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Cutting-edge Research

Faculty conduct cutting-edge research on domestic and international labour issues. We take interdisciplinary approaches to our research, drawing on theories and methodologies from across the Social Sciences, including Economics, Political Science, Sociology, Geography, Health and Aging, and Social Work. We are also leaders in community-engaged scholarship, collaborating with unions, community organizations and policy-makers on research that will help make work better for everyone.

Current research and projects Labour Studies faculty are exploring...

  • Is the quality of life at work improving?
  • How is work changing in a global economy?
  • Are unions renewing themselves? What is their role in the service sector?
  • How is the role of women in the paid and unpaid economy changing?


More about our researchers


Database of Research Papers

Other research currently being explored:

  • Why are there persistent wage gaps between white workers and racialized workers immigrants? Or between men and women?
  • What is the relationship between work and health?
  • Why is work becoming more precarious, and what are impacts on workers?
  • How can migrants in Temporary Foreign Worker Programs assert their rights?
  • How do unions interact with different social movements?
  • Why has labour’s alliance with the NDP frayed in recent years and could it (or should it) be repaired?
  • How does the state – through law and policy – shape workers’ experiences and union’s activities? And whose interests does the state serve?
  • What is the experience of women workers in traditionally male industries, such as construction or resources?

Research SNAPS

With plain and simple language, McMaster University’s Research Snaps helped make research more accessible.

Research SNAP: The Benefits and Risks of Impact Benefit Agreements

By negotiating Impact Benefit Agreements (IBA), private agreements between Indigenous governments and corporations, Indigenous governments and organizations have been able to mandate employment practices such as hiring, promotion and workplace...

Read more about Suzanne Mills' research

Research SNAP: Temporary, Insecure Employment Harms Canadians and Their Communities

The prevalence of precarious (or, temporary and insecure) employment is increasing in our society. This form of employment negatively impacts the workforce and hinders people from realizing their full potential within their employment and in their...

Read more about Wayne Lewchuk's research...

photo of Wayne Lewchuk

Wayne Lewchuk

(Labour Studies), B.A., M.A. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Cambridge)



Research Podcast

Lister to audio from the student and faculty at McMaster University's School of Labour Studies, Canada's leading program studying contemporary work, workers and social justice movements.

Mac Labour Studies Podcasts

Working Paper Series

Work in a Global Society

I am pleased to announce the launch of our working paper series entitled Work in a Global Society.  Our periodic series is edited and graduate student papers will be peer reviewed.  To submit a paper to be considered for the working paper series, please send an electronic copy in Word format to Sharon Molnar.  Include your name, affiliation and contact information.  Hard copies of the working papers cost CDN $8.50 and include postage for North America. Please add $3.00 per paper overseas (airmail).  Download the Working Paper Series order form.

Robert Storey, Director
School of Labour Studies

Submit a paper to be considered for the working paper series


Work in a Global Society

What is the Institute for Work in a Global Society (WIGS)?

WIGS is an interdisciplinary research group affiliated with the School of Labour Studies at McMaster University. We bring a social science perspective to issues of direct concern to paid and unpaid workers, and the institutions representing their interests. We have established links with researchers in the trade union community and at universities in a number of countries. WIGS facilitates research, holds regular seminars, and plans occasional conferences. We can facilitate trade unionists, researchers, faculty and graduate students wishing to visit McMaster and participate in our activities.

Learn more about WIGS

Graduate Research

MA Publications

View our past student Major Research Project and Thesis titles.


View past MRP & Theses