Regulation and Inequality at Work: Isolation and Inequality Beyond the Regulation of Labour, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Regulation and Inequality at Work

Isolation and Inequality Beyond the Regulation of Labour, 1st Edition

By Vanisha Sukdeo


154 pages

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Hardback: 9781138323421
pub: 2018-07-03
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429451416
pub: 2018-07-06
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This book examines how the law has limitations to the extent that it can combat repression, isolation, and inequality. The main point the book explores is that isolation and inequality cannot be solved by driving up wages and having better working conditions. The true divide between management and workers is the inability of management to see the workers as people, and not just numbers. "The Swiss novelist Max Frisch remarked at the time, ‘We imported workers and got men instead.’" This encapsulates the dilemma of management – how to distance one’s self enough from workers to command respect yet not too distant as to be seen as inhumane. How can isolation and inequality within the workplace be overcome?

Regulation and Inequality at Work shows how workers can have an increased voice by using tools outside of the typical legal ones. Without state protection, the rights can be viewed as less stringent. Working outside the system allows for greater malleability and flexibility to be able to cater to individual workers in individual workplaces. Workers’ rights are about better working conditions, hourly wages, and benefits, but are also about being treated in a more civilized manner where one’s humanity is recognized. Only through all of these parts working together will a true version of workers’ rights emerge—one where workers are not viewed as mere tools but within and of the system itself. It shows the latest state of knowledge on the topic and will be of interest both to students at an advanced level, academics and reflective practitioners in the fields of business and company law, labour law, and employment law.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


List of tables and figures

Overview of the book

Chapter One - Historical background

North America

The divergent paths of corporate law and labour law

Brief historical background of the corporation

Winnipeg General Strike

Workers in Developing Countries: Is An Obligation Implied or Imposed?

The Specter of the Specter of Marx

Workers’ Plight





Arm’s Length exploitation

On the factory floor

Neoliberalism and Ontario laws in the 1990s

Canadian legislation - the Ontario government under Harris

Bill 7 (1995)

Bill 31 (1998)

Bill 139 (2000)

Bibliography for Chapter One

Chapter Two - Current Structure of Labour and Employment Law


Right to Strike

Framework of Fairness Agreement

Recognition Strikes

The Framework of Fairness Agreement

Criticism of the FFA

Works Councils and the German Model

The German Model

Factory Occupations


Precarious work

Independent Workers?

Employees, Workers, or something else entirely?

Everyone’s a critic - yet no one is in charge

Let me talk to your manager – wait, you don’t have one?

No manager. Who trained you?

Who is immune?

Wavering Work

Gigging the Economy: What’s Old is New Again

Platform capitalism and the new economy

Labour platforms

Uber and Seattle

Uber loses its license in London

Capital platforms

Workplaces and Work Spaces

Open offices

No workplace and just space

Technology and the ever-lengthening chain

Bibliography for Chapter Two

Chapter Three - How can the law be changed

Legislative framework

Fiduciary duty to workers

Fiduciary Duties

How traditional Corporate governance has failed workers

Corporations as Citizens

‘Good corporate citizen’ to ‘Good Samaritan corporation’

Good Samaritan Corporation

Layering governance

Employer Free Speech

Increasing labour standards on a worldwide level

International Labor Organization

Transportable Law/ Portable Law

Collective agreement as certification scheme

Consumer autonomy

Unifor and Community Chapters

Worker Voice

Governance Models

Codes of Conduct as Tools to Increase Workers’ Rights

Codes of Conduct

Codes versus Certifications *

Codes as corporate reformation


Ethics Codes

The Gig Economy or the Rig Economy?

Isolation and Inequality

Bibliography for Chapter Three

Chapter Four - Transnational Labour Regulation


Marxism and the Law

Marx’s Theory of Alienation

Beyond Marx


Compassion fatigue

Enlightened self-interest

Dignity and Respect

Kindness and empathy


Collectivity *

My Model Code of Conduct

Model Code of Conduct

1. Forced Labour

2. Child Labour

3. Wages and Benefits

4. Overtime

5. Working Hours

6. Working Conditions

7. Health and Safety

8. Harassment

9. Discrimination

10. Environment

11. Freedom of Association

12. Monitoring

13. Access to Facilities

Monitoring agencies

Worker Rights Consortium

Fair Labor Association

Bibliography for Chapter Four

Chapter Five - Conclusion

Codes of conduct

Disruptor and disruption

Reserve Army of Labour

Emotional Labour

Organizational Justice

There are limits to the law

Expansion of fiduciary duties

Not OK Computer: Automization and the Worker


Not just numbers, they are men (and women)

Bibliography for Chapter Five


About the Author

Vanisha H. Sukdeo is a Course Instructor of Law at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Corporate Law

The credit crunch of 2007 and the ensuing financial crises have led to a renewed interest in the place of corporations in the modern world and the role of law and regulation in governing their behaviour. This series looks to survey the current developments within the field of corporate law as well as mapping out future opportunities for change. The series offers a comparative approach to the subject, looking not just at North America and Europe but also at the state of affairs elsewhere in the world. Written by influential scholars, the books offer thought-provoking and often critical analyses of corporate law. The functions and legal obligations and rights of multiple stakeholders including directors, investors, governments and regulators are examined from both empirical and theoretical standpoints. Whilst being grounded in law the series also draws upon research from the disciplines of economics, management studies, sociology and politics in order to explore the implications of corporate law in their wider social and economic context.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate Governance
LAW / Business & Financial
LAW / International