Lyla Luciano & Olivia Wilson

Year: 2020
Location: Edmonton
Profile 1: Olivia Wilson was born in Edmonton of parents from Jamaica. She is studying Education at the University of Alberta while working part-time in retail (Mark’s Work Wearhouse, Sephora Cosmetics). Wilson is caught up in all the pressures of trying to find work-life balance. She negotiates work shifts between classes as well as time spent with her community and church, and finds time for playing piano. There is no union in her workplace, and she has learned of workers’ rights on her own. Considering provincial government cutbacks to the education sector, she wonders if she will have a future as a teacher in spite of her education. Meanwhile tuition increases, and she has no choice but to keep working.

Profile 2: Lyla Luciano was born in Montreal of immigrant parents from the Philippines. Luciano has been a friend of Olivia Wilson since high school and is also a University of Alberta student, in Sociology, with no choice but to work part-time to help with expenses at home. She speaks Tagalog and still has roots in the Filipino community, volunteering with immigrant youth groups and teaching, very part-time, karate. Working shifts at a fast food outlet where accidents are always possible because of worn-out appliances and hot oil spills, Luciano learned about worker safety by following the experienced staff rather than by formal training. To raise safety issues with the manager is to risk conflict and Luciano needs the job.
Keywords: BIPOC; Fast Food; Occupational Health and Safety; Retail; Shiftwork; Tuition; Work-life balance; Workplace safety
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See also: Health & Safety; Systemic Racism; Women and Work