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Chapter 12

Management and Organizational Studies 3352F/G Chapter Notes - Chapter 12: Canadian Auto Workers, Bargaining Unit, Bargaining Power

Management and Organizational Studies
Course Code
MOS 3352F/G
Johanna Weststar

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Collective Bargaining
A. The structure of collective bargaining
Formal bargaining structures
-Labour boards normally determine the bargaining unit for purposes of a certification election based on the
wishes of the parties, traditional arrangements in the occupation or industry and whether employee in a
proposed unit have a “community of interest”
1. single-employer, single-establishment, single-union: most common in Canada, university there can be
separate units for professors, librarians, teaching assistants, maintenance staff
2. single-employer, multi-establishment, single-union: General Motors and Ford agreement with
Canadian Auto Workers to cover all of their assembly operations
3. single-employer, single-establishment, multi-union: rare, in Britain where employers have traditionally
recognize unions voluntarily with different groups of workers represented by different unions
4. single-employer, multi-establishment, multi-union: rare, railway industry where craft unions negotiate
an agreement with each major rail company
5. multi-employer, multi-establishment, single-union: rare, mostly in health-care, trucking, forestry,
6. multi-employer, multi-establishment, multi-union: rarest, it has been used at times in the construction
-Key ones= 1, 2, 5
-first one is easiest & straightforward, 6th = most difficult
-first and second very common in Canada
-third and fourth very rare in Canada, third is almost illegal (more than 1 union) but VERY popular in Europe
-examples of some centralization: sectorial bargaining, informal structures, coordinated or pattern
-Canada has primarily decentralized system
-In the case of multi-establishment, multi-employer units, it is not uncommon for the parties to negotiate a
single, master agreement to cover broader issues which apply to all workplaces in a unit, such as wage
levels, benefit plans, and job security
-Supplemental agreements cover issues which vary across workplaces in accordance with working hours,
crew sizes, etc.
-Coordinate bargaining: separate agreements are negotiated, but on the understanding that all
negotiations will reach essentially the same settlement, with only minor modifications at most
Is decentralization a good thing?
-most agreements to be negotiated at either the establishment or employer level = decentralized bargaining
-the costs can be substantial for both the employer and the local union and level of professionalization may
be substantially lower
-as a result, employers may be more resistant to unions, unions may have to charger higher dues to their
-can foster distrust and hostility as employers attempt to deceive the union, union officials willingness to
-provides more flexibility, allowing the parties to reach a settlement that is most suited to their circumstances
arguments for centralization
-the related costs are dispersed across a large number of employers and union members
-negotiations are conducted by experienced experts
-local union and l=managers pay only a small role in the process so the likelihood of distrust and hostility
carrying over into their day-to-day relations is much lower
-if it occurs at industry level, the parties have less to worry about if they agree to sizeable union gains
because wages and working conditions are in effect taken out of competition resulting in higher labour
costs/efficiency losses
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