The Wagner Act Model and the Principle of Exclusivity
Wagner Act create din US and adopted in Canada in the 30s.
o mandatory certification procedure which allows a union to become exclusive
bargaining agent of for emploeyes and to compel employer to bargain.
voluntary recngition also possible.
Key features are exclusivity and majority rule.
May have made more sense in old, large vertically integrated companies.
basic principle of organization in canada remains exclusivity and majoirty rule
o don't even need 50% of all employees, just 50% of those who vote
o there will always be some forced to unionzie.
Employers are the ones who insisted on votes
o gave them time to react and take steps against a union
Employer may still voluntarily recognize union
the content of the bargaining unit often a source of contraversy
o large units have more power
o many small unions with one employer multiplies the chance of strike and
Globalization has meant the cost of labour is increasingly important
Roy Adams, "Union Certification as an Instrument of Labor Policy: A Comparative
Other countries do not generally divide up into small bargaining units which require
Employer view here is that people outside the workplace have no business in the
welfare of the enterprise, will just cause disruption.
Employers demanded that the majority of employees would need to support the
union for it to have effect
o this was embedded in the Wagner act.
Certification makes union activity possible, but the process also has advantages for
o it can contest organization campaigns
o certification has dissipated calls for general indsutrail improvements
noncertified employers feel justified in behavinig in autocratic and
o employers are banend from seeking employee representation in other ways.
employers no longer have any duty to seek democracy in the
workpalce- this responsibility is seen as falling wholly on unions.
Sanford Jacoby, "Social Dimensions of Global Economic Integration"
Global economy change labour relations
greater mobility of capital means that nations must rely on human talent and
infrastructure to keep investments.
economic growth and producitity has slowed since the 1970s while financial markets
MNCs have spread and fruther increased globalization
globalization has had mainly negative effect on labour.
o compeition from lost-cost natiosn puts downwards pressure on wages and
o industry moving to more high-tech sectors, but this undermines the demand
for blue-collar manual workers, who form the unions base. Historically, insdutry wide cmpromises which took "wages out of competition" were
acceptable to employer, since they knew their competitors would be paying the same
and so woiuldn't be at a disadvantage
o but as indsutries globalize, this standardization is impossible.
o and the mere threat of outsourcing weakens unions' bargaining strength
Harry Arthurs, "Reinventing Labor Law for the Global Economy"
Globalization puts employees from different regions directly in competition with one
o in competition both for jobs, and for the lowest wages and the highest
No way of standardizing workplace benefits and rights, since all of these pools of
workers are in different sovereign nation.