Work on Trial: Canadian Labour Law Struggles

edited by Judy Fudge, Lansdowne Professor of Law, University of Victoria, and Eric Tucker, Professor of Law, Osgoode Hall Law School. Published with Irwin Law, 2010.

The world of work, so important to individuals’ economic well-being and to their sense of self, has been fundamentally shaped by law, both collective bargaining law and individual employment law. We are grateful to Professors Fudge and Tucker for putting together this volume, which looks behind significant Canadian court battles over many aspects of labour law to unearth the historical context of the cases and analyse the individuals involved. Authors from across the country each take on a famous labour case in a series of case studies, from early cases about constitutional jurisdiction (Snider; John East), though picketing classics (Hersees; Harrison v. Carswell), to more recent employment law and human rights milestones (Wallace; Meioren). Each chapter tells an interesting story of how and why the case got to court and how the issues were resolved. This volume will interest not just those in the labour and employment law field; anybody concerned with the litigation process will enjoy reading the details of what lies behind the law reports.

Reviews of Work on Trial: Canadian Labour Law Struggles

Work on Trial...provides an engaging and accessible account of various labour battles in the courts over the past 85 years involving human rights, employment fairness and union recognition. Read against the landscape of today's declining strength of Canadian unions, the essays in the book remind us of the centrality of work in our lives and the many forms that the struggle for individual dignity and fairness has taken.... Lucidly written and astutely argued. This book deserves a wide readership...These essays, written as social histories of these legal cases, will appeal to anyone interested in the human stories of those ordinary Canadians who found themselves fighting, often unexpectedly, for fairness in the workplace. S. Michael Lynk, Literary Review of Canada, 2011.

Reviews have also appeared in the following publications:

  • James Muir, Canadian Public Policy, Vol 37, 2011, p. 583.
  • Dan Ernst, Legal History Blog, 30 October 2010.