ‘good jobs’ (secure long-term, well paying, unionized jobs) largely in the informational economy and a much larger number of so-called ‘bad jobs’ (part-time, part-year, low paying, jobs without benefits and unionization) largely in the service and traditional industrial sectors. This is contributing to an urban environment, described by Manuel Castells as the ‘dual city’, where cities are exhibiting ever increasing signs of social polarization and a growing tendency to ignore the development interests of lower-tier workers and residents in favour of upper-end information-based workers and residents.  Many of these lower-tier jobs are a form of deregulated employment whereby workers enjoy little or no employment security and work in often deregulated and isolated worksites: in rooms in homes; in garages in disguised workshops; and in barns in hidden dormitories  -  all  hidden behind a form of a workplace ‘closed door’. Institutionally speaking, the invisibility and marginalization of these deregulated workers translates into their virtual disenfranchisement in the political arena. This, in turn, is forming the basis of an institutional ‘closed door’. As federal and provincial government regulations fail to prevent the growth of deregulated work, in what ways is there a need for municipal jurisdictions to respond to the growth of homework and to what extent are there opportunities for doing so?  Vancouver can be seen as a typical case of a city that has a high degree of immigration and related industrial homework and is instructive for preparedness planning for similar jurisdictions. The city has an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 industrial homesewers. These workers are primarily ‘visible minority’ women, who work for three to four dollars an hour 11  without Unemployment Insurance or Canada Pension Plan benefits, in their homes in often unsafe working conditions, with equipment that they have had to purchase themselves.  The principle findings from a number of in-depth attitudinal and information interviews with key municipal officials and politicians within the Vancouver City government indicate that: industrial homework is, for the most part invisible to the municipal authorities; the city’s commitment to employment related issues and planning for these types of lower-tier workers is marginal; an accurate understanding of industrial homework is hindered by respondent assumptions about home-based work and attitudes towards gender and race; there are perceived and real jurisdictional, political and fiscal constraints on the city’s ability to comprehensively address employment issues; and finally, despite these constraints, there is some flexibility in the city structure to adopt measures to assist industrial homeworkers.  In conclusion although the city may use its planning powers of zoning, regulation, research, liaison, advocacy, promotion and community economic development to assist homeworkers, it has taken few actions to address the issue of industrial homework. Despite the need for municipal planning and the opportunity for proactive actions to support industrial homeworkers the city is not responding to the growth of deregulated employment. This is based on shifts in planning priorities in Vancouver that are indicating that the city is tending towards: a post-welfare state city tied to an emerging agenda of fiscal constraint and a leaner role for government; an ‘entrepreneurial city’ independently acting to seek investment capital; a ‘dual city’ with growing social polarization and a propensity to support only the upper sections of its information-based labour force and little commitment to urban community economic development.  111  TABLE OF CONTENTS  ABSTRACT  I’  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS  viii  LIST OF TABLES LIST OF FIGURES  ix  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  x  FOREWARD  I  CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION  3  -  1.1.1 Background  3  1.1.2 Defmitions  6  1.1.3 Problem Statement  8  1.2 Theoretical Framework  11  1.2.1 The Contraction of the Welfare State  11  1.2.2 The Changing Nature of Production  14  1.2.3 The Post-Welfare State City  16  1.2.4 Urban Community Economic Development  17  20  1.3 Purpose of the Thesis 1.3.1 Improving the Conditions of Industrial Homework  1.4 Relevance of the Thesis  20  21  1.4.1 Scale and Nature of Industrial Homesewing  21  iv  1.4.2 Decline in Central State Social Programs and Decentralization  21  1.4.3 Policy Shift to Entrepreneurship  22  1.4.4 Disintegration of Production  22  1.5 Scope of the Thesis  24  1.5.1 Jurisdictional  24  1.5.2 Geographic  24  1.5.3 Sectoral  25  1.6 Research Methodology  26  1.6.1 Literature Review  26  1.6.2 Secondary Sources  26  1.6.3 Interview Data  26  1.7 Conclusion  28  CHAPTER TWO VANCOUVER’S GARMENT INDUSTRY -  29  2.1 Introduction  29  2.2 Profile of the Garment Industry in Vancouver  29  2.2.1 The Garment Industry Globally  29  2.2.2 The Garment Industry in Vancouver  31  40  2.3 Industrial Homework 2.3.1 Global Growth of Industrial Homework  40  2.3.2 The Feminization of Labour and Industrial Homework  41  2.3.3 Material Conditions of Homework  41  2.4 Industrial Homesewers in Vancouver  43  2.4.1 The Industrial Homesewer Profile  43  2.4.2 Interests of Industrial Homesewers  45 V  2.5 Organizing Strategies for Industrial Homework  47  2.5.1 International  47  2.5.2 NationallProvincial  47  2.5.3 Local  48  2.6 Conclusion  CHAPTER THREE A CASE STUDY OF VANCOUVER’S RESPONSE TO -  INDUSTRIAL HOMESEWING  50  3.1 Introduction:  50  3.1.1 Research Methodology  51  3.2 Interview Data  52  3.2.1 Respondent Awareness of Industrial Homework  52  3.2.2. Respondent Attitudes Related to Industrial Homework  57  3.2.3 Factors Identified as Mitigating Against a City Response to Industrial Homework  64  3.2.4 Factors Identified as Supportive of a City Response to Industrial Homework  65  3.3 Conclusion  67  3.3.1 Research Findings  67  3.3.2 Theoretical Implications  68  CHAPTER FOUR: CONSIDERATIONS FOR A PLANNING RESPONSE TO 70  INDUSTRIAL HOMESEWING 4.1 Introduction  70  4.2 Strategies in Other Municipal Jurisdictions  70  4.3 Political Viability of a Local Response in Vancouver  72  vi  4.4 Planning and Policy Issues  75  4.4.1. Zoning  75  4.4.2. Regulation  78  4.4.3. Research  79  4.4.4. Liaison  80  4.4.5. Advocacy  81  4.4.6. Promotion  82  4.4.7 Community Economic Development  83  4.5 Conclusion  85  CHAPTER FIVE CONCLUSION  86  -  5.1 Summary  86  5.2 Closing Comments  88  5.3 Areas For Further Research  89  APPENDIX A: LIST OF INTERVIEWEES  91  APPENDIX B: INTERVIEW GUIDE  92  APPENDIX C: VANCOUVER’S HOME-BASED BUSINESS BY-LAW  93  PERSONAL REFLECTIONS  94  BIBLIOGRAPHY  95  vii  LIST OF TABLES  Table 1: Garment Manufacturing Employment in Vancouver Page 34 -  Table 2: Garment Manufacturing in the City Page 35 -  Table 3: Top Four Manufacturing Employers in Vancouver Page 36 -  viii  LIST OF FIGURES  Figure 1: Map of Garment Firms in Central Vancouver Page 38 -  Figure 2: Map of Where Garment Workers Live Page 39 -  Figure 3: Map of Remaining Industrial Lands in Vancouver Page 77 -  ix  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  I would like to thank my advisors, Penny Gurstein and Peter Boothroyd, for their helpful advice and inspiration over the past year and my friends in the planning school, for their support and encouragement. A special thanks goes to my external examiner, Millie Chu for her assistance and interest in the issue of industrial homework.  I would also like to thank the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union and the Industrial Homework Working Group for their support of my research. I also appreciate the time and consideration given by planning and elected officials who agreed to be interviewed for this project.  A special thanks to Pam for strategic advice and support; to Jim, Martha, Sam and Maureen for a quiet place to concentrate and write; and to Shauna for last minute assistance.  x  Foreward My initial interest in the issue of deregulated employment dates from my experience as an employee of the Federal Government’s community economic development program, Community Futures. After a year of assisting unemployed residents in a small city in the British Columbia Interior to become self-employed, some level of doubt began to enter my  mind about the emphasis in employment policy on self-employment. Was this trend merely a way of distancing workers from the protection of the Federal social safety net and downloading unemployment and underemployment problems to the local level? Given the enormous failure rate of most self-employment enterprises’, how effective was this strategy at relieving poverty for people? At about this time I was presented with several cases that introduced me to the phenomenon of deregulated labour and reinforced this doubt:  An Anglophone woman came into the office and told me about her experience as a homesewing subcontractor in a francophone section of New Brunswick. She had been sewing babies’ sleepers for fifty cents a piece for a contractor who had forced her to buy an overpriced sewing machine. She still owed him $2,000 for the machine and was paying 20% interest on this debt, an amount that she had found impossible to even begin to repay from her earnings. She had moved back to British Columbia, in debt, to live with family members.  A woman in the city’s Indo-Canadian community approached me to request assistance to set up a subcontracting operation in the city that would employ Indo-Canadian women, most of whom were unemployed, as industrial homesewers. She would pay them a couple of dollars a piece and work as the middle person with an Indo-Canadian garment contractor in Vancouver. She indicated that this was widespread in Vancouver.  Four out of five small businesses fail within the first two  1  years of operation.  An Indo-Canadian silviculture contractor approached Community Futures for an operating loan. A review of his cashflow revealed that their was no wage payment schedule over the three month summer season for his fifty member Indo-Canadian tree planting crew. When asked, he indicated that he would feed them in camp for the summer and pay their wages once he was paid in the fall. He indicated that this was common practice in many of the camps.  What has become more obvious over time is that these stories are not isolated incidents, but rather evidence of a much wider trend. These stories are only three among thousands of stories, only several of which ever appear in the press. Workers often feel as though they are doing something illegal or that by speaking up that they will threaten their jobs. This makes it very difficult to intervene in the situation on behalf of these randomly located employees. Also, regulatory intervention is perhaps not enough, given that in an era of ‘jobless recovery’, keeping whatever job at whatever price is the most important thing for many people.  Moving to Vancouver and becoming aware of the extent of industrial homesewing in the urban core has renewed my conviction that this issue is an essential urban planning concern. The apparent health of the garment industry; the concentrated geographic nature of the industry and its workers; and the solid organizational base of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, seem to present several necessary conditions for an effective community economic development response, a possibility that was not present in an isolated city in the Interior.  Can the City set policies that can help to create a viable employment  base for the thousands of highly skilled garment worker residents, many of whom are visible minority women? This is surely to the city’s advantage. This goal of this research is to gain a clearer understanding of how municipal governments function and respond to challenges such as deregulated employment.  2  Chapter One Introduction -  “Vancouver is not an eastern rust belt city, employment is not a central issue or the focus of city planning, the jobs are coming here anyway “. A Senior Planning Official, City of Vancouver  “Although housing and daycare issues are important, taking into account the limited budget of the City, and if there is only one wish people can make, that is what they will go for JOBS!” -  Vietnamese Single Mother Group, CityPlan IDEAS Book  1.1.1 Background  The contraction of the welfare state and the spread of ‘flexible’ production techniques are together causing the deterioration of labour conditions for many Canadians. Pressure to reduce minimum employment standards combined with the rise of new flexible production techniques, such as just-in-time inventory and the use of casual labour, are jointly affecting the quality of many new jobs. One major consequence of this transformation is growing social polarization. This is largely based on the relative decline in the bargaining power of labour to capital and the subsequent bifurcation of the labour force into a small number of socalled ‘good jobs’ (secure long-term, well paying, unionized jobs) largely in the informational economy and a much larger number of so-called ‘bad jobs’ (part-time, partyear, low paying, jobs without benefits and unionization). Many of these ‘bad jobs’ are in the ‘flexible’ or ‘floating labour force’ of homeworkers, domestic workers, agricultural workers, which is estimated to become 33% of the Canadian labour force by the year 2,000 (Pollack, 1994). At the worst extreme of this ‘floating labour force’ are the deregulated jobs, including most industrial homework jobs, which exist beyond the protection of employment standards legislation and unionization. 3  These deregulated jobs are often concentrated in deregulated and isolated worksites: in rooms in homes; in garages in disguised workshops; in barns in hidden dormitories  -  all often  hidden behind a form of a ‘closed door’. Institutionally speaking, the invisibility and marginalization of these deregulated workers translates into their virtual disenfranchisement in the political arena. This, in turn, is forming the basis of an institutional ‘closed door’.  A new approach to employment planning and labour policy is necessary to keep pace with these changing labour conditions. Traditionally the development of labour standards and employment programs has been the domain of levels of government beyond the municipal or local level. In Canada, the provinces and the federal government have separately and jointly administered and determined employment standards and economic development programs. Unfortunately, the growth of the deregulated labour force is happening at the very time that there is increasing international and domestic political pressure to reduce minimum employment standards and other provisions of the welfare state in order to maintain competitiveness. A recent report of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, endorsed by Canadian Human Resources Minister Lloyd Axworthy, clearly outlines this strategy as one of adopting “less restrictive labour regulations (such as making it less difficult for employers to fire someone) and less generous social programs...” (Drohan, June 8, 1994). This is creating a institutional vacuum as the state withdraws its protection for workers with cutbacks to programs such as Unemployment Insurance at the same time that increased global competition, prolonged economic recession and new production techniques are decreasing labour’s relative bargaining power.  In the urban environment this is resulting in ‘dual cities’ wherein “distinct segments of labour are included in and excluded from the making of new history” (Castells, 1989). This raises the question of state and planning responsibility as the federal and provincial government -  regulations fail to protect ‘deregulated’ workers, will local governments be forced to assume 4  a more proactive employment planning role? This thesis explores the local government response to deregulated labour by examining the City of Vancouver’s response to the growth of industrial homesewing.  5  1.1.2 Definitions  Deregulated Labour  Deregulated labour is used in this thesis to describe those segments of the labour market where workers work beyond the protection of employment standards legislation, often in the informal portion of the economy. Deregulation not only refers to deregulated wages structures, but also to deregulated terms and conditions of work. This often includes work in unregulated settings carried out at non-regular hours. The term deregulated is also used to indicate that the jobs in this segment of the labour market have generally been shifted out of the regulated portion of the labour market. Industrial homesewers are a good example of this trend, in that these home-based jobs are generally replacing regulated factory jobs. Regulations avoided by the employer include minimum wage levels and timing of wage payout, minimum and maximum hours of work, payment of Unemployment Insurance and Canada Pension Plan, and employer provision of equipment and premises to the employees. Estimates of the extent of the deregulated labour pool in Canada are impossible to ascertain, except that there is general acknowledgment that this sector of the economy is growing rapidly (Pollack 1994).  Industrial Homework For the purposes of this thesis, the working definition of homework that has been assumed is that as adopted by the International Labour Organization in 1990:  “Homework is the production of a good or the provision of a service for an employer or contractor under an arrangement whereby the work is carried out at a place of the worker’s own choosing, often the worker’s own home, where there normally is no direct supervision by the employer or contractor.” (ILO, 1990)  6  The characteristics of homework include the following criteria: homework involves an employer-employee relationship; the place of work is outside the premises of the employer; the form of payment is usually by piece-rate; and the employee usually owns or purchases equipment from the employer. In practical terms, homework almost always involves women workers, in industrialized countries this is often the immigrant women who are most disadvantaged in the labour market. Most homework is predominantly industrial homework, involving the assembly of clothing, textiles and other products. Service-based homework is also emerging in the industrialized countries involving data processing.  For the purposes of this thesis, it is imperative that the reader recognize the distinction between homeworking and self-employment. Homeworking, as the term is generally used and is explicitly used in this thesis, follows from the ILO defmition and involves employees (although these employees are frequently referred to as independent contractors by employers) selling their product or service to a business in the same way that a shop-floor worker would to a factory. Self-employment implies control over the conditions of work, retention of profit and the direct sale of the product or service to a consumer. In this sense, homework implies shared risk without shared profits, while self-employment involves shared risk and shared profits. In summary, the three factors which distinguish self-employment from homeworking are: •  who keeps the profits;  •  who controls the work;  •  whether the worker sells the product directly in the market. (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 1992).  This thesis specifically addresses industrial homesewing, a form of homework that involves the assembly of garments by homeworkers for garment factory contractors and subcontractors. More details on the specific conditions of industrial homesewers in Vancouver are included in Chapter Two. 7  1.1.3 Problem Statement  The central hypothesis of this research is that, while the decline of the welfare state is increasing the need for proactive municipal planning to address issues such as deregulated employment, increasingly cities are becoming less responsive to the interests of lower-income residents. This hypothesis is tested with a literature review and a case study of the City of Vancouver’s response to the growth of industrial homesewing.  