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Industrial Relations in Canada, 4th Edition

Fiona McQuarrie

ISBN: 978-1-118-87839-2 April 2015 480 Pages

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Fiona McQuarrie's Industrial Relations in Canada received wide praise for helping students to understand the complex and sometimes controversial field of Industrial Relations, by using just the right blend of practice, process, and theory.  The text engages business students with diverse backgrounds and teaches them how an understanding of this field will help them become better managers.

The fourth edition retains this student friendly, easy-to-read approach, praised by both students and instructors across the country. The goal of the fourth edition was to enhance and refine this approach while updating the latest research findings and developments in the field.

Related Resources

Chapter 1 An Introduction to Industrial Relations in Canada 2

The Employer-Union Relationship

Introduction 4

What Does the Term “Industrial Relations” Mean? 4

Industrial Relations as an Academic Subject 6

Why Study Industrial Relations? 7

Industrial Relations Legislation in Canada 10

The Question of Jurisdiction 10

Labour Relations Laws 11

Public Sector Labour Relations Legislation 13

Occupation-Specifi c Labour Relations Legislation 14

Employment Standards Legislation 15

Human Rights Legislation 15

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms 16

The Unionized Workplace in Canada 19

An Overview of the Book 22

Summary 25

Key Terms 25

Discussion Questions 25

Exercises 25

References 26

Chapter 2 Theories of Industrial Relations 28

Where Canada’s Unions Are Today

Introduction 30

The Origin of Unions 30

Theories of Union Origins 34

The Webbs: The Effects of Industrialization 34

Selig Perlman: Unions and the Class System 36

John Commons: The Effects of the Market 37

The Functions of Unions 38

Robert Hoxie: Union Types 38

E. Wight Bakke: Choosing to Join a Union 39

John Dunlop: The Industrial Relations System 40

The Future of Unions 44

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: Unions and the Class Struggle 44

Harry Braverman: The Effect of Deskilling 45

Thomas Kochan, Robert McKersie, and Peter Cappelli: New Union and Employer Roles 46

Richard Chaykowski and Anil Verma: The Distinctive Canadian Context 47

Summary 49

Key Terms 50

Discussion Questions 50

Exercises 50

References 51

Chapter 3 History of the Canadian Union Movement 52

Preserving Alberta’s Labour History

Introduction 54

Canada as a Country: Distinct Characteristics 54

Early Canadian Unionism: The 1800s 56

The Industrial Age: The Early 1900s 60

The First World War Era 63

After the First World War 66

The Second World War 70

After the Second World War 72

The 1950s and 1960s 74

The 1970s and 1980s 77

Into the 21st Century 79

Summary 81

Key Terms 82

Discussion Questions 82

Exercises 83

References 83

Chapter 4 The Structure of Canadian Unions 86

Labour Council Addresses Larger Issues

Introduction 88

The Local Union 89

Structure of the Local Union 90

Functions of the Local Union 91

Regional, National, and International Unions 95

Structure of Parent Unions 95

Functions of Parent Unions 97

Labour Councils 98

Structure of Labour Councils 98

Functions of Labour Councils 99

Provincial Labour Federations 100

Structure of Provincial Labour Federations 101

Functions of Provincial Labour Federations 101

National and Centralized Labour Federations 102

National Labour Federations 102

Canadian Labour Congress 102

Centralized Labour Federations 107

Quebec Federation of Labour 107

Centrale des syndicats du Québec 108

Confédération des syndicats nationaux 109

International Labour Federations 110

Summary 111

Key Terms 112

Discussion Questions 112

Exercises 113

References 113

Chapter 5 The Organizing Campaign 116

Union Local Finds Strength in Numbers

Introduction 118

Factors Affecting Employee Support for a Union 118

Personal Factors 119

Workplace Factors 120

Economic Factors 122

Societal Factors 123

Steps in the Organizing Campaign 124

The Information Meeting 125

The Organizing Committee 126

Factors Affecting the Success of an Organizing Campaign 127

The Application for Certifi cation 129

Sufficient Membership Support 130

Appropriate Bargaining Unit 133

Organizing in the Construction Industry & Organizing Through Voluntary Recognition 139

