UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Multi-faceted organising strategies: integrating community and labour struggles Black, Tracey Lou

Abstract

Since the 1980s, Canadians have witnessed deterioration in working conditions and a slow erosion of social programs. Employers' desires for increased profits have led to a more fragmented and insecure workforce. Government trends of reducing or eliminating social programs have generated a greater need at a community level for social services. Needs are exacerbated among marginalized populations including women and immigrants of colour as these groups generally face greater poverty and an increased risk of exploitive employers. Groups that serve and organize marginalized workers and communities experience increasing difficulty meeting their members' and clients' needs. Community organizations continue to experience funding cuts from governments while attempting to meet an increased demand from clients and members for services. Labour unions encounter greater barriers utilizing traditional organizing techniques in a restructured economy and re-organization of production. Some community-based organizations have attempted to meet these needs by integrating community and labour organizing with service delivery. Two such organizations are compared in this thesis: the Vancouver based, Philippine Women's Centre, which serves Philippine women, many of whom are migrant workers in the Lower Mainland of B C and the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) of Surrey, B C , which gives services primarily to Indo-Canadians in the organization's surrounding community including Indo-Canadian farmworkers. The thesis examines the ways in which each organization has attempted to integrate community and labour organizing and service provision, the opportunities and constraints it has faced, and the strategies it has found effective.

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