From a theoretical perspective, this thesis is part of larger body of research that is currently being conducted in British Columbia, Ontario and many countries of the developed world where the phenomenon of deregulated employment, including industrial homework, is gaining attention. Much of this research and organizing work is being carried out by academics and labour advocacy organizations and is focusing on the regulatory role of central government agencies, often specifically on the provision of employment standards legislation (ILO, 1990, Mitter, 1986).  A newer body of work, mainly from feminist labour scholars , is concentrating on new forms 2 of labour and community organizing (Rowbotham, 1994, Mitter, 1992, Gannage, 1986). This work is also related to the literature on community economic development (Boothroyd and Davis, 1991, WomenFutures, 1993). Within this body of work, the role of local governments is considered an important focus. In the small number of cases where local governments have taken action, this has been a significant factor in the improvement of the working conditions and employment relations for industrial homeworkers (Totterhill, 1992,  2  This work is based on the organizing work of various feminist-based homeworker organizing groups, principally in Canada, England and Holland as well as the Self Help Women’s Association in India. Principle scholars in this area include Swasti Mitter amd Sheila Rowththam. There is also a growing international homeworkers network that is supported by the International Labour Organization and unions such as the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Given the increasingly neo-conservative agendas of most national governments, both organizing work and academic research is increasingly focussing on efforts at the local level and the role of the local government, although this organizing work and research is still quite recent.  8  Mitter, 1992). Yet, this focus must take into consideration the changing role of post-welfare state local governments. This literature (Harvey, 1989, Castells, 1989, Lustiger-Thaler, 1991) is indicating that city governments are becoming less responsive to the interests of those in the lower-tier employment sectors. This thesis attempts to address this theoretical gap by exploring the attitudes and values of city officials and planners to determine if the Vancouver local government is likely to act to support the community economic development efforts of industrial homesewers. The theoretical research question of this thesis is what does the City of Vancouver’s response to industrial homework reveal about the nature of post-welfare state city planning?  From a practical perspective, the basic premise of this thesis is that the re-emergence and growth of industrial homework, specifically in the garment industry, has become a planning issue for the City of Vancouver. Current estimates indicate that there are approximately 10,000 industrial homeworkers, 2,000 to 3,000 of which are industrial homesewers in the Greater Vancouver Regional District, most of whom are in the City of Vancouver.  To date,  the provincial and federal governments have failed to adequately protect industrial homeworkers. Work in this sector, although presenting a significant employment opportunity for a group of city residents who face barriers of discrimination in the workforce, is exploitative. Most of these workers are immigrant women , who are facing, among other 3 things: earnings of about three to four dollars an hour without Unemployment Insurance of Canada Pension Plan benefits; work schedules that include unpaid and unpredictable overtime; and working conditions that are often unsafe, including the inhalation of large quantities of fibre dust and fire risk from the use of inappropriate equipment. Without adequate provincial and federal regulatory intervention, the issue is devolving to the citylevel as a health and safety, as well as, an urban poverty issue. The challenge seems to be retaining this employment opportunity while at the same time improving the conditions of  The use of the word immigrant is used with caution here. Most industrial homesewers are citizens. The term ‘visible minority woman’ is used herein.  9  work and structural disadvantages faced by industrial homesewers. The practical research  question of this thesis is how can the City of Vancouver intervene to improve the conditions of work of industrial homesewers?  10  1.2 Theoretical Framework  The interview data and other research gathered in this research is set within the following theoretical framework. The general approach of the thesis is from a political economic approach which assumes that policies are the outcome of bargaining processes among various societal actors rather than the outcome of rational decision-making processes. In terms of planning, the thesis is based on a community development approach that assumes that the most effective change will occur as organizational and productive capacity is transferred to the groups and communities at the local level. This seems especially crucial given the fiscal crisis of the welfare state and the withdrawal of various central government social programs. To this end, this thesis is an exploration of how the bargaining power of homeworkers can be enhanced to provide them with additional resources and capacity to help gain more control over the terms and conditions of their work. The focus on the role of the local government is consistent with a community development approach which recognizes the importance of local control and action; although the support of higher levels of government is often crucial. The following section outlines recent theoretical perspectives related to the practical matter of industrial homework considered in the thesis: the changing nature of the role of the welfare state; the changing relationship between labour and capital; the post-welfare state city; and the nature of urban community economic development. Theoretical perspectives on the nature of industrial homework and the garment industry are considered in Chapter Two.  1.2.1 The Contraction of the Welfare State  In a theoretical context, the contraction of the welfare state and its social programs has been viewed as part of a broader transformation of social, economic and institutional relationships. Within this transition, society’s social, production and political processes are being reconstituted to more exclusively support monopoly capitalism. Given the focus of this thesis on the response of the local state to deregulated labour this theoretical framework is crucial. 11  In this vein, the work of political economists in Canada, the United States and Britain is relevant (Moskovitch and Drover,1987, Castells,1989 and Harvey, 1989).  The welfare state rested on several institutional and social pillars principally negotiated between labour and capital. These basic principles of the welfare state were two agreements in the domestic realm: •  a social pact between capital and labour where stability in production relations were exchanged for collective bargaining rights, rising wages and the social benefits of the welfare state;  •  a role for the state that included regulation and intervention in the economy to stimulate consumption as necessary and maintain full employment through public employment. (Castells, 1989, Moscovitch and Drover, 1981)  The post-welfare state has been marked by the simultaneous withdrawal of the state from social and labour related concerns and the increased engagement of the state for capital related concerns. This has been prompted by the corporate profit squeeze of the 1980s and the resulting fiscal crisis of the welfare state.  There are a number of ways that the state has withdrawn from its previous social contract with labour. In institutional terms this can be described as a series of transformations that have affected social and economic relations. Briefly, the social institutions of the welfare state have moved from maintaining: deregulation;  •  regulation  •  rigidity  •  collective bargaining  =  flexibility; =‘  individualization; 12  •  state-supported collective security  privatization of collective needs and  social security; •  centralization  •  the subsidy state/city  •  ‘  decentralization; =  national regional policies  the ‘entrepreneurial’ state or city; and territorial regional policies. (adapted from Harvey,  1989) This has dramatically affected the social infrastructure of countries such as Canada. Landmarks of this transformation in Canada include the decline in the proportion of unionized jobs, withdrawal of the state from regional disparity programs, and the pending review and reduction of national social programs.  Also, the state has simultaneously increased its support of capital accumulation. This can be summarized also as a series of public policy directions to:  •  impose regressive tax reform favouring corporations and upper-income groups and an increased shift from corporate to individual taxation;  •  support high-technology and information-based industrial sectors;  •  shrink the welfare state and impose a regime of fiscal austerity, and;  •  reduce employment standards and social programs. (adapted from Castells, 1989, Moskovitch and Drover, 1987, Pollack, 1994)  In Canada this has manifested itself with regressive taxation shifts that have resulted in the fact that since 1984: income taxes of the average working poor family have increased 44%; middle class families have increased by 10% and the richest families have dropped by 6%. Corporate taxes have dropped from 15% of federal government revenues in 1984 to much less than 10% (Cohen, 1991).  As well, the ongoing review of social programs and 13  legislation planned for the 1994-1995 legislative session is clearly going to result in ongoing cutbacks to Unemployment Insurance and other employment and social programs.  The next section on the changing nature of production elaborates more fully on how this transition to a post-welfare state manifests itself in the workplace.  1.2.2 The Changing Nature of Production  Industrial homework is the classic example used in the literature to illustrate the changing nature of work and the erosion of the welfare state social contract between labour and capital and the emergence of so-called ‘flexible’ or post-fordist management techniques.  The social contract of the welfare state provided labour with a base of fiscal and occupational welfare that included: •  full employment;  •  income security through minimum wages;  •  employment security through regulations on hiring and firing;  •  work security through health and safety regulations,  •  limits on working hours, and;  •  job security through support of union-backed barriers to technological change. (Standing, 1984 and Pollack, 1994).  In contrast, the post-welfare state has been marked by the gradual deregulating of the workplace and the erosion of income and job security. This parallels the move towards flexible production techniques which depend on an entirely new relationship between labour and capital in developed countries. The characteristics of these new forms of production of post-welfare state social contract involve:  14  •  the reduction of occupational welfare including the lowering of wages, reduction of social benefits and emergence of less protective working conditions;  •  the disintegration of production and concentration of employment in smaller non-unionized firms;  •  the more relaxed regulation of business activities;  •  the deregulation of employment and the dramatic expansion of the informal economy;  •  and, the weakening of labour unions. (adapted from Castells, 1989, Standing, 1984)  In Canada this has been marked by: significant cutbacks in employment related welfare programs such as Unemployment Insurance; the re-emergence of deregulated employment sectors in the informal economy such as industrial homework; unionized job loss, principally connected to the loss of 400,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector from 1989-1994; and an increase in the unemployment rate to 11.3 %, the highest of any country in the industrialized world (Pollack, 1994).  Within the production processes themselves this new relationship between labour and capital is based on the switch from mass-production technologies to just-in-time batch systems of production. This has encouraged management to insist on so-called ‘flexible’ patterns of work from employees, whereby employees relinquish control over their work lives in order to meet the schedules and demands of these new methods (Harvey, 1989).  The gender and race aspects of these new ‘flexible’ production techniques are also reflected in the growing participation of women and immigrants in the workforce, mostly in lower paid work involving inferior working conditions (Mitter, 1992, Cohen, 1991). These gender and race specific labour structures often rest on revival of techniques such as sub-contracting 15  and domestic and family labour systems that often involve patriarchal management practices and homeworking. These new structures make it much easier to substitute lower-paid casual female labour for that of more highly paid and more difficult to lay-off core male workers (Harvey, 1989).  Overall, the theoretical literature identifies the relative decline in the bargaining power of labour and the resulting loss of control of many workers over the terms and conditions of work. Chapter Two on the garment industry in Vancouver clearly indicates how this theory applies to this case study. The next section elaborates on how the literature is indicating these new labour market patterns are manifesting themselves spatially and institutionally in cities.  1.2.3 The Post-Welfare State City  As discussed above, in Section 1.2.2, with decentralization and contraction of the welfare state, the city is emerging as a newly important node of self-directed and inter-city competition-based regional economic development. In some sense municipalities are becoming deregulated sites for ‘flexible politics’ as local governments attempt to loosen development regulations and reconstitute their cities as attractive places to invest (Lustiger Thaler, 1992).. This paradigm has been described as the ‘entrepreneurial city’ (Lustiger Thaler, 1992, Harvey, 1989). Consistent with the reshaping of the state to more closely serve the interests of capital than labour, the entrepreneurial city describes a local state that pursues economic development without a clearly defined employment planning role.  This more active or flexible role for local governments is being shaped at the same time as the social and employment structures in cities are being fundamentally altered by the changing modes of production described above. Cities are becoming the site of profound social polarization resulting from bifurcated labour markets as they become magnets for both 16  the high-tech and expanding cheap labour markets that are needed to attract investment capital (Lustiger-Thaler, 1992). And, this is happening at the same time that there is an increasing absence of new social struggles that might influence the state to serve interests other than the interests of capital (Castells, 1989). The primary implication of this is the emergence of ‘dual cities’ (Castells, 1989) where those employers and employees in the informational-based formal economy, and not those in the ‘cheap labour’ bottom of the urban economy, are being served by the state. The garment industry, with its enormous shift from factory to industrial homework, is a classic example of this bottom sector of the dual city that is being forgotten in the new political life of the investment-chasing entrepreneurial city.  This theoretical framework is applied to the interview data in Chapter Three in an analysis of how Vancouver manifests the traits of an emerging ‘dual city’ with an ‘entrepreneurial’ city political orientation. The next section elaborates on community economic development (CED) strategies that are being considered theoretically and practically by community groups and governments to support those left out of the new post-welfare state economic system.  1.2.4 Urban Community Economic Development  Community economic development (CED) has been considered by social change theorists and community organizations for the past few decades as a promising avenue for social and economic transformation in the face of the declining welfare state. In general, its practice by governments has concentrated on rural environments, often in single industry or declining areas. These efforts, in turn, have most often taken the form of self-employment programs, such as Community Futures. This section considers theory that has more relevance to the urban environment. In whatever theoretical or practical form, one basic tenet of CED is that it is concerned with economic development approaches that are employment creation based. This makes CED particularly relevant, given the focus on employment planning in this thesis.  17  In urban environments, CED based on a community of interest has been the primary focus. This has taken the form of an affinity group or neighbourhood association. The key operating principle of CED is the empowerment of community organizations to take control of the local economy. As indicated in the literature this can alternately focus to a greater or lesser degree on economic growth and employment generation, structural change or the development of sharing and caring networks in the local community (Boothroyd and Davis, 1991).  Unfortunately, in practice, many of these urban geographic-based CED  organizations have been co-opted by the local state to provide contracted services (Shragge, 1992).  In essence the price tag for funding is often the provision of specific services which  drain the organization’s capacity to pursue its original community development role.  This thesis specifically focuses on CED from an industrial sector perspective. This would involve efforts supported by the local state to organize workers in a specific sector in some sort of collective or cooperative economic operation. The classic example of this is Mondragon where CED forms the basis of the region’s industrial development (as well as many other aspects of the region’s social, political and economic life). This has been practiced in some industrial sectors in Canada, one example being the RichPly plywood mill in Richmond which is worker-owned and operated (Conn, 1990).  This thesis also considers the theoretical CED work of feminist organizations that has highlighted the need to deal with all aspects of a worker’s well-being, including home and community related matters as well as work-place related concerns (WomenFutures, 1993). The basis of a feminist approach to economic development is to “develop women’s capacity for self-determination” (Elson and Pearson, 1981) so that gains by women in the cash economy are translated into an increase in their control over their work lives. Industrial homework has been identified by feminist scholars as the form of employment least likely to offer this control to women (Elson and Pearson, 1981, Rowbotham, 1994, Mitter, 1992).  18  A sectorally specific and feminist framed CED seems particularly relevant to homeworkers in the garment industry who are concentrated in a specific industry and are almost universally female. As well, recent theory and practice has indicated the importance of locally based collective feminist-based economic organizations as a way to overcome homeworker isolation and economic exploitation (Rowbotham, 1994, Mitter, 1986). These efforts concentrate on providing homeworkers with improved employment conditions and alternatives as well as contact and opportunities for collaboration, training and collective services (ILO, 1990). A key theoretical question of this thesis is how this form of sectoral and feminist informed CED can be supported by the local state.  