The Construction Industry 140

Voluntary Recognition 140

Summary 141

Key Terms 142

Discussion Questions 142

Cases 142

References 146

Chapter 6 Establishing Union Recognition 148

Certification Applications Keep BC Labour Relations Board Busy

Introduction 150

Assessing the Certification Application 150

The Workplace Notice 150

Determining Employee Support 150

The Representation Vote 151

The Hearing 155

Special Circumstances during Certification 156

Certification for a Previously Unionized Workplace 156

Certification If the Parties Change 160

Certification Applications during a Strike or Lockout 161

Unfair Labour Practices 162

Definition and Legislative Philosophy 162

Legislation 164

Dealing with an Unfair Labour Practice Complaint 165

Remedies for Unfair Labour Practices 167

Summary 169

Key Terms 169

Discussion Questions 170

Cases 170

References 175

Chapter 7 Defining and Commencing Collective Bargaining 176

A Mutually Beneficial Approach

Introduction 178

The Effects of Certifi cation 178

The Framework for Collective Bargaining 180

The Structure of Collective Bargaining 180

The Participants in Collective Bargaining 182

What Can the Parties Bargain For? 185

Preparing to Commence Collective Bargaining 186

Timelines for Collective Bargaining 186

Setting Bargaining Priorities 188

Preparing for the Start of Bargaining 192

Bargaining in Good Faith 193

Summary 196

Key Terms 197

Discussion Questions 197

Cases 198

References 202

Chapter 8 The Collective Bargaining Process 204

Vote of 96 Percent in Favour of Strike Sends Clear Message to Health Employers

Introduction 206

How Do Negotiations Work? 206

Stages of Union-Management Negotiations 206

Pre-negotiation Stage 207

Establishing the Negotiating Range 207

Narrowing the Bargaining Range 208

The Crisis Stage 209

Ratification 210

Negotiation Stages and Negotiation Subprocesses 211

The Subprocesses within Each Bargaining Stage 212

The Role of Bargaining Power in Union-Management Negotiations 218

Two Alternative Models of Union-Management Negotiations 220

The “Cost of Disputes” Model 220

The Mutual Gains Model of Bargaining 222

Summary 224

Key Terms 224

Discussion Questions 225

Cases 225

Collective Bargaining Simulation Exercise 231

Newtown School Dispute 231

References 236

Chapter 9 Strikes and Lockouts 238

Engineers Strike at CN

Introduction 240

Defining Strikes and Lockouts 240

Why Strikes or Lockouts Happen 241

Motivations for Striking or Locking Out 242

Bargaining Structure 244

Individual Factors 244

Economic Conditions 245

Legislative Restrictions 246

Bargaining Process Factors 246

How Does a Strike or Lockout Begin? 247

What Happens When a Strike or Lockout Takes Place 252

Picketing 253

Replacement Workers 256

Ending a Strike or Lockout 261

Putting Canada’s Strike Record in Context 263

Summary 269

Key Terms 269

Discussion Questions 270

Cases 270

References 273

Chapter 10 Third-Party Intervention during Negotiations 276

Helping Parties Find Their Own Solutions

Introduction 278

Conciliation 278

Mediation 283

Other Forms of Mediation 286

Interest Arbitration 287

Total-Package Final Offer Selection 289

Item-by-Item Final Offer Selection 290

Mediation-Arbitration 293

Using Conciliation, Mediation, or Arbitration 294

Third-Party Intervention in Private Sector Bargaining Disputes 295

Third-Party Intervention in Public Sector Bargaining Disputes 295

Other Forms of Intervention in the Bargaining Process 296

Final Offer Votes 296

Industrial Inquiry Commission 296

Disputes Inquiry Board 297

Summary 298

Key Terms 298

Discussion Questions 298

Case 299

References 301

Chapter 11 The Grievance Arbitration Process 302

Standing Up for Workers’ Rights

Introduction 304

The Grievance in the Workplace 305

Definition of a Grievance 305

Types of Grievances 306

Timeliness of a Grievance 307

Steps in the Grievance Procedure 308

Duty of Fair Representation 314

The Grievance Arbitration Process 316

