Eldon Spark leaflet

About Me

I'm a scholar who researches, writes, and teaches about work, violence, addiction, and capitalism in Canada and the United States.

Recent Publications

Blood, Sweat and Fear: Violence at Work in the North American Auto Industry, 1960–80

"Never before has workplace violence among autoworkers been theorized and articulated in the sophisticated and comprehensive fashion that is evident in this book. We need this research for any number of reasons, not the least of which is to situate the source of workplace violence where it belongs – within the labour process."
– Robert Storey, associate professor, School of Labour Studies and Department of Sociology, McMaster University

Book talk: October 28, 2017

Presentation: Blood, Sweat and Fear at the Charles H. Wright Museum, Detroit, MI

Curb Heroin In Plants (C.H.I.P.): Revisiting a Mid-1970s Intervention Into Workplace Heroin Addiction Created and Led by Detroit Autoworkers

This article analyzes archival records to revisit Curb Heroin In Plants (C.H.I.P.), a public health intervention focusing on drug dependence that was created and led by Detroit, Michigan, autoworkers during the mid-1970s.

Responding to widespread heroin use in Detroit auto plants, C.H.I.P. combined methadone maintenance with counseling on and off the job to treat heroin dependence while supporting autoworkers in continuing in employment and family life. Although C.H.I.P. ultimately failed, it was a promising attempt to transcend medical/punitive approaches and treat those with substance use disorder in a nonstigmatizing way, with attention to the workplace dimensions of their disorder and recovery.

I argue that revisiting C.H.I.P. speaks to current public health debates about the intersection between the workplace and harmful drug use and how to create effective interventions and policies that are mindful of this intersection. For historians, C.H.I.P. is a valuable example of the crucial role of workplace actors in the early war on drugs and of an early methadone program that was not strongly concerned with crime reduction but incorporated social externalities (specifically job performance) to measure success.

Labour/Le Travail

"'Chrysler Pulled the Trigger': Competing Understandings of Workplace Violence During the 1970s and Radical Legal Practice"

Left History

“Learning on the Job: The 1998 Squamish McDonald’s Campaign and New Possibilities for Fast Food Workers.

Research Expertise

My research focuses on work, violence, addiction and capitalism.

  • Work

  • Violence

  • Addiction

  • Capitalism

Teaching Subjects