Conclusion  The theoretical framework set out in the previous four sections forms the basis for the research in this thesis which concentrates on: the nature of the local quasi-state of the City of Vancouver; the nature of labour conditions for industrial homeworkers; the relationship of the state to homeworkers; and the possibility of CED interventions to support industrial homeworkers.  19  1.3 Purpose of the Thesis  1.3.1 Improving the Conditions of Industrial Homework  The purpose of this thesis is to complement the ongoing research and organizing work around the issue of industrial homework that is already occurring in Canada. This work is being carried out in British Columbia by the Industrial Homework Working Group and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. It has primarily focused on improving the regulatory environment at the provincial level for industrial homesewers. This thesis is an effort to complement that work by exploring the potential role of the City of Vancouver in improving the situation of industrial homesewers. This seems particularly relevant given the heavy concentration of industrial homesewers and garment factories in the City of Vancouver.  20  1.4 Relevance of the Thesis  1.4.1 Scale and Nature of Industrial Homesewing  Industrial homework is re-emerging on a significant scale in the cities of the industrialized and developing world (ILO, 1990). It is impossible to determine the extent of industrial homework, given that much of this work is invisible. Estimates indicate that there are as many as 100,000 industrial homeworkers in Canada, 10,000 of whom are in Vancouver (Gunarantna, personal interview, 1994, Ontario District Council of the ILGWU, 1993). Once considered a form of production associated with early industrialization, the reappearance of industrial homeworking has taken many economists and policy makers by surprise.  1.4.2 Decline in Central State Social Programs and Decentralization  The current review of social programs makes consideration of the incidence of industrial homework relevant as well. The very real possibility of downloading social and economic problems to the local level means that the actions of local governments will become more relevant to the livelihood of city residents. Local planning responses to industrial homework have been spawned in regions where the central government has become politically or fiscally incapable of responding in a progressive way to negative economic consequences for workers. This has been the case in England in response to the Thatcher regime and in the Third Italy in Emilia-Romagna. Cutbacks to programs such as Unemployment Insurance, childcare and English as a Second Language training as well as an overall trend to reducing employment standards are all factors which are contributing to the growth of industrial homework. It is important for the city to be aware of the impact of these program cutbacks on city residents. Awareness of the incidence of deregulated employment, such as industrial homesewing, will hopefully better inform a City response to these cutbacks. 21  1.4.3 Policy Shift to Entrepreneurship  There has also been a recent shift away from the traditional regional disparity reduction programs and a shift to continentalism with the Free Trade Agreement. This has resulted in the fact that increasingly cities and their regions are left to themselves to compete in the new continental and global economy as ‘entrepreneurial cities’ and regions. This means that consideration of a local response to local economic conditions, such as the growth of industrial homework, is also more relevant. As well, with the central government policy shift to self-employment in its social welfare programs, it is important to clarify the very different working conditions associated with genuine self-employment and employerconstructed false self-employment situations such as industrial homework.  Recently the federal government has announced its intention to establish a Women’s Enterprise Centre and a Self Employment Assistance program in Vancouver. This reflects the re-allocation of government resources from Unemployment Insurance and training to selfemployment assistance programs. It seems crucial to research the contradictory effects of self-employment on women that industrial homesewing make obvious: the isolation; the impact on the home environment; the lack of collective bargaining opportunities; as well as earnings opportunities. Local government influence to ensure that these programs truly meet residents’ needs could be extremely useful.  1.4.4 Disintegration of Production  An additional rationale for examining a local response is that disintegration of production in the garment industry is resulting in differentiated local conditions. This is well illustrated by the case of the garment industry in Vancouver which is substantively different than the 22  garment industry in either Montreal or Toronto. The patterns of ownership, the impact of Free Trade and the employee pool vary among all three locations. The concentration on a local rather than national response, makes it possible to tailor a local response to local conditions.  23  1.5 Scope of the Thesis  1.5.1 Jurisdictional  The scope of this thesis is limited to the municipal level. This is not to indicate in any way that the actions of provincial and federal governments are less crucial or relevant than the actions of local government. Rather it is meant to augment the research and organizing work that has already clearly identified a role for these two levels of central government. The role of these central government levels is largely to establish a regulatory framework which meets the needs of industrial homeworkers. The focus of this thesis on the role of the municipal authorities is meant to draw attention to actions by the local state that go beyond this employment standards focus.  1.5.2 Geographic  Geographically this thesis is concentrated on the City of Vancouver. Again this is not to indicate that the incidence of industrial homesewing is limited to this city and is not relevant within other jurisdictions. The City of Vancouver was chosen because of the geographic clustering of the garment industry and industrial homesewers within its city limits  -  especially  in the East Vancouver area. It is anticipated that the general planning issues considered in the City of Vancouver will be similar to those in other cities within the Greater Vancouver Regional District and other areas of Canada. The similarity of the Vancouver Charter to the Municipal Act of British Columbia should ensure this in other British Columbia cities. The nature of discussion of planning issues in Chapter Four does not rest on the assumption of any extraordinary planning powers or actions by the City of Vancouver, but rather on basic land use decision making powers and the municipality’s assumed roles as a promoter, liaison and leverer of resources. All these roles seem well within the scope of Canadian municipalities. 24  1.5.3 Sectoral  Sectorally this thesis is limited to the garment industry, although there are an estimated eight thousand other industrial homeworkers in the Greater Vancouver District, most of whom are concentrated in Vancouver (Gunarantna, personal interview 1994). The rationale for this is both logistical and practical. Firstly, homesewers have received a substantial amount of support from the International Ladies Garment Workers Union which acts as an organizing voice for these workers. This has made it possible to gather base-line data about the extent and nature of industrial homesewing. Other homeworkers are almost completely unrepresented and virtually invisible. The wealth of research conducted on the garment industry and its production networks worldwide has also facilitated the research work for this thesis. As this thesis is not intended to focus primarily on the nature of the production processes involved in industrial homework, but rather the municipality’s response, the availability of recent reliable research on the garment industry is particularly crucial. Secondly, a practical reason to study the garment industry is that, especially in the fashion end of the industry, there is little technological threat to the loss of home garment-assembly jobs. To date, this work is much more efficiently carried out by hand than machine due to the incredible complexity and variety of tasks associated with fashion assembly work. Also, some jobs are being repatriated to Canada as labour prices rise in Asia and other developing world areas. Given the replacement of labour by capital in many other manufacturing sectors, this makes a study of the garment industry particularly crucial from an employment generation point of view, in that the continued existence of these jobs seems fairly well assured.  25  1.6 Research Methodology  1.6.1 Literature Review  This thesis involved an extensive literature review covering several fields of research: urban planning theory; global economic restructuring; community economic development theory; the garment industry; industrial homework; and feminist labour theory. The general theoretical framework for the thesis is from a political economic perspective which is specifically applied to the role of the local state in the local capital and labour market of the garment industry in Vancouver.  1.6.2 Secondary Sources  Secondary sources were consulted for data concerning the specifics of the Vancouver garment industry. These included planning documents obtained from the City of Vancouver, labour market statistics from the Federal Ministry of Human Resources and Development, and a brief submitted by the Women and Work Research and Education Society and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.  1.6.3 Interview Data  The primary data for the thesis are derived from key informant interviews with municipal staff, elected officials and community organizers carried out in the Spring and Summer of 1994. The primary purpose of the interviews was to identify the attitudes and assumptions of informants to industrial homework and the city’s responsibility for employment planning for city residents. This was achieved by a series of attitudinal questions to informants developed to elicit awareness and assumptions of respondents. As well, the functions and operations of  26  key departments related to planning for industrial homework and employment were developed from interview data and planning documents.  Overall, 14 interviews were conducted (See Appendix A). A snowball approach was used to identify key informants. The point of origin interviews were held with representatives of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union and the Industrial Homework Working Group. Subsequent interviews were conducted with nine public officials and two elected officials using an interview guide (See Appendix B) with eight open ended questions and several questions to each respondent designed specifically for each department. An attempt was made to include every area of the municipal government which may have had some concern with the issue of industrial homework this included Planning, Social Planning, Permits and -  Licenses and Economic Development. As a check on this selection, each respondent was asked to identify additional city staff members who might be involved in the issue of industrial homework. To include the elected officials’ perspective, interviews were conducted with the most senior elected official and a junior elected official. To complete an overview of the role of the municipality, it was necessary to include several interviews with non-municipal staff including a representative of the Employment Services Branch of the -  federal department of Human Resources and Development and a representative of the VanCity Credit Union. Given that the focus of this thesis is not on provincial labour regulation, the provincial policy position was taken from a recent brief submitted by Professor Mark Thompson as part of the review of Employment Standards legislation.  Interviews were tabulated and common themes were drawn out of the qualitative data. These themes related to the hypothesis of the research concerning the role of the municipality in planning for industrial homework.  27  1.7 Conclusion  This chapter has set the theoretical and practical context for this thesis. The thesis is an exploratory study of how the municipality can be involved in planning for deregulated employment in the garment industry. Embedded in this study is a critique of current planning practice, focusing on the fact that municipalities by and large do not proactively plan for employment related issues, reacting only to crisis situations. As stated in the theoretical framework there has been a gradual withdrawal of the state from employment and social planning at the same time that there has been an overall decline in the bargaining power of labour. These trends have created the space for phenomenon such as deregulated employment to re-emerge in urban areas. The next three chapters explore this phenomena through a case study of industrial homesewing in the garment industry in Vancouver and the city’s response to its growth.  28  Chapter Two Vancouver’s Garment Industry -  2.1 Introduction  The following chapter provides the substantive context for the case study in Chapter Three. The purpose of the chapter is to provide information about the nature of the garment industry and homework in Vancouver in a global context and a rationale for city intervention in the garment industry, specifically, in regards to the situation of industrial homeworkers. It explores these issues by discussing: the global nature of the garment industry; the nature of Vancouver’s garment industry; the global context for growth and re-emergence of industrial homework; the implications of this re-emergence of industrial homework for women; the material conditions of industrial homework for both employers and employees in the garment industry; the profile of industrial homesewers in Vancouver and their needs; and finally the organizing strategies used by industrial homeworkers and their supporters to improve those conditions. This chapter is based on a literature review of the garment industry and industrial homework and interviews with union and homeworker organizers.  2.2 Profile of the Garment Industry in Vancouver  2.2.1 The Garment Industry Globally  The garment industry is characterized by low capital and technology requirements, making it an important entry-level industry for entrepreneurs in both the First and Third World. These very same qualities make it a very competitive industry; the subject of some of the most intense international tariff negotiations. The following section outlines some of the more specific characteristics of the garment industry as a context for a discussion of the Vancouver garment industry in the following section.  29  Production in the garment industry is very highly labour intensive with over 80% of the production time involving the handling of materials. Everywhere the industry depends on the ready supply of highly dexterous, but low paid operators (usually women), and robust, flexible but relatively inexpensive sewing machines. The garment industry has historically mainly employed women workers who have usually been subject to poor working conditions (Rowbotham, 1994). Although technological upgrading has allowed the replacement of labour with capital in certain segments of the industry, namely hosiery, jeans and men’s clothing production, the basic pattern of the one sewing machine operator sewing one garment remains unchanged in much of the industry. This is particularly true in the fashion end of the industry which is characterized by short runs of multi-varied garments. The industry is increasingly characterized by a large number of small firms, with production often being decentralized into various contracting and subcontracting networks. Given that material costs are comparable for producers in both the North and the South, differences in labour costs are largely what will determine a firm’s comparative cost advantage. Significantly, design, which the Vancouver garment industry has excelled at, has also been identified as a crucial factor (Hoffman, 1985).  Given the reliance on a comparative cost advantage based on relative labour costs, the search for cheap labour in the garment industry is intense. This has either taken the form of locating production offshore or turning to more flexible and inexpensive domestic labour practices using homeworkers or subcontractors (Chu, 1992). Subsequently, many garment producers in the North have relocated garment production to countries in the South. However, more recently, the search for cheap labour has also manifested itself with subcontracting chains based on the use of industrial homeworkers in many North American cities. This, combined with rising labour costs in the South has supported the repatriation of some production to the North.  30  In North America, garment industries are prone to locate in the inner city, seeking out the locational advantage of easy access to cheap, often immigrant, and skilled labour, affordable industrial lands, and related industrial facilities such as thread and notion manufacturers and design facilities.  In summary, the garment industry is an entry-level industry for employers. It is a relatively important employer, especially for women, although working conditions are generally fairly poor. Changing production methods in the industry and declining tariff barriers have increased global competition in the trade. This is resulting in the almost universal disintegration of the industry  ,  resulting in the widespread growth of small firms,  subcontracting and homeworking.  2.2.2 The Garment Industry in Vancouver  The Canadian Garment Industry  The garment and textile industry in Canada is the second largest industrial employer and the largest industrial employer of women in the country. The industry in Canada and other industrialized countries is sometimes erroneously considered a ‘sunset’ industry doomed to be replaced by offshore operations. This has not proven to be true and the industry continues to have a strong presence in the Canadian economy. Even though the industry has decreased overall in terms of employment and output, it has been restructured sufficiently to remain a viable sector.  The industry has been in decline since at least 1975. This is when the Canadian government began to loosen up trade sanctions against cheaper imported clothing. In 1978, Canadian made clothing accounted for about 70% of the domestic market, but this had fallen to about 50% in 1986. Since 1988, the industry has been strongly affected by the Free Trade 31  Agreement and subsequent changes in tariff regulation. Employment in the industry has dropped from 95,800 in 1988 to an estimated 62,800 in 1992 a loss of one third of jobs -  (Khosla, 1993). Yet, these unemployment figures hide the conversion of many factory jobs into industrial homework jobs. The largest centres for industrial homesewing are Montreal and Vancouver, where combined, there are an estimated 12,000 homesewers. In the Quebec garment industry in 1992, 26,000 out of the 36,000 women employees were homesewers (Kliosla, 1993).  