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Ch. 9: Labour Unions

Ch. 9: Labour Unions

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Ch. 9: Labour Unions

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  1. Ch. 9: Labour Unions Gr. 11 Economics M. Nicholson

  2. Labour Unions In Canada • Labour unions are certified organizations of workers that negotiate matters with employers such as: • wages • working conditions • job security and other benefits • 37% of non-agricultural labour force in Canada is unionized (16% USA, 90% Sweden)

  3. Craft & Industrial Unions • craft unions  first to form in Canada in the 1820s  made up of a specific trade or skilled workers (e.g. printers, shoemakers, masons, bakers and tailors) • industrial unions  workers in a particular company or industry  not based on specific trade / skill (e.g. Canadian Auto Workers i.e. CAW)

  4. Union Membership • 19th C. only 166,000 union members with little growth • WW 1 (1914-18) and rapid industrialization led to big growth • failure and violence of Winnipeg General Strike (1919) combined with the Depression of the 1930s hurt unionization until WW 2 (1939-45)

  5. Union Membership • 1945 to 1990s saw union membership soar to 4 million • unionization of government employees grew rapidly from 1965 to the present

  6. Union Structure • local represents workers in their own workplace or town • parent union decides on union policy for all locals across the province, country or world • national unions represent union members across the country (e.g. Canadian Union of Public Employees i.e. CUPE)

  7. Union Structure • international unions represent union members in more than one country (e.g. United Steelworkers) • central labour organizations do not negotiate union contracts  lobby government to pass laws favourable to unions (e.g. Canadian Labour Congress i.e. CLC)

  8. Collective Bargaining • the negotiation between representatives of workers and employer(s) establish terms & conditions of employment that are acceptable to both sides • power in numbers is the philosophy behind unions and collective bargaining • single unskilled or semiskilled workers are easily fired and replaced

  9. Collective Bargaining • union and management try to reach an agreement on such issues as pay, pensions, workload and holidays • once an agreement is reached a contract called a collective agreement is signed by both sides that state the terms of the agreement and how long it is in effect

  10. Collective Bargaining • if a dispute arises during the term of the collective agreement than an arbitrator (outside person) settles the dispute

  11. Conciliation / Mediation • after a contract expires and the two sides cannot come to an agreement on a new contract • both union and management may agree to allow a conciliator (outside person) hear both sides and try to bring them to an agreement

  12. Strike / Lockout • Occurs if labour and management cannot come to an agreement and create a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) • labour may strike (withhold labour services) or management may lockout the workers

  13. Strike / Lockout • both sides use this tactic as a last resort as it hurts everyone involved including the economy as a whole (e.g. NHL lockout) Players vs OwnersSummary Article What’s fair? • both sides feel a strike or lockout will force the other side to give in to their contract demands

  14. The Contract • union security closed shop – membership mandatory OR open shop – membership not mandatory • wages and benefits  cost of living allowances (COLAs) allow wages to keep up with inflation and benefits such as medical, dental, pension and life insurance

  15. The Contract • seniority  laid off based on “last in first out” principle • grievance procedures  procedure to settle disputes between workers and management

  16. Unions & Wages • restricting supply of labour causes wages to increase • increasing the demand for labour causes wages to increase • balances the power of monopolies and oligopolies

  17. Future of Unions • new technology & globalization have put a strain on unions  machines increasingly replace low skill jobs in Canada • semi-skilled jobs in manufacturing are done in low wage countries like China

  18. Future of Unions • unions will have to adapt to survive • key train their members to have higher skills • (complement) the new technology and not be replaced (substitute) by the new technology