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Innes, Eva; Robert L. Perry; and Jim Lyon.

Toronto. Collins. c1986. 357pp. cloth. $24.95, ISBN 0-00-217643-2. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by David Chadwick

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

Lists of the largest one hundred, five hundred, and one thousand companies in Canada are becoming popular even in mainstream magazines. A list of companies considered best to work for is therefore a sensible proposition.

Naturally, such a subjective list cannot be taken too seriously. After all, what qualifies as "best" is clearly dependent upon the needs and interests of the individual job seeker. The authors of this book set their standards into two categories; the traditional tangible straightforward benefits, such as pay. company benefits, job security, and chances for promotion, and then the more intangible values, such as work atmosphere, job satisfaction, and personal development.

The authors tried to judge jobs on a regional basis, but of the one hundred companies that made the book, the majority are in the large urban centres of Canada. Blue collar employees are for the most part excluded from this study. As the Financial Post is the sponsor of the book, this exclusion is understandable. The inclusion of companies such as Placer Development, which have had very public bitter strikes, makes one question the selection process. The book's explanation that the company was chosen because. "For some workers it is a superb company, for others It is not so hot," is certainly a classic example of understatement.

Governments and crown corporations, aside from Air Canada, are not included in this study. Apparently pay scales, benefits, and promotion opportunities are for the most part better in the private sector. Almost all entries average three pages. The most favoured firms stress an emphasis on good working atmosphere over high pay scales.

Any non-fiction book risks being out of date by the time it reaches the public. The collapse of oil prices has upset many Canadian firms, including some listed in this book as having excellent job security, when, in fact they have laid off hundreds since the book was printed. Still the book is quite topical and will be of interest in most school and public libraries.

David Chadwick, Winnipeg, Man.
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