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Athabasca University

Dr. Jason Foster

Associate Professor



  • Ph.D. Management (Saint Mary’s University)
  • M.A. Labour Studies (McMaster University)
  • B.A. (Hons.) Political Science (University of Alberta)


Jason Foster has been with Athabasca University since 2001, initially as an Individualized Study Tutor and more recently as a full-time faculty member. He holds a Ph.D. in Management from Saint Mary’s University where his dissertation examined union revitalization and contemplated new conceptualizations of union forms in the 21st century. He has published extensively in the area of temporary foreign workers in Canada. Prior to joining AU, Jason was a researcher and practitioner of labour relations, working for a series of non-profit organizations and spending more than 10 years as the Director of Policy Analysis for the Alberta Federation of Labour. At the AFL he was the specialist in occupational health and safety, employment and labour law and social justice issues.

Research Interests

  • Migrant Labour (Temporary Foreign Workers) in Canada
  • Union Renewal and Revitalization
  • Diversity in Unions
  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Narrative Constructions of Work and Workers



Foster, J. (2017). Defying Expectations: The Case of UFCW Local 401. Edmonton: AU Press.

Foster, J. and Barnetson, B. (2016). Health and Safety in Canadian Workplaces. Edmonton: AU Press.

Book Chapters

Foster, J. and Barnetson, B. (2015). “Exporting Oil, Importing Labour and Weakening Democracy: The Use of Foreign Migrant Workers in Alberta”, in Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada, edited by Meenal Shrivastava and Lorna Stefanick, 249-273. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press.

Mills, A., Weatherbee, T., Foster, J. and Helms-Mills, J. (2015). “The New Deal for Management & Organization Studies: Lessons, Insights and Reflections”. In The Routledge Companion to Management History/History of Management Thought, edited by Patricia Genoe McLaren, Albert J. Mills and Terrance G. Weatherbee, 265-284. London: Routledge.

Taylor, A., Foster, J. and Cambre, C. (2013). Training ‘expendable’ workers: Temporary foreign workers in nursing. In Global Reconstructions of Vocational Education and Training, edited by James Avis. London: Routledge.

Foster, J. (2012), "Revolution, Retrenchment, and the New Normal: The 1990s and Beyond," In Working People in Alberta: A History, edited by Alvin Finkel, 205-41. Edmonton: Athabasca University Press.

Journal Articles

Foster, J. and Barnetson, B. (2017). “Who’s on Secondary?: The Impact of Temporary Foreign Workers on Alberta Construction Employment Patterns”. Labour/Le Travail 80: 27-53

Foster, J and Barnetson, B. (2017). “Dead today, gone tomorrow: The framing of workplace injury in Canadian newspapers, 2009-2014”. Canadian Journal of Communication 42(4): 611-629.

Foster, J. (2016). “Solidarity on the TransCanada: The Role of Immigrant Activism and Innovative Union Tactics in the 2005 Lakeside Packers Strike”. Labour/Le Travail 78: 197-218.

Barnetson, B and Foster, J. (2016). “Dead quiet in the hinterland: The construction of workplace injuries in western Canadian newspapers, 2009-2014”. Labour and Industry 26 (2): 75-89.

Barnetson, B. and Foster, J. (2015). “If It Bleeds, It Leads: The Construction of Workplace Injury in Canadian Newspapers, 2009-2014”. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 21 (3): 258–265.

Foster, J., Taylor, A. and Kahn, C. (2015). “The Dynamics of Union Responses to Migrant Workers in Canada”. Work, Employment and Society29(3) 409–426.

Foster, J. and Barnetson, B. (2015). “The Construction of Migrant Work and Workers by Alberta Legislators, 2000-2011”. Canadian Ethnic Studies 47(1). 107-131.

Foster, J. (2014). From “Canadians First” to “Workers Unite”: Evolving Union Narratives of Migrant Workers. Relations Industrielle/Industrial Relations69(2) 241-265.

Foster, J., and Mills, A.. (2014). Construction Work: Evolving Discourses of the ‘Worker’ in Management Textbooks, 1920s to the First Decade of the 21st Century, Journal of Workplace Rights 17(3-4). 443-466.

Foster, J., Helms Mills, J. and Mills, A. (2014). Shades of Red: Cold War Influences on Canadian and U.S. Business Textbooks, Journal of Management Education. 38(5). 642-671.

Foster, J., Mills, A. and Weatherbee, T. (2014). History, Field Definition and Management Studies: The Case of the New Deal. Journal of Management History 20(2). 179-199.

Taylor, A. and Foster, J. (2015). Migrant Workers and the Problem of Social Cohesion in Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration 16(1). 153-172.

Barnetson, B. and Foster, J. (2014). Political Justification of Migrant Workers in Alberta. Journal of International Migration and Integration 15(2). 349-370.

Foster, J. and Taylor, A. (2013). In the Shadows: Exploring the Notion of ‘Community’ for Temporary Foreign Workers in a Boom Town. Canadian Journal of Sociology 38(2). 167-190.

Foster, J. (2012). Making Temporary Permanent: The Silent Transformation of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Just Labour. v19, 22-46.

Foster, J. and Barnetson, B. (2012). Justice for Janitors in Alberta: The impact of temporary foreign workers on an organizing campaign. Journal of Workplace Rights. 16(1) 3-29.

Taylor, A., Foster, J. & Cambre, C. (2012). Training ‘Expendable’ Workers: Temporary Foreign Workers in Nursing. Globalisation, Societies and Education 10(1) 95-117.

Barnetson, B. and Foster, J. (2012). Bloody Lucky: The Careless Worker Myth in Alberta, International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health 18(2) 1-13.

Foster, J. (2011). Talking Ourselves to Death? Prospects for Social Dialogue in North America – Lessons from Alberta, Labor Studies Journal.36(2). 288-306. doi:10.1177/0160449X10379643. 

Updated June 22 2015 by Students & Academic Services

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