Chapter 16: Labour Relations
Introduction to Labour Relations:
- Labour Union: An officially recognized association of employees practising a similar
trade or employed in the same company or industry who have joined together to present a
united front and collective voice in dealing with management.
- Labour-management relations: The ongoing interactions between labour unions and
management in organizations
- Collective agreement: A formal agreement between an employer and the union
representing a group of its employees regarding terms and conditions of employment
- Collective bargaining: Negotiations between a union and an employer to arrive at a
mutually acceptable collective agreement
- Bargaining unit: the group of employees in a firm, plant or industry that has been
recognized by an employer or certified by a Labour Relations Board (LRB) as appropriate
for collective bargaining purposes.
Managements Labour Relations Strategy:
1. Union Acceptance strategy: view the union as a legit representative of the firm’s
employees. Such a relationship can lead to innovative initiatives and win-win outcomes
2. Union Avoidance Strategy: believe it’s preferable to operate in a non-unionized
a. Union Substitution: become so responsive to employee’s needs that there is no
them to unionize
b. Union Suppression: when there is a desire to avoid a union at all costs
Canada’s Labour Laws: TWO PURPOSES
1. To provide COMMON set of rules for fair negotiations
2. To PROTECT the public interest by preventing the impact of labour disputes from
inconveniencing the public.
The Labour Movement in Canada Today
- Business Unionism: the activities of labour unions focusing on economic and welfare
issues, including pay and benefits, job security, and working conditions
- Social (reform) Unionism: Activities of unions directed at furthering the interests of
their members by influencing the social and economic policies of governments at all levels,
such as speaking out on proposed legislative reforms.