In the face of increasing competition, Canadian manufacturers have resorted to ‘flexible’ styles of production, adopting the same just-in-time inventory systems and subcontractor chains used internationally. Consequently, many larger garment firms have shut down and the industry has disintegrated into a large number of small finns. In the clothing industry over 72% of firms have less than 50 employees (Vosko, 1993). This has decreased the proportion of unionized workers, as small firms are less likely to be unionized (Leach, 1993). Tis era of disintegration has also been marked by the growth of specialization as firms have switched from large assembly line production to made-to-order batches of certain middle and higher end fashion items. This has created the need for more control over production and access to cheaper domestic labour through homeworking. This, in turn, has encouraged employers in the fashion industry to shift employment back to Canada (Ontario District Council of the ILGWU, 1993). As well, the industry has undergone regional concentration in large urban centres with access to the U.S. border. In the face of higher competition, specialization in high-priced niches and flexible production methods are emerging as the only options for survival (Vosko, 1993).  In summary, the Canadian garment industry has undergone significant restructuring since 1988 that has resulted in the concentration of the industry in urban centres. The decentralization of production and introduction of flexible production techniques, such as industrial homeworking, and regional and firm specialization in fashion, have resulted in the 32  repatriation of garment jobs and the partial revitalization of the industry in certain urban areas. The next section elaborates on the specific case of Vancouver’s garment industry.  The Vancouver Garment Industry  The garment industry in Vancouver, unlike the rest of Canada, has experienced rapid growth as well as restructuring in the past decade. Although the industry has some presence in the other cities of the Greater Vancouver Regional District, it is concentrated heavily in the City of Vancouver, with over 86% of employment in the City (See Table 1, Garment Manufacturing Employment). Employment in the industry has gone from 3,396 in 1986 to approximately 10,000 in 1994 at the same time that the International Ladies Garment Workers Union estimates that it has lost about 40,000 union members in Eastern Canada (Gunarantna, personal interview 1994).  Growth in the industry (Table 2  -  Growth in the Garment Industry) has been significant in  the industry with total employment reaching 6,000 by 1991 and 10,000 by 1994. This has resulted in the industry’s increased prominence; garment manufacturing is now Vancouver’s second largest industrial employer after printing and publishing (See Table 3, Top Four Manufacturing Employers in Vancouver). This growth has been attributed to the influx of Asian investors who have moved to Vancouver to take advantage of unused import quotas for Canadian manufacturers into the United States market. The industry has also successfully concentrated on the niche markets of medium and high end clothing to avoid competition (City of Vancouver Planning, 1993b). In contrast to garment manufacturers in the rest of Canada, there is a perception that the Vancouver garment industry, which has an import component, will thrive as provisions from the Free Trade Agreement are phased in to lower and phase out duties on imported clothing (City of Vancouver Planning Department, 1993b). The industry also has ongoing access to a pre-trained and highly skilled labour pool of immigrant, primarily Asian, women in the City. 33  Table 1  -  Garment Manufacturing Employment in the City of Vancouver  GARMENT MANUFACTURING EMPLOYMENT IN AND OUTSIDE THE CITY OF VANCOUVER 8,000 Rest of Region  ity  7,000 6,000 U,  I  4,000  1956  1976  1966 1961  1971  1986 1981  1991  Source: Statistics Canada Mfg. Indusines of Canada, Catalogue #31-209 1991 = Estimates by GVRD from Contacts Target Marketing data. -  Note: Data for some years were not published by Statistics Canada in order to maintain confidentiality for some firms.  Source: Industrial Lands Strategy, City of Vancouver Planning Department, 1993b 34  Table 2 Garment Manufacturing in the City -  GARMENT MANUFACTURING IN THE CITY, 1956-1991 Firms 1956 1961 1966 1971 1976 1981 1986 1991  % of Mfg. Sector  EmpL  89 76 79  6.90/  6.6°! 7.2°!  2,017 2,076 2,747  5.6°! 6.7°! 8.3°!  75 91 155  9.1°! 11.0°! 10.5°!  3,483  3,396 5,938  12.5°! 14.9°/ 18.2°!  % of Mfg.  Sector  Rank Position 5 5 5  3 3 2  NOTES: -Rank Position refers to the industry’s position as a manufacturing employer in the city. -Blanks indicate no information was available from Statistics Canada due to reasons of maintaining confidentiality. -1991 data is derived from a different source. Comparability with previous years shown is limited by Statistics Canada data collection methods which underestimate the number of manufacturing .  -  establishments and employees. The size of underestimation is unknown. -For Statistics Canada data, employment at separately located head offices, sales offices and ancillary units are not included. -In 1991, employment located at separately located head offices, sales offices, and anciflary units is not separated. SOURCE: 1956-1986 Statistics Canada. ‘Manufacturing Industries of Canada: Sub-Provincial Areas’. GVRO Estimates from Contacts Target Marketing.  1991  -  Source: Industrial Lands Strategy, City of Vancouver Planning Department, 1993b  35  Table  36 -  Top Four Manufacturing Employers in the City of Vancouver 1981/1991  TOP FOUR MANUFACTURING EMPLOYERS IN THE CITY OF VANCOUVER 1981 & 1991 10,000 T01981 •1991 8,000 C’)  a,  6,000 E  Ui  0 a,  .0  11  4,000  E  z 2,000  0  6  Food & Boy. Printing/Pub. Wood Prod. Garments  Source: Industrial Lands Strategy, City of Vancouver Planning Department, 1993b 36  Geographically, the industry is concentrated in the industrial lands in Gastown, Yaletown, Powell Street/Clark Drive and Mount Pleasant (Figure 1  -  Map of Garment Firms in Central  Vancouver) and employees are concentrated in the adjacent neighbourhoods (Figure 2  -  Map  of Where Garment Workers Live). As indicated above, this is a general characteristic of the garment industry which has a propensity to locate near its labour pooi. The vast majority of workers in the garment industry are Asian, over 90% of total workers (Gunarantna, personal interview, 1994). This is also true in terms of industrial homeworkers, who are also generally, although not exclusively, concentrated near factories in the same areas of Vancouver.  In summary, the Vancouver garment industry seems unusually robust in terms of the Canadian garment industry overall. This is largely due to Asian investment and immigration. This is similar to findings from other US cities which have identified labour market ethnic composition, as well as the state regulatory framework as key conditioning factors in the garment industry (Fernandez-Kelly and Garcia, 1984). Also, the industry is well positioned, specializing in higher end market niches that are less subject to competition. The relative anchoring of the garment industry in Vancouver was anecdotally reinforced in an interview with a planner in Vancouver. She indicated that one employer, after an extensive tour throughout Asia attempting to find a relocation site for her factory, decided that Vancouver was a superior location for her garment operation. All in all, evidence such as this, combined with the significant presence and growth rates for the garment industry in Vancouver, seem to indicate that the industry is healthy and relatively stable. Although, as indicated in the concluding chapter, more extensive industry-level research is required to confirm these findings.  37  Figure i 7  - Map of Garment Firms in Central Vancouver  Map 6.1  N  1986  //)  \ //:__r]  ;-\/  Souice: City of Vancouver Economic Development Office Map 6.2  —)  1991  (4 (C/’FjJ  -  •;—i  Source: Industrial Lands Strategy, City of Vancouver Planning Department, 1993b  38  Figure 28  -  Map of Where Garment Workers Live, October, 1993  LLI  10  -  3  +  8 Source: City of Vancouver Planning Department and International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union, 1993.  39  2.3 Industrial Homework  2.3.1 Global Growth of Industrial Homework  Industrial homework is on the increase in both industrialized and developing countries. In the industrialized world the growth of industrial homework has been called the “creation of the Third World within the First World” (Mitter, 1986). This is true, both the terms of production techniques and the workers involved in production, who usually are immigrant (or perceived immigrant) women of colour. A graphic illustration of this tendency was indicated in an interview with a representative of the ILGWU, who revealed that one immigrant entrepreneur from Hong Kong had applied to Canada Employment and Immigration to bring 2,000 Hong Kong workers into the country with him (Gunarantna, personal interview, 1994).  There are strong indications that industrial homework is growing in most countries of the world at a significant rate (ILO, 1990). Although hard numbers are impossible to calculate, estimates are high, indicating that, for instance, the number of homeworkers in the United Kingdom is close to one million (Rowbotham, 1993) and that there are as many as 100,000 homeworkers in Canada (Ontario District Council of the ILGWU, 1993). This growth is part of a general trend towards the ‘casualisation’ of work as employers face stiffer international competition and employees face increasingly high unemployment rates. In this climate, employers are developing ‘flexible’ employment strategies and offering permanent and high paying jobs to increasingly fewer employees and maintaining a periphery of casual wage workers, homeworkers or subcontractors (ILO, 1990). often tend to be female as the next section explains.  40  Workers in these periphery jobs  2.3.2 The Feminization of Labour and Industrial Homework  As industrial homework primarily involves the labour of women, it is important to understand industrial homework within the framework of women and global economic restructuring. As indicated in Chapter One in Section 1.2.2, the increasing feminization of labour is based on the substitution of low-paying female labour for high-paying more easily organized male labour.  Worldwide, employers are locating in areas that have large and  often female labour reserves (ILO, 1990). Interestingly industrial homework in North American cities can be seen as a way of achieving this condition without relocating overseas. Certainly in Vancouver the reserve of abundant female immigrant labour with sewing skills is a locational factor for the garment industry. The participation rates for female workers are now approaching those for men in most countries of the world, although this increase in women’s employment has mainly been in ‘casual’ jobs (ILO, 1990, Rowbotham, 1994).  2.3.3 Material Conditions of Homework  Industrial homework is an indicator of the relative increase in the bargaining power of capital and decrease in the bargaining power of labour. This is revealed in an examination of the material conditions of industrial homework. This section explores this issue by examining how both the employer and employee are affected by industrial homework, which largely is to the employer’s rather than the employee’s benefit.  The advantages for the employer of industrial homework are: •  flexibility in hiring workers when and only when needed according to seasonal fluctuations in product demand;  •  a reduction in the risk of unionization;  •  avoidance of the costs of benefits and wages during slack periods;  •  reduction in capital costs of equipment, plant and supplies; 41  •  more control over product quality;  •  access to the best workers and avoidance of less productive workers.  From the employee’s perspective, industrial homework has certain advantages: •  a contribution to family income;  •  the ability to work at home and do other home-based work and childcare;  •  working at one’s own speed;  •  the possibility of earning more than one worker’s salary if other family members are involved in production;  •  increased access to work for handicapped workers;  •  potential improvement in working life with less commuting, more leisure and working at one’s own pace.  Disadvantages for the worker include: •  low levels of pay;  •  poor access to social programs and other benefits;  •  health and safety problems;  •  unpredictable hours of work;  •  child labour;  •  invasion of household space and other stresses. (adapted from ILO, 1990, Rowbotham, 1994, Elson and Pearson, 1981)  As indicated above, industrial homework is creating a situation where the employee has fewer rights or access to collective bargaining and is experiencing poorer working conditions and control over work in return for the opportunity to earn money and remain at home. The employer, on the other hand, has access to a flexible, lower-cost and highly skilled  42  workforce. The following section elaborates more fully on the specific situation of homesewers in Vancouver.  2.4 Industrial Homesewers in Vancouver  2.4.1 The Industrial Homesewer Profile  Research work carried out by the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union has established a clear profile of industrial homesewers in Toronto and Vancouver. It is clear that industrial homework has grown enormously in the last five years, since the imposition of the Free Trade Agreement. There are many more sweatshops and homeworkers now than there were in the 1900s (Women and Work Research and Education Society, 1993). Most homesewers in Vancouver produce children’s and women’s clothing in multiple short-run batches (Leach, 1993). They are geographically concentrated in the Vancouver-Burrard district of East Vancouver. The number of industrial homesewers in Vancouver is estimated  to be between 1,000 and 3,000 with an additional 8,000 industrial homeworkers involved in the assembly of toys, computers and other components (Gunarantna, personal interview, 1994).  It is very clear that industrial homeworkers in Canada and Vancouver are as subject to exploitation as their international counterparts; the return on their labour is being disproportionately allocated to the employer. This has been graphically illustrated by research in Ontario which has traced garments from the retail outlet back to the industrial homeworker. As reported in one recent article:  “For each $357 Alfred Sung jacket she sews, Kitty earns $4.00. She sometimes stays up all night to complete an order handed to her that day, to finish the next. Kitty has no right to overtime pay, statutory holidays or unemployment insurance.” 43  (Canadian Press, October 6, 1993)  Although it would be more accurate to replace “she has no right” with “she has no access” this story illustrates quite clearly illustrates the structural exploitation of industrial homesewers in Vancouver and other Canadian cities.  Characteristics of Vancouver industrial homesewers are that: 97% are visible minority women; most lack English language skills; most are classified as ‘immigrant’  ,  although  almost all are citizens; and most have responsibility for children, indicating that the reason that they are engaged in homework is because of the lack of affordable childcare (Women and Work Research and Education Society, 1993 and Ontario District of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, 1993). Conditions of work include payment on a piece-rate system with no time allowed for machinery delay, travel, person fatigue and other usual delays in production. Work hours are beyond the control of the employee, as rush orders often require over-time which is not compensated for. The average wage is $4.64 per hour. The homeworkers must also provide their own equipment, at a cost of between $2,000 and $3,000, putting many homeworkers in debt. They are also paid no benefits or vacation pay (Women and Work Research and Education Society, 1993).  It is important to note that industrial homesewing is not generally the preferred choice of the women worker, but rather the outcome of limited employment opportunities and structural factors such as lack of daycare and English language skills, “most people (homeworkers) do not like working at home, but many have no choice” (Interview Homeworker quoted in Women and Work Research and Education Society, 1993) It is also important to emphasize the skill level of industrial homeworkers, who are able to complete very complicated tasks such as assembling a garment from many pieces with little instruction.  44  The following section summarizes the interests of homeworkers generally and homesewers in Vancouver specifically.  2.4.2 Interests of Industrial Homesewers  The interests of industrial homesewers identified in this section are based on secondary sources and research by homeworker based organizations. The Industrial Homework Working Group will be conducting a community development process with homesewers to specifically identify the needs of homesewers in Vancouver.  In general the interests of homesewers include the following:  •  A strong garment industry which will continue to provide employment. Although it would be inappropriate to assume that support for the garment  industry alone would be sufficient to ensure fair working conditions for homesewers.  •  Legal status and recognition of industrial homework as a form of employment is crucial to establishing worker minimum standards and access to basic employment benefits and security.  •  English as a second language training and affordable childcare are key needs of industrial homeworkers and have been identified as structural factors that are keeping many women stuck in industrial homework.  •  A collective means of bargaining has also been identified as a key need of industrial homeworkers who are almost universally non-unionized.  45  •  An increase in economic return on labour is an important consideration given that most homeworkers work well below the minimum wage.  •  Improved health and safety conditions are also a crucial need for industrial homeworkers given that most work under conditions that include high inhalation of fibre dust and fire risk from inappropriate household equipment.  •  Networking is also a crucial need of industrial homeworkers given the isolation that most homeworkers work and live under.  •  Training is also a need of industrial homeworkers to upgrade sewing and other employment related skills to move up in the workforce. (adapted from Women and Work Research and Education Society,  1993,  Ontario District of ILGWU, 1993, Rowbotham, 1994, ILO,  1990)  46  2.5 Organizing Strategies for Industrial Homework  2.5.1 International International strategies by homeworker organizations have included international networking and coalition building. These have most recently included a conference on Homeworking in Toronto co-sponsored by the International Ladies Gannent Workers Union and other groups. This organizing effort is based on sharing information and strategies to improve the working conditions of industrial homeworkers. There is also an attempt by the International Labour Organization to establish international labour standards for industrial homework.  2.5.2 National/Provincial  National and provincial strategies have concentrated on achieving social protection for homeworkers. This has included regulatory measures seeking to ensure that:  •  homeworkers are protected by Employment Standards Legislation;  •  industrial homework is appropriately defined in legislation and policy;  •  appropriate minimum wage and remuneration laws are in effect for industrial homeworkers;  •  the terms and conditions of work are regulated;  •  social security provisions are available for homeworkers;  •  and that occupational health and safety conditions of work are regulated.  To reinforce this regulatory framework there have been efforts to establish reporting, registration and supervision systems for industrial homeworkers (Ontario District Office of the ILGWU, 1993, Women and Work Research and Education Society, 1993 and ILO, 1992).  