Preparing for a Grievance Arbitration 316

The Arbitration Hearing 318

Order of Proceeding 320

Creating the Arbitration Award 321

Problems with the Traditional Grievance Arbitration Process 322

Speed of the Process 322

Formality and Legalism of the Process 323

Cost-Effectiveness of the Process 324

Alternatives to the Traditional Grievance Arbitration Process 324

Expedited Arbitration 324

Grievance Mediation 327

Mediation-Arbitration 330

Summary 332

Key Terms 332

Discussion Questions 333

Cases 333

Exercise 341

References 341

Chapter 12 Changes to the Union or the Employer 344

Largest Union Merger in Canadian History Receives Unprecedented Support

Introduction 346

Successorship 346

Decertification 354

Union Mergers 361

Technological Change 364

Workplace Restructuring 368

Summary 372

Key Terms 372

Discussion Questions 372

Cases 373

References 380

Chapter 13 Future Issues for Workers, Work Arrangements, Organizations, and the Industrial Relations System 382

Providing the Youth Perspective

Introduction 384

Changes in Workforce Demographics 384

Young Workers 384

Female Workers 388

Older Workers 390

Ethnic and Racial Diversity in the Workforce 391

Union Strategies for Dealing with the Changing Workforce 393

Changing Work Arrangements and Practices 396

Work Scheduling 397

Telecommuting 397

Different Employment Relationships 398

New Human Resource Management Practices 399

Union Responses to Changing Work Arrangements and Practices 399

Changes in Organizational Structures 401

Union Responses to Changing Organizational Structures 404

Globalization 405

Union Responses to Globalization 408

What Happens Next? Factors Influencing the Future of Industrial Relations in Canada 410

Legislation 411

Political Influence 414

Union Organizing 417

Summary 421

Key Terms 421

Discussion Questions 422

Case 422

References 426

Glossary 434

Index 443

  • New cases: Adapted from real scenarios faced by labour relations boards across Canada, these cases put the student in the position of a labour relations board member, who must assess the evidence from both sides and render a decision. All chapter opening vignettes and In the News Stories have been revised or replaced with new ones.
  • Currency:  The fourth edition has been thoroughly updated with new examples and references, including updated statistics and legal information. The Weekly Updates Site,, includes relevant news articles and videos with discussion questions to spark a debate in the classroom. The site will keep both instructors and students informed about the latest news stories.
  • Updated Discussions of Key Topics, including globalization, the impact of technology, Supreme Court decisions, and changes in labour laws.
  • New Developments in the Union-Management Environment, featuring discussions of the use of social media for communication and/or support in organizing campaigns and strikes.
  • In the News Feature: Each chapter includes an actual news article to highlight interesting real-world events. This feature helps to show students that the field is diverse and is "not just about strikes and lockouts".
  • Rather than emphasizing the economic or theoretical approach to the discipline, there is a focus on the practical or process oriented side of labour relations as it applies in today's workplace.
  • Relevant, current topics including technological changes, downsizing, union membership, and survival issues are covered, providing students with the most up-to-date information on the subject.
  • A host of pedagogical tools including chapter objectives, new terminology definitions, discussion questions, charts and graphs, and cases and simulation exercises are included to help students who may have no experience in industrial relations.
  • Numerous examples, cases, vignettes, and photos highlight real-world practice. Cases from actual labour relations board decisions from across Canada are presented so that students can experience real IR situations.