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Athabasca University

Dr. Bob Barnetson

Associate Professor, Labour Relations, FHSS

Bob’s research focuses on the political economy of employment in Alberta with particular attention to workplace injuries as well as child, farm and migrant workers. By examining who is advantaged and disadvantaged by the content and enforcement of employment law, we are able to see instances where the state colludes with employers to maintain or exacerbate worker exploitation.

For example, Bob recently collaborated with Jason Foster (Faculty of Business) to analyze Alberta’s “Bloody Lucky” workplace safety campaign aimed at young workers. This campaign portrays worker carelessness as the cause of workplace injuries. Employer responsibility for organizing work unsafely—the root cause of these injuries—is largely ignored. By tapping into the careless worker myth, the state helps defuse worker anger over injuries (“it’s workers own darned fault”) and thus preserves the ability of employers to organize work in an injurious (and profitable manner).

Updated March 03 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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