47  Enforcement issues make it debatable how effective this regulatory approach is given the clandestine nature of industrial homework and the apparent success of employers in evading the regulatory framework (Rowbotham, 1992). Most accurately, it is perhaps safest to say that regulation is necessary but not sufficient. Without collective bargaining power, which is difficult to achieve given the material conditions of industrial homework, and improved local community economic and social conditions, the regulatory approach will only have a limited impact on improving the conditions of industrial homework.  2.5.3 Local  Local initiatives have concentrated on establishing an organizing body and presence for industrial homeworkers. The prime strategies of social action groups supporting industrial homeworkers have involved: research about the local conditions of industrial homework; organizing and advocacy; development of a homeworker centre; and consumer-based campaigns such as the Clean Clothes Campaign in Toronto to pressure consumers to purchase clothes produced in non-exploitative conditions (Rowbotham, 1994). As stated, there is a growing recognition in the literature of the importance of local initiatives. These include the support of local authorities for the social action measures described above, community economic development measures, as well as more mainstream approaches to urban regional development that have concentrated on establishing a strong garment sector with improved labour practices (Totterdill, 1992). More details are described in Chapter Four.  48  2.6 Conclusion In conclusion this chapter provides a social and economic rationale for planning intervention by the City of Vancouver on behalf of industrial homeworkers in the garment industry based on the following:  1. The garment industry is a persistently labour intensive industry that has undergone restructuring to emerge as a viable competitive domestic industry. Yet this industry is exhibiting increasingly exploitative labour practices.  2. The garment industry in Vancouver seems to be a stable and labour intensive industrial sector that will continue to provide employment for immigrant women residents in the City of Vancouver, who otherwise face many structural and discrimination-based barriers in accessing other employment opportunities.  3. Industrial homework in the garment industry is exploitative and homeworkers have a number of interests including the need for: a strong garment industry; legal status and recognition; ESL training and affordable childeare; a collective means of bargaining; an increase in economic return on their labour; improved health and safety conditions for work; networking opportunities; and skills training.  4. Organizing efforts by homeworkers and their supporters are taking place at the international, national and local level. Actions at the local level are becoming increasingly significant, given the limitations of the national regulatory approach to improve the conditions of industrial homework.  49  Chapter Three A Case Study of Vancouver’s Response to Industrial Homesewing -  3.1 Introduction:  As indicated in the introduction, the concentration of this thesis is at the local government level. It is an exploration of how the local government of Vancouver can intervene in the field of industrial homework. This discussion is based on a political economic analysis which highlights the new role of the ‘entrepreneurial’ local city state, the domination of labour by capital and the decline of the central welfare state. The emphasis from a planning perspective is on a community economic development approach. Furthermore, as indicated in Chapter Two, there is a rationale for the City intervening in the garment industry and assisting industrial homeworkers, both on social and economic grounds. This chapter, the case study of the thesis, explores through attitudinal and information-seeking interviews the current status of city planning in Vancouver as it relates to industrial homework.  The data is organized into four sections:  1.  Level of awareness of industrial homework;  2.  Attitudes related to industrial homework;  3.  Factors identified as mitigating against a city response to industrial homework;  4.  Factors identified as supporting a city response to industrial homework;  50  3.1.1 Research Methodology  This chapter is based on key interviews with municipal staff and elected officials carried out in the Spring and Summer of 1994. Overall, 14 interviews were conducted(See Appendix A). A snowball approach was used to identify these key informants. The point of origin interview was with a representative of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. This interview led to contacts with the Industrial Homework Working Group, an organization representing industrial homeworkers in the garment industry in British Columbia. This interview, in turn provided contact with an industrial lands planner in the Vancouver City Planning Department. From this point on, interviews were conducted with nine public officials and two elected official using an interview guide (See Appendix B) with eight open ended questions and several questions to each respondent designed specifically for each department. An attempt was made to include every area of the municipal government which may have had some concern with the issue of industrial homework this included Planning, -  Social Planning, Permits and Licenses and Economic Development. As a check on this selection, each respondent was asked to identify additional city staff members who might be involved in the issue of industrial homework. To include the elected officials’ perspective, interviews were conducted with the most senior elected official and a junior elected official. To complete an overview of the role of the municipality, it was necessary to include several interviews with non-municipal staff including a representative of the Employment Services -  Branch of the federal department of Human Resources and Development and a representative of the VanCity Credit Union. Given that the focus of this thesis is not on provincial labour regulation, the provincial policy position was taken from discussion in a recent brief submitted by Professor Mark Thompson as part of a review of Employment Standards legislation conducted in 1993/94.  51  3.2 Interview Data  3.2.1 Respondent Awareness of Industrial Homework  The interviews revealed varied levels of awareness of the phenomena of industrial homesewing in Vancouver on the part of respondents. In general, with several exceptions, there is only a superficial knowledge of industrial homework on the part of municipal officials. This, in turn, is related to one of the major findings of the research, that the city does not consider employment planning for the full range of its residents to be an integral part of its mandate. The following discussion indicates the level of awareness and responses by municipal officials to industrial homework. In an effort to understand how awareness levels are established, the first section deals with those areas of city government where there is little or no knowledge of industrial homework, and the second section with those areas where there is a higher level of awareness of industrial homework.  Respondents With No Awareness of Industrial Homework:  There was little or no knowledge of industrial homework at the senior planning and elected official level. This is significant given that these levels represent key policy-making levels in the City’s government.  In Social Planning it was indicated that the department had not worked on employment issues for over five years. This is significant given the fact that historically social planning had been active in this very field, running a pilot project “Immigrant Women in the labour Force”. (Young, 1976) which had supported ESL training for garment workers. It was indicated that this department could focus on employment related issues such as industrial homework, “if it felt that it was an important issue”.  52  It was indicated at the senior level of the Planning Department that “industrial homework is not an issue for the City”, and that “the City needs to see industrial homework as a major issue and it has not been raised as one yet”. It was also stated that employment generation was not considered a city issue, but rather the jurisdiction of senior-level governments. The city’s role in employment issues was described as limited to the zoning of industrial lands and the regulation of home occupations.  The senior elected official indicated a lack of awareness of industrial homework and reinforced that, in general, employment planning was considered a provincial, not a city matter. It was stated that “there might be a time for the city to intervene, although it is hard for the city to do anything because employment is mainly the Province’s jurisdiction”. City involvement in employment issues was described as being limited to the affirmative action work of the Employment Office and the cultural diversity training work of the Hastings Institute.  Respondent awareness levels of industrial homework seem correlated to convictions concerning the city’s role in employment planning. Explicitly, those officials, who have the least awareness of industrial homework, appeared to be those officials who are the least committed to expanding the city’s role in employment generation and regulation. This seems to rest on the assumption that currently, in Vancouver, employment is “not an important issue”. Another pattern that emerges from the interviews is that these same officials are also in the best position to influence policy, as senior planners and a senior elected official. This reveals a significant barrier to the development of policies related to industrial homework. The following section focuses on those areas of the City’s government where there is an awareness of industrial homework in order to gain an understanding of how this awareness has been established.  53  Respondents With Some Awareness of Industrial Homework:  There is awareness of industrial homework in certain city departments, Economic Development, Permits and Licenses and Planning and on the part of the junior elected official interviewed. This awareness, when occurring, has resulted in supportive actions by individual planners and officials. Yet, to date these actions have not resulted in policy development.  Officials in the Economic Development Office, Permits and Licenses and the Planning Department and the junior elected official all indicated that they were aware of industrial homesewing. There was general awareness that “there are women doing garment work in all neighbourhoods”. In these three departments, respondents indicated that they were unaware of the detailed conditions of industrial homework; most expressed some level of dismay at the actual number of homeworkers. With one exception, there was solid acceptance of the ILGWU’s research findings about industrial homesewing in Vancouver(as described in Chapter Two). This respondent indicated that “nothing could be done until the exploitation is proven”. Despite this hesitancy there have been a number of actions taken by a number of these planning officials to improve working conditions for industrial homeworkers.  These actions have largely been directly and indirectly connected to requests made by an ILGWU official that: the legal home-based status of industrial homesewers be clarified; and that industrial lands be preserved for the garment industry. Firstly, the Permits and License and Economic Development departments jointly issued written clarification indicating that: homeworkers who were paid as employees(specifically if they had CPP and UIC deducted from their pay slips) did not need any permit or license; and that other non-employee classified contractors could easily obtain a forty dollar a year home-based business license. This clarification assisted the union in its organizing work with homesewers by making it clear that they were not working illegally. It is also potentially useful that Permits and 54  Licenses generally considered industrial homeworkers to be employees rather than selfemployed home craft operators. This could assist in the union’s efforts to legally establish the employee-employer relationship between industrial homeworkers and factory owners.  Secondly, land-use recommendations by Planning also supported the union’s position. A mapping study, carried out by the Planning Department, clearly illustrates that garment factory workers are concentrated near the East Vancouver industrial lands(See Figure 1  -  Map of Where Garment Workers Live). This was part of a more general planning exercise, the Industrial Lands Strategy, which is meant to support the retention of certain industrial lands in Vancouver. Significantly, in terms of establishing a profile for industrial homework, this mapping does not include industrial homeworkers. But the Industrial Lands Strategy does highlight the garment industry, although again, it does not address the issue of industrial homework. This Industrial Lands Strategy in itself supports the union’s position calling for an adequate and affordable industrial land supply for the garment industry. This position rests on the union’s hypothesis that a supply of industrial lands is correlated to the maintenance of factory jobs and forms a check on the shift to homework. Whether an industrial lands supply is really a check on the growth of homework is unproved given, as stated by a respondent, that an industrial lands vacancy rate of 30-40% in Toronto is still not preventing the growth of industrial homework in that city. This is not to say that securing industrial lands for the garment industry in Vancouver, where the vacancy rate is around 34%, is not important.  Both of these planning actions, the clarification letter and the high profile of the garment industry in the Industrial Lands Strategy, indicate the importance of city-level actions to the well-being of industrial homesewers. It also indicates that the ILGWU has been effective in accessing planning officials, although this influence has not yet affected policy. This is reflected in the fact that awareness of the existence of industrial homework is present, but not yet officially documented. 55  As well, officials most aware of industrial homework seemed the most ready to accept a higher level of intervention in employment issues by the City. In contrast to senior officials who stated a preference for leaving employment related concerns with the province, there was a stated conviction that the City should be involved in employment planning for its industrial workforce. It was stated that the City should be “concerned with keeping the garment industry here, there are 8,000 jobs at least in the industry”. It was stated by the junior elected official that “Vancouver does have an employment problem, only City Council doesn’t think that they do”. Another respondent indicated that the City should not “force industrial workers out of the City by rezomng its industrial lands”. It was also stated that “the City has to do responsible planning for an industry that has potential to provide a lot of opportunities for City residents”.  In conclusion present awareness of industrial homework seems largely limited to planners who have had first hand contact with the ILGWU. Interestingly, those officials more highly informed also seemed to be the most ready to accept that the city should be involved in employment planning. This was best illustrated by one planner who simply stated that “no jobs should be lost due to land-use decision-making”. This conviction that employment planning is an important role for the City is leading to individual actions, as noted above, to support industrial homeworkers. There is also a growing level of sympathy with the union’s efforts to organize homeworkers. One planner indicated that she had passed on information about a goggle home-assembly operation to the union so that they could investigate the situation.  Also, acceptance of the realities of industrial homework seems correlated to the  socio-economic background of certain respondents, correlated with their work, ethnicity and family background. Specifically, those respondents who have relatives working in the garment industry or who have a shared ethnic background with industrial homesewers were more likely to be aware of industrial homework. Additional attitudinal factors related to a response to industrial homework are included in the following section.  56  3.2.2. Respondent Attitudes Related to Industrial Homework  Discussions with respondents revealed varying perspectives on issues pertinent to a discussion of the city’s response to industrial homework. The two most relevant areas, in terms of establishing a planning response to industrial homework, were attitudes about: the role of the state and municipal planning; and the nature of homework and women’s work.  3.2.2.1 Perspective on the Role of the State and Municipal Planning  There were mixed perspectives on the role of the state in general, varying through the political spectrum. Within this discussion, there was general acknowledgment of the limits of local government, although respondents generally agreed that there was enough flexibility in the planning system for the local government to respond in some way to the growth of industrial homework.  As stated above, respondents with the least awareness of industrial homework were the most reticent to support an expanded planning role for the city in employment issues. In the words of a senior elected official, “encouraging corporations to invest is the city’s best way to do employment planning”. From his perspective, it is the market that should be influencing land-use decision making in the city. This would extend to the industrial lands decision which he felt was best left to the market rather than to the city, “if a big box retail operation wanted to locate in the industrial lands then that was what the market indicated was an appropriate use of that land”.  Senior policy-makers reinforced this perspective, indicating that the planning role of the city should be limited and that the only employment concern of the city was to match transportation to job location. It was felt that “jobs are coming here anyway” and that “Vancouver is not an eastern rust belt city” in need of employment planning. It was also 57  indicated that employment issues had not been raised in the CityPlan process and that people had only focused on issues that were within the city’s jurisdiction. 9  A junior elected official, in contrast to the senior elected official, indicated support for an interventionist role for the local government, indicating that the city should become directly involved in the issue of industrial homework. She indicated that the city should “move to support its industrial workers”. Some possible avenues for intervention that were identified are: raising awareness of industrial homework by asking the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to issue a statement of support to improve the conditions of work of industrial homeworkers; having the City of Vancouver endorse the recommendations of the Mark Thompson Report to support the explicit inclusion of homework in Employment Standards Legislation; and having the City support community development initiatives for industrial homeworkers.  