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McMaster University
Labour Studies
David Goutor

Canada’s Labour Movement in Challenging Times - There is a tendency to scapegoat organized labour for whatever ails the economy - 85% of Canadians work for someone - Collective bargaining: process whereby workers representatives negotiate the terms and conditions of the employment relationship on behalf of most or all of the workers in a particular workplace a union is a worker’s organization that aims to negotiate collectively with an employer on behalf of its members - It regulates the conditions of their employment - Canada has one union for one workplace, but the middle east or Europe has several so employees can choose - Unions are bargaining agents that are certified - Union dues prevent free riding - The ability of unions to organize and bargain depends on these factors: o Labour laws and regulations  Aspects of collective agreement are governed by rules and laws o Workers attitudes  Workers willingness to join a union depends on their employment circumstance  People in the union must be willing to win things collectively and not break apart in times of hardship o Social and Economic Context  If workers are less secure in their job then they will try to unionize  If someone has a higher employment, reduced social program undermine union activity o Profits, productivity, and competition  If competition between companies is intense, then it is hard for union to make gains with an individual employer who might be experiencing higher costs, lower profits, and lower sales  When competition is less, and business profits are strong, employers may be less resistant to unionization since they can afford some flexibility - Features of collective bargaining o $4.50 higher wage for unionized workers than not o Lower paid job, the higher union wage premium (for women) o Goal is greater equality of wages, then unions try to equalize pay between everyone including minorities and women o Able to improve other compensations including health, vision and dental care, insurance programs o Work-life balance approach started by unions o Causes a “spill over” effect-> those not in unions will somewhat benefit too as well as the environment o Workers
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