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October 1983, Vol. 106, No. 10
Task force encourages diffusion
of microelectronics in Canada
Harish C. Jain
Constant technological change has long been an important characteristic of industrial evolution in the Western world. We are now witnessing the emergence of microelectronics technology. It is different from the previous technological innovations in that it can be adopted in practically all sectors of the economy, and thereby affect a wide range of activities from production to distribution to consumption. Microelectronics promises to bring about unprecedented socioeconomics transformations in both work and nonwork activities. In 1982 a Task Force on Micro-electronics and Employment was established to examine the implications of the use of microelectronics technology on Canadian workers.1
The task force was instructed to examine the impact of microelectronics technology on office workers,2 both union and nonunion, covered by the Canada Labour Code, as well as health and safety concerns related to office equipment. It issued 30 recommendations designed "to maximize the positive impacts and minimize the negative consequences, thus ensuring a more equitable distribution of burdens and benefits of mircoelectronics."3
This article summarizes some of the recommendations of the task force, and discusses the rationale behind the proposals.
This excerpt is from an article published in the October 1983 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 The members of the task force were: E. Margaret Fulton, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Harish C. Jain, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario; Jeannine David McNeil, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commercials, Montreal, Quebec; Ratna Ray, Women's Bureau, Ottawa, Ontario; and Zavis Zeman, Institute for Research on Public Policy, Toronto, Ontario.
2 The task force did not seriously study the impact of microelectronics technology on factory workers because of lack of time and resources. However, more than 50 percent of Canadian workers are employed in offices.
3 The recommendations are published in In the Chips: Opportunities, People, Partnerships (Ottawa, Ontario, Task Force on Micro-Electronics and Employment, 1982).
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