Harcourt, M. & Lam, H. (2012). Collaboration between unions in a multi-union, non-exclusive bargaining regime: What can Canada learn from New Zealand? International Journal of Employment Studies, 20(2), 5-31.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7751
The Canadian union certification system guarantees workers rights to organise, bargain collectively, and strike only when a majority of co-workers favours unionisation. This contravenes International Labour Organisation standards, in which the freedom to associate is unqualified by majority support. In recent years, the Supreme Court of Canada has drawn on ILO principles to interpret constitutional rights as covering organising and collective bargaining activities related to freedom of association under section 2(d) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, it has not as yet ordered Canadian governments to enact labour relations laws consistent with these new constitutional rights. Neither has there been a general call for such legislative change. Instead, many fear that statutory support for non-majority unionism would lead to multi-union representation and intensified inter-union competition, but fail to consider that sharing the workplace might actually promote inter-union cooperation against a common adversary in management. This study addresses this shortcoming by looking at the extent and nature of inter-union collaboration in New Zealand, where non-majority, non-exclusive representation exists already. Collaboration was found to be common, not only over bargaining and lobbying, but also in organising. Implications for Canada are explored.
International Employment Relations Association
This article has been published in the journal: International Journal of Employment Studies. Used with permission.
- Management Papers