Skip to main content
McMaster University Menu Search
Back

Wells Donald, Professor Emeritus

Donald Wells

Professor Emeritus

Emeritus Faculty
Department of Political Science

Members
Institute on Globalization & the Human Condition

Emeritus Faculty
School of Labour Studies

Area(s) of Interest:

Biography

Areas of Research Interest

  • International labour rights and standards
  • Politics of social movements
  • Labour internationalism
  • Transnational labour migration
  • Global economic restructuring
  • Poverty reduction
  • Living wage policies and impacts

Non-Governmental Organizations, Corporations, Unions and Social Movements

  • anti sweat shop and 'fair trade' campaigns
  • non-governmental organizations and labour regulation in the global South
  • corporate social responsibility
  • public-private partnerships and the regulation of labour rights and standards

Public Policy

  • family cohesion of foreign migrant workers
  • international organizations and the regulation of international labour standards
  • trade policy and the regulation of labour standards

Academic Service and Community Involvement

  • Former Director, School of Labour Studies, McMaster University
  • Steering Committee, McMaster Community Poverty Initiative (research, volunteer and educational organization linking McMaster University to local anti-poverty groups)
  • Steering Committee, Cantabal Education and Health Care Project (fundraising and building a middle school and health clinic in Guatemala)
  • Editorial Board, Just Labour: Canadian Journal of Work and Society
  • Academic Steering Committee, Study Abroad Program, Mexico Solidarity Network
  • Board, Immigrant Worker Family Centre (advocacy, research and drop-in centre for immigrant live-in caregivers)
  • Living Wage Working Group, Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction
  • McMaster University Indigenous Rights Group
  • Advisory Board, Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (non governmental organization promoting international labour standards)
  • Committee of Instruction, Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition, McMaster University
  • Advisory Board, United for Fair Trade-Unis pour commerce equitable (UFT-UCE) (fair trade NGO)

Education

PhD, Political Science, University of Toronto

MA, Political Science, University of British Columbia

BA, Economics and History, Western University

Teaching

Retired from Teaching

School of Labour Studies 

  • Labour and Globalization
  • Field Research
  • Economic Restructuring

Political Science Department

  • Comparative Political Parties and Social Movements
  • MA and PhD Theses

MA in Work and Society

  • Work and Democracy in the Global Society
  • MA Theses
  • Major Research Papers

Research

Current Research Projects

  • public policy and family cohesion of migrant agricultural workers from Mexico and Jamaica in Southern Ontario
  • public policy and educational success of children of Filipino migrants to Canada
  • promotional politics and the new global order of labour

Selected Publications

(*denotes peer reviewed)

  • "Sustaining Precarious Transnational Families: The Significance of Remittances from Canada's Seasonal Agricultural Workers Program" (lead author with 3 others) Just Labour: Canadian Journal of Work and Society, Vol. 22, Autumn 2014, pp. 144-167.
  • The Worker Rights Consortium" in Darryl Reed, Peter Utting, and Ananya Mukherjee-Reed, eds. Business, Regulation and Non-State Actors London: Routledge, 2012, pp. 239-252.
  • "Local Worker Struggles in the Global South: Reconsidering Northern Impacts on International Labour Standards" in Marcus Taylor ed. Renewing International Labour Studies, Routledge, 2010. (ISBN 978-0-415-59385-4).
  • "Local Worker Struggles in the Global South: Reconsidering Northern Impacts on International Labour Standards" Third World Quarterly 30:30, April 2009, pp. 567-579.
  • * "Workplace Cohesion and the Fragmentation of Solidarity" (with Wayne Lewchuk) in Robert O’Brien ed. Solidarity First: Canadian Workers and Social Cohesion Vancouver; UBC Press ), 2008, pp. 63-85.
  • * "Transforming Worker Representation: The Magna Model in Canada and Mexico" (with Wayne Lewchuk) Labour/ Le Travail 60 (Fall 2007) 107-136.
  • * "Bringing the Local Back In: Trajectory of Contention of the Union Struggle at Kukdong/Mexmode" (with Graham Knight), Social Movement Studies 6:1, 83-103 (2007).
  • * "Too Weak for the Job: Corporate Codes of Conduct, Non-Governmental Organizations and the Regulation of International Labour Standards" Global Social Policy 2007, 7:1, 51-73.
  • * "When Corporations Substitute for Adversarial Unions", (with Wayne Lewchuk), Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, 61:4, Autumn 2006, 639-665.
  • * " 'Best Practice' in the Regulation of International Labor Standards: Lessons of the U.S.-Cambodia Textile Agreement" . Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3, p. 357, 2006 Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=996876
  • * "How Credible are International Corporate Labour Codes? Monitoring Global Production Chains" in Jim Stanford and Leah Vosko,eds., Challenging the Market: The Struggle to Regulate Work and Income, McGill Queen’s University Press, 2004, pp. 365-383
  • * :"How Ethical are Ethical Purchasing Policies?" Journal of Business Ethics Special Issue: Universities and Corporate Responsibility, 2004, 2:1,119-140.
  • * "Are Labour Unions Obsolete in the New Global Economy?" Inroads 13, summer 2003, pp. 46-53.
  • * "Labour Markets, Flexible Specialization and the New Microcorporatism", Relations Industrielles/Industrial Relations, Fall 2001, 56: 2, pp. 277-304.
  • * "Building Transnational Coordinative Unionism" in S. Babson and H. Juarez Nunez eds., Working Lean: Labor in the North American Auto Industry, Wayne State University Press, 1998.
  • * "From Fordist Worker Resistance to Post-Fordist Capitalist Hegemony?" Labour/Le Travail (Spring 1997, pp. 241-260).
  • * "When Push Comes to Shove: Competitiveness, Job Insecurity and Labour Management Cooperation in Canada," Economic and Industrial Democracy, Spring 1997, 18:2, pp. 167-200.
  • * "New Dimensions for Labour in a Post-Fordist World" in E. Yanarella and W. Green eds., North American Auto Unions in Crisis: Lean Production as Contested Terrain, (State University of New York Press, 1996, pp. 191-207).
  • * "The Impact of the Postwar Compromise on Canadian Unionism: The Formation of an Auto Worker Local in the 1950's," Labour/Le Travail, Fall 1995.
  • * "Origins of Canada's Wagner Model of Industrial Relations: The United Auto Workers in Canada and the Suppression of 'Rank and File' Unionism, 1936-1953," Canadian Journal of Sociology, 20:2, June 1995, pp. 193-225.