The social planning department favoured an advocacy role for the local government. It was indicated that social planning viewed its role as an ameliorative one  -  indicating that the city  deals with “poverty and its consequences”. The department’s role was described as one of “working with the voiceless as an advocate and resource person”. It was felt that homesewers did not fall into this category, given that they have the ILGWU to represent them. Specifically, in terms of employment planning, it was indicated that the city had no jurisdiction to deal with employment issues, although it could deal with the poverty consequences of unemployment and underemployment. It was stated that social planning would look at the consequences of homework, such as health and safety and child workers, and try to deal with them. It was also indicated that social planning did act as a conduit to  This was an interesting comment given that there are comments about employment generation in the CityPlan IDEAS book. One particularly quote from the Vietnamese Single Mothers’ Group illustrates this concern best, “Although housing and daycare issues are important, however, taking into account the limited budget of the City and if there is only one wish people can make, that is what they will go for JOBS!” -  58  other levels of government and would act as an advocate on the part of industrial homeworkers.  An entrepreneurial role for the local government was indicated by the Economic Development Office. This involved developing the office as a facilitator or partner to private industry, offering in-kind services to different industry sectoral associations. In the past this had involved assistance to the high-tech and motion picture industries. It was indicated that there was no logical reason why this kind of assistance could not be offered to an employee association as well as an employer group. Along with the Planning Department, Economic Development strongly supported an active role for the city in the maintenance of the existing industrial lands through the adoption of the Industrial Lands Strategy.  An active employment planning role for the state was echoed by industrial lands planners. This was based on the conviction that the city was facing considerable pressure from the development industry to convert its industrial capacity to residential and commercial uses. Acknowledgment of the necessity of an integrated approach to local planning was also indicated. This was illustrated by the conviction that support for industrial homeworkers had to be based on a combined social and economic development approach that, among other things, maintained an affordable housing pool in the inner city and industrial lands to support incubator industries in the inner city. It was felt that the City “needed to protect industry through zoning” and “see if there is anyway that it can contribute to the growth of the industry and the health of the city”.  Given the current review of the Industrial Lands Strategy, these varying views on the role of the state and municipal planning are immediately relevant. The issue of supporting the Industrial Lands Strategy therefore seems a crucial test of the city’s relative commitment to industrial employment or the development industry, almost a blue-collar/white collar battleground about the role of the state. Again, it is obvious from the range of perspectives 59  that there is no solid agreement on the city’s role in regards to industrial lands planning and employment planning in general, let alone industrial homework. The next section deals with specific attitudes affecting a response to industrial homesewing.  3.2.2.2 Understanding of the Nature of Home-Based Work and Women’s Work  Respondents’ understanding of the nature of home-based work and women’s work also influenced their response to the issue of industrial homework.  Attitudes about the nature of  industrial homesewing were rooted in preconceived notions about why people work at home, the value of women’s work and the conditions faced by immigrant women in society.  Attitudes About Home-Based Work  Most respondents initially envisioned the computer-connected professional homeworker when asked about homework. They viewed the trend to home-based work as a positive option for the white collar professional. This seemed to bolster a view that homeworking was completely an exercise in individual preference. This in turn made it difficult for some respondents to understand that industrial homeworking might not be anything other than a choice. It took a great deal of explaining to clarify the fact that industrial homework involved employees being forced into a situation where they had to do assembly work at home rather than contractors choosing to work in a home setting. In the words of one respondent who was asked to comment on his vision of home-based work, “anyone who has a vocation rather than a job can work at home, it’s like when an architect comes home, he isn’t a dishwasher he’s an architect”. This also relates to attitudes about women’s work.  For many respondents, identification with the issue was much more clear from the perspective of an employer rather than an employee. This was most obvious in a reaction to 60  a description of the remuneration system for industrial homesewers, a system that often results in delays of payments well beyond the legal fifteen day period. One respondent’s reaction was that this could be a means of avoiding the difficulties that employers face in collecting their accounts receivable. Another comment indicated support for home-based insurance adjusters because it would mean that the insurance company could pay on a piece work basis, claim by claim, and avoid costs related to employee travel time to and from claim sites.  An awareness of industrial homework as a job rather than as a self-employment option from the employee’s perspective came from several respondents. These officials identified several structural causes of homesewing, feeling that the real problem, in the words of one respondent, is there “just aren’t enough jobs, childcare, education and ESL for these women to get out of such job ghettoes”.  Significantly all the respondents in this category were  women.  In terms of homework as a planning issue, the prime concern identified by the City Permits and Licenses Department is nuisance; ensuring through the home-based business licensing system that these businesses are not annoying neighbourhood residents. The City of Vancouver’s HomeCraft Bylaw is chiefly directed at ensuring this(Appendix C). The term HomeCraft itself is interesting in that it connotes something quite different than industrial homework, or even a home consulting operation. Interviews with licensing personnel indicated that industrial homesewing is not really a focus for the bylaw officers, and that “only about 12 homesewers in the City are even licensed”. The City has allocated few resources to enforcing the bylaw and could provide no statistical breakdown of homework in the City. This, combined with the fact that most industrial homeworkers are not licensed (and arguably should not be, considering that most of these workers are employees rather than self-employed contractors) is a factor contributing to the invisibility and misconstruction of industrial homework. 61  In conclusion, the attitude towards home-based work by many city officials is that it is a positive option for white-collar city residents. This is shaped by a perception that homebased work is mainly the domain of the white collar professional or simply a pin-money or home-craft operation. This perception is reflected in the planning structure which has few resources to plan or even record home-based work  Women’s Work  Interviews with respondents revealed some assumptions about race and gender that are affecting the understanding of planners and officials about industrial homework. This issue is particularly crucial given the fact that over 90% of homesewers are visible minority women. The following section discusses these attitudes.  There was some sense on the part of some respondents that the low remuneration for women homesewers was appropriate. One official described an Asian female relative who could duplicate any dress in a shop on Robson Street and would do so for free. Another official indicated that homesewing work is “a women’s issue because it is important for them to be with their children. When told of the hourly rate of pay, three to four dollars an hour, one official asked “Is this interrupted by changing diapers? What is an hour? This has to be proven”.  These perceptions were compounded by some respondent assumptions about immigrant women. One official suggested that immigrant women were doing this kind of work because they “just won’t learn the language, whereas men will learn the language”. Comments by personnel outside the City staff provided some indication of the structural reasons for such an attitude. An immigration official suggested that “most immigrant women come in as family entrants with no occupations or skills.., and their language skills are bad”. When pressed for 62  clarification, the official indicated that this impression may be a result of the mechanics of the family reunification program whereby spouses(usually the woman) are not asked to list an occupation or skill and are not targeted for subsidies for ESL. It was further indicated that the federal government used to bring immigrant workers in specifically to work in the garment industry and encourage employers to give them language training. It was also indicated that this is no longer the case.  These comments also reveal the need to educate policy-makers about the structural causes of industrial homework and to deal with prevailing attitudes towards race and gender. Without such education it is obviously easy for officials to fall prey to a ‘blaming the victim’ approach to industrial homework.  63  3.2.3 Factors Identified as Mitigating Against a City Response to Industrial Homework  3.2.3.1 Jurisdictional Limitations  The lack of jurisdiction in employment related matters was identified clearly by interviewees. There was a clear perception among most respondents that employment planning is primarily a provincial matter and that the city’s direct role in employment issues is limited to determining, through zoning, where people would work in the city. There appeared to be some trend to increasing the flexibility of the city’s zoning policies. Discussion with planners about the controversy around locating Big Box retail operations and live-work studios in the Industrial Lands highlighted this trend. Numerous respondents indicated that even though the City did not have direct responsibility for employment related issues, there were numerous ways that it could effect employment trends in the City. These are elaborated on in Section 3.2.4.1. Despite this, the lack of mandated responsibility for employment related concerns seems a considerable constraint.  3.2.3.2. Fiscal Limitations  There was almost unanimous agreement among interviewees that the city was not in a position where it could or would directly fund, in any significant way, any effort to assist homeworkers. This was stated as a political impossibility, given the city’s reliance on property taxes. As stated by a senior elected official, “the City gets money from property taxes and it should encourage the private sector to create employment”. As indicated, in Section 3.2.4.2, the availability of in-kind or staff level resources can somewhat offset this constraint.  64  3.2.3.3 Lack of Political Clout  The main constraint identified by respondents was political. The conviction of the current administration to limit the role of local government, combined with the invisibility and lack of political profile of industrial homework, form a considerable constraint to increasing the city’s involvement in the issue. Compounding this invisibility, is a lack of understanding of the issue. One sympathetic planner indicated concern that attention to the issue may just result in “an anti-sweatshop crackdown” without any support for homeworkers. As indicated by the Federal Employment and Immigration official, it is only with publicity and education that previously ignored employee groups have been able to gain positive changes. She indicated that this has been the case with agricultural workers who are now eligible for Unemployment Insurance.  3.2.4 Factors Identified as Supportive of a City Response to Industrial Homework  3.2.4.1 Flexibility of City Planning  In some sense, the lack of jurisdiction or policy mandate for employment related issues has created some free space for city planners to respond in a case-specific way to requests for assistance from the ILGWU. As well, the lack of employment related powers for the City does not mean that its actions, particularly in terms of land-use decision-making, are not related to employment issues. The first and most important planning issue, that was identified by planners as being relevant to industrial homeworkers, was the retention of the remaining industrial lands in the City. There was some indication that the City’s jurisdiction in terms of home-based licensing could be used as a way to intervene to improve health and safety issues associated with industrial homework. Yet, there was also the perception that the costs of any such intervention would be prohibitive.  65  3.2.4.2 Availability of In-Kind City Resources  The availability of in-kind resources was mentioned repeatedly in interviews. Several planners suggested that the City could offer an incubator space in the industrial lands for an industrial homeworker centre, indicating that the City owns 120 acres of industrial land and an inventory of buildings. Indications were also made that the City could offer staff time and secretariat services to such an operation. It was also made clear that the city departments can serve as a conduit to key provincial and federal ministries to support legislative change and program dollar allocation to industrial homeworkers.  3.2.4.3 Political Potential of the Issue  The political shock value of the issue of industrial homework also seems to be a factor that could result in the issue gaining political attention at the municipal level. The reaction of all respondents to the scale and conditions of industrial homework was one of shock and concern. Even the respondent, most resistant to extending the City’s employment planning mandate, indicated that “if people are not protected then the city’s role should be a liaison to the Provincial government to change things”. Apart from one respondent, who indicated that the union-based research data was insufficient, there was general sympathy and concern about the conditions that most industrial homeworkers face. This, in turn, indicates the necessity of public and political-level education by industrial homeworker advocacy organizations. In the words of a junior elected official, “there is virtually nothing the city cannot do if there is the political will to do it”.  66  3.3 Conclusion 3.3.1 Research Findings  With such a small sampling of respondents it is difficult to generalize about the research findings. It is hoped that the fairly comprehensive range of officials interviewed compensates to a large degree for the relatively small number of officials interviewed.  The most relevant findings of the interviews, as discussed in this chapter, are that generally:  1.  Industrial homework is an invisible issue for many planners and elected  officials. In general, it is more senior officials who are least aware of industrial homework and less committed to the city dealing with employment issues and more junior officials who are more aware of industrial homework and more concerned with the city’s role in employment planning, especially for the industrial workforce. This, in turn, means that actions to address industrial homework issues have occurred but have not reached the policy level;  2.  The City of Vancouver’s commitment to employment planning is marginal,  concentrating on the transportation implications of job location. This is particularly so for employment sectors that are not high tech or information based. There is a prevailing assumption in the current political administration that the city’s employment generation role should be limited to attracting investment into the city;  3.  An understanding of industrial homework is affected by preconceived notions  held by some respondents that home-based work is primarily a white-collar consulting or pin-money activity. Attitudes towards industrial homework are shaped by the respondents preconceptions of the nature of home-based and women’s work and  67  attitudes towards gender and race. This often is leading to misconceptions about the exploitative nature of industrial homework;  4.  City policy-makers and politicians do not consider the issue of deregulated  employment to be a mandated role for the city and feel that the city faces perceived and real jurisdictional, political and fiscal constraints in its ability to intervene in this area;  5.  Despite this, opportunities were identified by planners to innovatively affect  positive change for these workers through land-use decision-making, the existing social and economic development planning processes, and through the city’s role as an conduit to higher govermnent and advocate for city residents;  This leads to the conclusion that, although there are opportunities for the municipality to intervene, a significant level of lobbying and educational work will have to be done by groups such as the Industrial Homeworking Group and the International Ladies Garment Workers Union to establish industrial homework as a policy issue for Vancouver.  3.3.2 Theoretical Implications  From a theoretical perspective the research findings reinforced much of the literature discussed in Chapter One.  1. The predominance of a post-welfare state mindset at the City of Vancouver was most evident from the comments of a senior elected official and senior policy makers. It is clear that the prevailing policy-making agenda is based on maintaining an appearance of fiscal constraint and a stated desire to limit the planning role of the city;  68  2. The relative decline in the bargaining power of labour is evident from the marginal commitment of senior officials to most employment related issues, especially those related to the blue-collar workforce.  As indicated by the comments from the Social  Planning department this represents a shift from previous times where employment related issues were considered part of the City’s mandate. As well, there is a clearer identification with the employer rather than employee at the senior political level. Also the relative invisibility of industrial homework and the lack of grassroots agitation to pressure the city to respond to industrial homework are also factors mitigating against action by the municipal government;  3. The City of Vancouver does have a tendency to operate from an ‘entrepreneurial city’ perspective. Primary importance is placed on attracting investment to the city while there is a minimal commitment to employment planning.  4. There is a growing ‘dual city’ phenomena in Vancouver. The most graphic examples of this are: on the one hand, the concentrated sectoral actions of the Economic Development Office to support the high-tech and motion picture industry; and on the other hand, the relative lack of support for traditional industries, as manifested by the ambivalent support for industrial lands by the senior elected official; and, finally the almost complete invisibility of industrial homework. These all indicate the tendencies towards the institutional aspects of the ‘dual city’ trend, whereby certain segments of the non-information based labour market are being dealt out of the political arena almost completely.  69  Chapter Fgr: CQnsiderptipns for a Plannjig Response  to Industri4 Homesewing  4.1 Introduction  This chapter is a synthesis of Chapters Two and Three and combines the analysis of the conditions of the garment industry in Vancouver and industrial homesewers’ needs with the analysis of the attitudes and capacity of the City of Vancouver. The chapter is organized into a discussion of strategies in other municipal jurisdictions; a discussion of the political viability of a response to industrial homework in Vancouver; and a discussion of relevant planning issues related to industrial homework in the City of Vancouver.  