U of A campus & Livestream • November 17–19, 2023
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Morning plenary

Working Outside the Law: Neoliberalism’s Forgotten Workforce


November 19, 2017 at 9:00am - 10:15am


Engineering Teaching & Learning Complex (ETLC), University of Alberta
with Andrew Cash

By 2020 close to half of all workers in Canada will be freelance, on contract, self-employed, temporary, contingent, on-call, or part-time workers. Most are a bike accident away from the financial abyss. With no protection under provincial or federal labour laws or standards, independent workers can’t access benefits like maternity leave, employment insurance, a pension or job security, not to mention extended health and dental insurance. While work has changed most public policy to support workers is rooted in a past era of mostly stable full-time work. But if old solutions don’t work in the new economy, how do we make work better?

Andrew Cash is the co-founder of the Urban Worker Project, a national initiative aimed at building a stronger voice and better conditions for freelance, on-contract, self-employed and part-time workers in Canada. As a Member of Parliament he tabled ground-breaking legislation dealing with precarious work which led to first time protections for unpaid interns under federal labour laws.