4.2 Strategies in Other Municipal Jurisdictions  In general, municipalities are faced with a range of options available to respond to industrial homework, including: a ‘blind-eye’ approach that maintains the status quo; a crackdown on ‘sweatshops’; or a development approach that addresses the structural problems of industrial homework. This thesis is primarily concerned with the developmental approach. According to the literature, the following three models are emerging:  An Sectoral Urban Regional Development Approach (The British Model):  Local authorities in England have been involved in supporting the garment industry directly in the hope that this assistance will translate into improved conditions for garment workers. These initiatives have included both direct investment in garment manufacturing and the provision of collective services to the garment industry to assist firms to enhance their production and marketing. To ensure that these benefits trickle-down to workers, firms gaining assistance must abide by certain codes of conduct that specify minimum employment  70  standards. As well firms receive assistance on the condition that they provide employee training programs. This approach also involves the development of a network of collective services, including access to computer assisted design and manufacturing techniques and employee upgrading programs. These local governments have also worked with the trade unions to bring them into policy discussions and alert them to technological changes in the industry. Finally, local governments have been effective in coordinating the delivery of higher level government programs and developing a local network of garment industry employers and employees to access these programs (Totterdill, 1992).  An Artisan Development Approach (The Third Italy Model):  In the Italian district of Emilia-Romagna the communist government has provided substantial business and welfare support for home garment workers to form artisan associations. As well, the region promotes its design and craftsmanship. Although it is difficult to ascertain from the research available it appears as though garment workers in this district are employed under superior conditions and wages than in England (Totterdill, 1992).  A Community Economic Development Approach:  In Holland local and regional governments in Hengelo 1985, Tilburg 1987 and Amsterdam 1988 have helped to start up homeworker centres. These centres offer information, legal advice, networking opportunities and a site for homeworker organizing (Rowbotham, 1993). In England and in India local authorities have worked with homeworker organizations such as the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to support the establishment of homeworker centres. These centres have also secured local funding to establish training courses and small business start-up programs for homeworkers. This has led to the 71  establishment of several homesewer cooperatives and other means to increase the return on labour to homeworkers (Rowbotham, 1993).  Conclusion  In all of the above models, local governments have been socialist-oriented and have acted both in response to the lack of employment initiatives of regional or national governments, as well as on behalf of a relatively powerful local labour lobby. In England, Labour Party urban regional and city governments, such as the Greater London Council, became more involved in employee related concerns during the Thatcher period as a response to central government cutbacks. In Italy, the Communist government of Emilia-Romagna is an example of a very progressive local government within a less innovative national structure. In British Columbia, the relative conservatism of the local government of Vancouver compared to the provincial New Democratic Party government, may be supporting a very different political situation. Yet, given the limitations of the regulatory route available to the provincial government, it still seems as though the actions of the local government can be instrumental in affecting the situation of homeworkers. The real question becomes one of political viability.  4.3 Political Viability of a Local Response in Vancouver  The following section briefly indicates the positions and relative clout of the various political actors that would be involved in an industrial homework strategy.  Local Govermnent:  The current political climate at Vancouver City Hall appears as a significant barrier in the development of a more proactive approach to deregulated employment or homesewing. Yet, 72  as indicated in the interviews, there was a general sense of shock on the part of respondents to the degree and nature of industrial homework. There was also indication of the city’s ability to provide in-kind resources in terms of staff time and industrial land and buildings in particular. Any actions by the government will probably have to be provoked by public pressure. This in turn will have to be based on increasing the profile of the issue of industrial homework, which is by and large invisible.  Employer Associations  Garment employers, individually and as a group, are not connected to the City government. There has been some sectoral development work carried out by the provincial government to promote the garment industry in British Columbia. This has taken the form of the industry catalogue, Apparel Plus. The Economic Development Office of the City of Vancouver has also developed an employer survey, although this has been currently shelved. Respondents interviewed indicated that they had contacted some employers for research purposes when devising the Industrial Lands Strategy. The industry has an association in Vancouver, the Trade and Needle Association. Given the diversity and large number of garment firms in Vancouver it is impossible to provide any profile of the industry without further investigation. This is an important area for future research.  Labour and Community Organizations  The ILGWU is recognized on an international level as a very progressive union which has taken a solid stand to support homeworkers. This is in contrast to unions in the United States which still support a legal ban on homework. The union has worked with various anti poverty and women’s groups to support improving the working conditions of homeworkers. The actions by the ILGWU organizer in Vancouver, noted in Chapter Three, reinforce this perception. The unions have also worked effectively in coalition with various groups to 73  increase support for homeworkers. In Toronto this has included work with The Coalition for Fair Wages and Working Conditions for Homeworkers, the Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare, the Chinese Workers Association and Parkdale Community Legal Services Clime to campaign for improved employment standards legislation and win. In Vancouver the ILGWU has worked effectively with The Women and Work Research and Education Society for the same purposes. This society in turn has worked with a number of community groups and associations in Vancouver: the Multilingual Orientation Services for Immigrants Association for Immigrant Communities(MOSIAC); the Orientation Adjustment Services for Immigrants Society (OASIS); Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU); Vancouver Status of Women; Women’s Employment and Training Coalition; Committee for Domestic Workers and Caregivers Rights among others(Ontario District Council of the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, 1993).  The VanCity Savings Credit union  has also shown their support for industrial homeworkers by giving them a grant for $5,000 for the ongoing research work of the Women and Work Research and Education Society. There is also indication that VanCity will possibly support an Industrial Homeworker Centre(Van Gils, personal interview, 1994). This all indicates the growing development of popular support for homeworkers.  Conclusion  In general, the reluctance of senior policy and elected officials in the City government indicates that a significant amount of political pressure will be needed to encourage the City government to pursue any policy development. Assistance work beyond the policy level is occurring and will probably continue to occur. It also appears as though there is a solid popular organizational base for industrial homeworkers. The participation of employer groups in any regional development process is yet to be determined. This participation is theoretically possible given the relative success of such endeavours in Europe, and the success of the Economic Development Office’s work with other industrial associations. 74  4.4 Planning and Policy Issues  The following discussion of planning and policy issues is meant as a summary of the substantive information gathered in the interviews and literature review. It is based on the analysis of constraints and opportunities faced by the City(see section 3.2) and homeworkers interests as identified by the ILGWU’s research (see section 2.4.2). The constraints and opportunities faced by the City are fiscal, jurisdictional and political. These interests of homeworkers include the need for: a strong garment industry; legal status and recognition; ESL training and affordable childcare; a collective means of bargaining; an increase in economic return on their labour; improved health and safety conditions for work; networking opportunities; and skills training. The following discussion of policy and planning issues attempts to identify where the City’s capacity to respond can meet homeworkers’ interests.  4.4.1. Zoning Issue: Industrial Land Use  The current review of the Industrial Lands Strategy is a crucial test of the city’s commitment to maintaining an industrial base in the city. There are currently 1695 acres of remaining industrial land in the city, approximately 6% of the city’s land area (See Figure 3  -  Map of  Remaining Industrial Areas in Vancouver). There is considerable development pressure on these lands because of their relative low land cost and the large parcel nature of the lands. The current pressures for conversion are from ‘big box’ retail and home-work studio developments. The current vacancy rate for industrial lands is only 3  75  -  4%. As concluded in  the Administrative Report on Urban Structure submitted to Council in July, 1994, the conversion of existing industrial land to housing is not in compliance with the goal of the Livable Region Strategy to promote economic vitality and social diversity by providing a variety of jobs for a variety of city residents (Director of Planning, May 3, 1994). Yet, as indicated in the interviews in Chapter Three the adoption of the Industrial Lands Strategy has been delayed and is apparently contentious.  76  Figure  310  -Map of the Remaining Industrial Lands in Vancouver, June, 1994.  I  L r; I  ‘\  l  1 *  !  I  O13IA  h  /  I  ‘ I4 /  I—  >  II  I  ..j•  1/  .  10  Source City of Vancouver Planning Department, 1994. -  77  Potential Impact on Industrial Homesewers: The retention of an affordable industrial land base is crucial for the ongoing viability of the garment industry, which needs to locate in the inner city close to its labour pool and associated services such as design and notions. It remains to be proven that there is a direct correlation between the industrial lands vacancy rate and the incidence of industrial homework, as the discussion in Chapter Three indicates. Yet, with a vacancy rate as low as 3% in Vancouver, it seems probable that this is a pressure point for the industry that might well be keeping industrial rents high and creating an additional push factor towards industrial homework. Retaining industrial lands will also help to minimize upward pressure on housing prices in the areas adjacent to the industrial lands. This is especially important for homesewers who live in market housing in these areas.  4.4.2. Regulation  Issues: HomeCraft Licensing/Industrial Homeworker Status  A regulatory approach to industrial homework is primarily a provincial matter. One approach taken in Ontario is the adoption of an employer-based homeworker registry system. This is largely a provincial function connected to employment standards, although it has implications for the municipality. The city’s role in regulatory matters is primarily connected to its licensing of HomeCraft operations through its Permits and Licenses Department. As indicated, currently fewer than 1 % of all industrial homesewers are licensed. Licensing could be one way to address the health and safety concerns involved in industrial homework. Yet, as indicated by one respondent, this would be very expensive and the City would be extremely reluctant to move in this direction for at least two reasons: the first being the cost of enforcement; the second being the implied liability on the part of the municipality. 78  Potential Impact on Industrial Homesewers:  It is difficult to predict a positive impact from increased HomeCraft licensing on homesewers. Without additional resources to assist homesewers to bring their equipment up to code and improve ventilation and whatever other renovations are necessary, it is difficult to believe that enforcement would result in anything other than an increase in underground industrial homework. Unless employers could somehow be held liable for homeworkmg conditions, this would only result in onerous costs or loss of livelihood for the industrial homeworker caught in non-compliance. As an alternative, it might be more effective for the City to issue written clarification that it considers industrial homesewers to be employees rather than self-employed contractors and therefore not subject to HomeCraft regulations, but subject to Employment Standards legislation. It could also support any provincial initiative to implement a homeworker registry system similar to that in Ontario. This, in turn, would assist homeworkers to achieve legal status and recognition.  4.4.3. Research  Issue: Garment Industry and Labour Force Data  There is little data on the garment industry in Vancouver that indicates the extent or needs of employers or employees. As indicated in the interviews there seems to be a certain reluctance on the part of certain officials to accept the ILGWU data on homeworking as entirely reliable.  As well, a garment sector employer survey is yet to be implemented.  More thorough City-based research on the garment industry, that included data on industrial homeworking, could provide a more accurate understanding of the industry. This might simply involve improving data gathering processes already in place in the municipality, such as data related to home-craft operations. Given the growth and the extent of home-based 79  work in general, with over 3 million Canadians working at home(Pollack, 1994), this seems crucial.  Potential Impact on Industrial Homesewers:  Research has proven to be an important component of industrial homework strategies in various locales. This has been the backbone of public education campaigns in many countries and municipalities. This usually involves quantifying the extent of industrial homework and highlighting the terms and conditions of work. To have the municipality participate in this process would be a considerable asset to the ILGWU’s current research efforts. It would also serve as a way to clarify to municipal officials and the general public the true nature of homework as opposed to self-employment. As the interviews indicate, there is still considerable confusion about this. As well, a proposed garment manufacturers survey could be extremely useful in informing decision-making regarding the industrial lands in the city (See 4.4.1) and identifying business priorities for community economic development based strategies (See 4.4.7). It also is one way to encourage the legal status and recognition of homeworkers.  4.4.4. Liaison  Issue: City-Based Garment Industry Working Group  As indicated by the Economic Development Office, forging links with different industrial associations: the motion picture industry, the high tech industry and the Hong Kong Businessmen’s Association, has proven to be an effective strategy for using municipal resources effectively. The Social Planning department also indicates that it liaises with different non-profit groups in the city. This partnership strategy could possibly be used to forge links between the Economic Development Office and, possibly Social Planning, and the 80  garment sector’s employer and employee groups, including the ILGWU and the Industrial Homework Working Group.  Potential Impact on Industrial Homesewers:  With the guaranteed participation of the ILGWU and the Industrial Homework Working Group, a City-based sectoral working group could have positive impacts. This could parallel the British Model by possibly providing more information and resources to homeworkers that could, in turn, lead to increased economic and training benefits for them as  well.  4.4.5. Advocacy Issue: Lobbying Higher Level Governments to Support Industrial Homeworkers  The municipality can act as an effective advocate on behalf of city residents and interest groups. There is some reluctance on the City’s part to become involved in fair wage issues. As indicated in an interview with a junior elected official, City Council rejected the province’s request to adopt a ‘fair wage’ policy for construction workers in the City. On the other hand, as indicated by a senior elected official, “if people are not protected then the city’s role should be to liaise with the Province” to assist them. Given the extent of industrial homework in the City of Vancouver, the municipal government could support the following proposed amendment to the Employment Standards Act in British Columbia:  “The Commission recommends that the definition of ‘work’ in the Act state clearly that it includes home work. Employers who assign work to employees to be performed in their residence or the residence of another person should be required to provide the Ministry with the particulars of this work situation, including the names 81  of employees, their social insurance numbers, their rate of pay and the location of the home work site.”  (Thompson,  1994)  As well, the City could work through the Greater Vancouver Regional District, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to lobby for provincial and federal level support for industrial homeworkers.  Potential Impact on Industrial Homesewers:  This would support the move to provide legal status and recognition for homeworkers and send a strong message to garment employers that the City supports regulation and enforcement of employment standards for homeworkers.  4.4.6. Promotion  Issue: Promoting The Garment City Industry and Its Artisans  The City can act as a powerful promotion vehicle for city industries and interests. As indicated in the interviews, the Economic Development Office has worked to support the motion picture and high tech industries in the City. Promotion of the City’s garment industry and its workers was indicated as a possibility. This would follow the Emilia-Romagna model of supporting a milieu for fashion production by promoting the artisan and fashion design strengths of the region.  82  Potential Impact on Industrial Homesewers  This could potentially improve the situation of the garment industry as it might lead to increased support for the industrial lands. The impact on industrial homeworkers is difficult to ascertain. One possible way to ensure that benefits to the industry trickle down to workers would be for the City to support a “Clean Clothes” campaign as waged in Toronto and several European Cities. This involves pressuring garment retailers to indicate on clothing labels the point of origin and means of production for a garment. This could lead to an increase in economic return on the work of industrial homesewers.  4.4.7 Community Economic Development Issue: Supporting Community Economic Development Efforts by Industrial Homeworkers  Cities in Canada have used CED as both a program delivery and development tool. The principle application of urban CED has been for poverty alleviation in the Southwest district of the City of Montreal. There is some precedent in the City of Vancouver with the support for programs such as the small business incubator run by the Downtown Eastside Economic Development Society. The principle CED vehicle for industrial homework adopted in other jurisdictions has been the Industrial Homeworker Centre. These centres have been established formally in different cities in the United Kingdom and Holland and informally in many other developing and industrialized countries. Generally they consist of a multi functional building that serves to provide homeworkers with trades upgrading, language skills training, drop-in social facilities, merchandising channels and other services as determined by user need. These facilities have generally been the result of joint efforts by union organizers, homeworker self-help organizations and local and regional governments (Rowbotham, 1993).  83  Interviews with respondents concluded with a description of the concept of the industrial homework centre and a question about the city’s capacity to support such an operation. It was generally acknowledged that the City had the capacity to support such a centre, although only with the use of in-kind resources that involved little or no cash outlay. Yet there was concern that the City should not take on the role of the employer and provide industrial workspace that the industry is refusing to provide. The availability of City-owned industrial land and building space and staff time to support such a centre was revealed. Specifically, it was indicated that the City had provided facilities for different groups from its stock of civic properties and might do so again. There was also a general indication that such an operation would need higher level government support and that the City could act as a facilitator to lever these resources.  Again, even the respondent most resistant to extending the City’s role  in employment issues indicated that the “City might support a homeworker centre, although I’m not sure how they can”. Other respondents indicated that a homeworker centre would be a good way to “give homeworkers control over their own work and create healthier individuals and healthier communities”.  Potential Impact on Industrial Homesewers  As indicated in the literature, an Industrial Homeworker Centre has proven to be an important tool for organizing industrial homeworkers and potentially providing an avenue to increase the economic returns to industrial homesewers. There is support for this concept in the Industrial Homework Working Group (Ocran, personal interview, 1994) and from community institutions in Vancouver such as the VanCity Credit Union (Van Gils, personal interview, 1994). As well, recent disintegration of production in the garment industry into smaller subcontracting units might well present an opportunity for CED based self-help employee initiatives. These initiatives could take the form of small sewing co-operatives or artisan groups of women workers who receive orders higher up the production chain and 84  therefore receive more of the profits from their assembly work. This has been tried in Italy and Britain to varying degrees of success(Totterhill, 1992). This might be a new form of sector specific urban CED.  As well, more CED resources are being placed by both the  federal and the provincial government in Vancouver a Women’s Enterprise Centre is -  planned for East Vancouver and a provincial women’s loan fund is also planned. The City could work to ensure that homesewers are eligible and targeted for these programs. This is important because many of these higher level government CED programs are limited to Unemployment Insurance recipients, a fact that would currently disqualify many industrial homesewers.  CED efforts are the only real strategy that will address all the interests of industrial homesewers. The collective nature of CED and the provision of a homeworker centre or some such operation can encourage: legal status and recognition; provision of ESL and collectively based childcare; forms of collective bargaining; an increased return on homesewer labour; improved health and safety conditions at least at the homeworker centre and possibly through education and greater affluence in homes; networking opportunities; and training facilities. It could also lead to a stronger garment industry as employees gain better training and have the ability to pool resources. 4.5 Conclusion  In conclusion it appears that there are a number of Vancouver City planning and policy issues that are relevant to the well-being of industrial homeworkers. Given the current situation in Vancouver it is clear that a significant degree of political pressure will have to be placed on the City before it will proactively intervene in the situation. Yet, it is also clear that the issue has the political potential to ‘shock’ and therefore the potential, with a targeted public education campaign, to result in political action.  This action will certainly require the  combined efforts of all three levels of government, but as the literature is increasingly suggesting, will certainly need the involvement of the local government to be effective. 85  Chapter Five  -  Conclusion  5.1 Summary  After six months of researching the municipal response to industrial homework it is difficult to say that I feel optimistic. The real surprise of this research for me was that the City of Vancouver does not consider employment, at least for the full range of residents, a planning issue, and that there is currently a ‘closed door’ on the issue. After my experience with cities in the Interior of British Columbia, where employment creation is now the crucial issue, this strikes me as being dangerously short-sighted. More specifically, in terms of industrial homework, with the exception of two interviewees, it was even difficult to convince respondents that deregulated employment was even relevant to the work that they did for the city. This political reality makes it difficult to believe that changes in Vancouver to benefit groups such as industrial homeworkers are going to be easily gained. It is going to take a great deal of grassroots organizing and political work to achieve change.  Becoming more aware theoretically and practically about the realities of both urban planning and issues such as industrial homework is a sobering experience. While residents, such as homeworkers, are being asked to internalize the costs of production to maintain their jobs, cities are spending general revenues to build infrastructure and studying casino-like projects to transform the inner city to serve the needs of a very different class of resident or even off shore resident or tourist. The result is ever increasing social polarization.  It is evident that there is a role for local governments to play in addressing equity issues such as deregulated employment. The downloading of central government social programs and the growth of deregulated employment within municipalities reinforce the need for local action. Yet, from this research, it appears that there is little probability that Vancouver will assume  86  this role. The stated conviction of senior planners and elected officials that employment issues are not city issues make it evident that employment planning and policy development will not happen in Vancouver, at least without a considerable amount of political pressure being exerted on the city government. The virtual invisibility of issues such as industrial homework mean that this political pressure will be extremely difficult to assert. The following section summarizes the theoretical and practical conclusions of this research.  What does the City of Vancouver’s response to industrial homework reveal about the nature of post-welfare state city planning?  From a theoretical perspective this research, as summarized in Chapter Three, reinforces the view that Vancouver is shifting towards: •  a post-welfare state city tied to an emerging agenda of fiscal constraint and a leaner role for government;  •  an ‘entrepreneurial city’ independently acting to seek investment capital;  •  and a ‘dual city’ with growing social polarization and a propensity to support only the upper sections of its infonnation-based labour force with little commitment to urban  community economic development efforts aimed at the lower-tier components of the labour force.  The retention of industrial lands and the support for gannent workers working as homesewers are clearly not high priorities for the city. Within the fiscal constraint mindset of the post welfare state city, support for lower-tier workers is seen as an unacceptable use of the city’s resources for social welfare purposes. Interestingly, support for the film and high-tech industries is seen as economic development. The ‘entrepreneurial city’ paradigm describes a  city that is aesthetically pleasing and one that offers investment opportunities. The retention of the industrial lands is seen by senior politicians as an unacceptable constraint on investment and redevelopment of city land for higher yield and aesthetically pleasing 87  purposes. As well, conversion of the industrial lands is a goldmine for the development industry that the city will have a difficult time resisting.  The ‘dual city’ hypothesis also  seems born out by the research. The emergence of deregulated work is a clear symptom of the emerging dual economy within cities. The virtual invisibility of homeworkers, both as members of the labour force and as a focus of policy, also reinforces the institutional aspects of the dual city.  To what extent are there opportunities for the City of Vancouver intervene to improve the conditions of work of industrial homesewers?  As discussed, the dilemma of a policy response to industrial homework is to retain the opportunity for homework while improving the conditions of work. There are a number of ways that the City can move to improve the conditions of industrial homesewers. These have been identified in detail in Chapter Four and include zoning, regulation, research, liaison, advocacy, promotion and community economic development measures. The most pressing issue is the current review of the industrial lands in Vancouver. Unfortunately the most promising avenue to address the needs of industrial homeworkers, a community economic development route, is also very unlikely without intense political pressure and the provision of resources from other levels of government.  5.2 Closing Comments  This thesis raises a central question about the future of Vancouver. Will the city emerge as a full-blown ‘dual city’ with residents alternately plugged in and out of its new political economy? The fight over Vancouver’s industrial lands over the next few months will be a crucial test of where the city is headed. It is no coincidence that the casino controversy is happening at the same time. Both illustrate either extreme of the dual city, as the casino exemplifies the new “space of the new upper tier connected to global communication and vast 88  networks of exchange” and the industrial lands and adjacent neighbourhoods filled with garment workers and homeworkers are increasingly becoming the “defensive communities of ethnic minorities, workers, and immigrants”(Castells, 1989). In the future, will the city support both realities, one instead of the other, or neither?  The city is at the point where it  is making crucial and irrevocable land-use decisions that will forever shape the social and political landscape of Vancouver in one direction or the other.  The thesis also reveals that urban planning must be analyzed in terms of both existing actions and policies and those not adopted. Planning non-actions, such as the withdrawal of Vancouver from employment related concerns, the shrinkage of its industrial lands, the lack of response to industrial homework, are as revealing as the policy and planning actions that the City decides to pursue. One is almost left asking the question, is Vancouver de industrializing or is the City de-industrializing itself? If nothing else, this research highlights the extent of industrial homework and the fact that a workforce of approximately 10,000 residents is receiving no acknowledgment in policy. Given the growth in this sector, this seems dangerously shortsighted.  5.3 Areas For Further Research  This thesis is one piece of research in a much larger field of work that includes related topics in urban planning, economic restructuring, changing production and labour relations, gender and race and work, community economic development and other related fields.  Areas for further research related to the topic of Vancouver’s planning response to the growth of deregulated employment include the following:  Specifically, in regards to industrial homesewing in Vancouver: 89  •  A Vancouver Garment Employer Survey  •  A Homeworker Center Feasibility Study  More generally, in regards to urban planning and deregulated employment: •  A Comparative Analysis of Employment Planning Initiatives in Metropolitan Areas  •  An Analysis of Deregulated Employment Sectors in Urban Areas  Areas for research related to the broader theoretical issues raised by this research relate to the role of the post-welfare state and the implications for urban planning. These questions include: •  The impact of employment deregulation on labour force composition  •  The changing nature of employment policy in the post-welfare state  •  The gendered impacts of employment bifurcation  •  Social welfare policy considerations for deregulated workers  •  Alternative CED policy considerations for employment policy  •  Urban planning in the post-welfare state  •  The changing role of urban CED as a response to changing labour conditions  This research will reveal the emerging priorities and opportunities for both social policy development and urban planning in a post-welfare state society.  90  Appendix A: List of Interviewees  Chu, Millie, Community Planner, City of Richmond Planning Department, July 23, 1994. DeMarco, Christine, Planner, City of Vancouver Planning Department, July 21, 1994. Emery, Ruth, Chief, Economic and Labour Market Analysis, Economic Services Branch, B.C./Yukon Branch, Employment and Immigration Canada, August 11, 1994. Fancy, Sidney, Economic Development Officer, City of Vancouver Economic Development Office, July 20, 1994. Gunarantna, Vas, President, International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, March 17, 1994. Kwan, Jenny, Vancouver City Councilor, September 7, 1994. McAfee, Ann, Associate Director of Planning, Manager CityPlan, City of Vancouver Planning Department, August 8, 1994. Nowland, Paul, Planner, City of Vancouver Planning Department, July 13, 1994. Ocran, Amanda, Principle Investigator, Industrial Homework Working Group, July 4 and August 11, 1994. Owen, Phillip, Mayor, City of Vancouver, August 11, 1994. Preston, Joyce, Manager, Department of Cultural Affairs, July 25, 1994. Teichroeb, Paul, Manager, City of Vancouver Department of Permits and Licenses, July 21, 1994. Van Gus, Pieter, Community Development Officer, VanCity Savings Credit Union, August 10, 1994. Von Ferson, Lorenz, Social Planning, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Vancouver, August 10, 1994.  91  Appendix B: Interview Guide  General Questions to Interviewees: 1. Are you aware of the incidence of industrial homesewing in the City of Vancouver? (A brief description of the extent of industrial homesewing and the profile of an industrial homesewer was given) If yes, how did you become aware of industrial homesewing? 2. Do you think that the city has any responsibility in this area?  3. Do you feel that employment planning is part of the city’s mandate or responsibility? 4. How would you estimate the political will of City Council to deal with this issue? 5. What can the city/your department do to assist industrial homesewers? 6. What can’t the city/your department do to assist industrial homesewers? 7. Do you support the idea of an Industrial Homeworker Centre? What support do you think there would be from the city for an Industrial Homeworker Centre? (A brief description of the use of Industrial Homeworker Centres in Europe was given) 8. Can you think of anybody else that I should talk to regarding the city’s response to Industrial Homework?  Sample Specific Questions: 1. Do you think that there is a relationship between the availability of industrial lands in the city and the growth of industrial homeworking? 2. Do you think that the CityPlan process identified employment as a major resident concern? 3. How many industrial homesewers are licensed by the City of Vancouver? 4. Has the city offered any assistance to the gannent industry? 5. Does the city consider the garment industry to be an important city industry? 6. Is there any recorded statistical information or other research available on industrial homeworkers or homesewers? 92  Appendix C: Vancouver’s Home-Based Business By-Law  11.6  HomeCraft  --  subject to the following:  11.6.1 No person other than the one resident member of the family occupying the dwelling shall be engaged in the HomeCraft on the premises; 11.6.2 Where located in an R district, there shall be nothing to indicate from the exterior of the dwelling unit or building that it is being used for any purpose other than its principal or approved use; 11.6.3 No products or material shall be sold from or within the dwelling unit; 11.6.4 No products or materials shall be stored outside of the dwelling unit, building or accessory building; 11.6.5 No offensive noise, order, vibration, smoke, heat or other objectionable effect shall be produced.  93  Personal Reflections  The harsher realities of the ‘entrepreneurial’ or ‘dual city’ were graphically reinforced to me during an urban design studio jointly conducted by the School of Community and Regional Planning and Tsinghua University held in Quanzhou, China this May. In an effort to attract investment capital to this small city, the urban planning authorities had decided to relocate 10,000 inner city residents to residential apartment towers in rice fields around the city. In place of their often 300 year old courtyard houses, the authorities were building luxury villas for 700 overseas Chinese. This was systematically destroying the social infrastructure of this inner city neighbourhood which was a teeming web of entrepreneurs earning their livelihoods based on fulfilling the needs of their neighbours, a community economic development planner’s dream. What new source of livelihood would replace this was unclear and most significantly, was not considered a planning issue. What was clear was that the planning department’s priority was to develop the inner city as a show case site for investment and tourism.  Immersed as I am in the informational economy I can only hope that by communicating and researching the true nature of development it will be possible to draw attention to issues such as industrial homework. Otherwise these issues continue to be largely being ignored because the adversely affected people are not at the centre of power and decision-making. This thesis is dedicated to planners and elected officials who question the social and economic impacts of policies and plans. For the one real hope is in planning which insists on social priorities and insists on basic principles such as “no jobs should be lost to city land use decisions”.  94  Bibliography Abdel-Latif, Abla M. (1993). “The Nonprice Determinants of Export Success or Failure: The Egyptian Readymade Garment Industry, 1975-1989. World Development 21(10): 1677-1684. Allen, Sheila and Wolkowitz, Carol. (1987). Homeworking: Myths and Realities. London: Macmillan Education. Benton, Lauren. 1990). 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