””

Queen's University IRC

Labour Relations

Child Care: Who Should Provide?

With the increase in two earner and single parent families, the availability of good child care services has become a political, economic and social issue. Several elements are important when examining the provisions of child care: the provision of spaces, financing, quality, and responsibility for day-to-day operation. This article explores the four models of child care: the government model, the employer model, the mixed model, and the parent model.

Canadian Labour’s Response to Work Reorganization

This paper was presented at the Annual Conference of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association, Carleton University, Ottawa on June 3-5, 1993. The paper is based on a larger study of the role of unions and collective bargaining in human resource innovations undertaken by the author as a part of a research project on Human Resource Management in Canada under the auspices of Industrial Relations Centre, Queen's University.

Freedom of Religion in the Workplace: Legislative Protection

Current Human Rights legislation protects workers from discrimination on a number of grounds including religion. This paper looks at the history of legislation prohibiting discrimination and reviews current legislation to determine how freedom of religion is protected in the workplace. Precedents from discrimination cases are outlined to give an indication of how cases are currently being settled. Finally, the paper looks at cases concerning freedom of religion in the workplace over the past fifteen years to assess whether the legislation is in use and is effective.

Is There a Future for the Canadian Labour Movement?

The labour movement in Canada has been under tremendous pressure in recent years. Intense global competition, economic integration and restructuring, trade liberalization initiatives such as the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement, rapid and pervasive technological change, the growing service economy and dramatic changes in the growth and composition of the workforce have ushered in a drastically altered economic, labour market and public policy environment within which unions operate.

Unions and Workplace Smoking Policy

Do you remember when workers could smoke in the workplace? This article was written in 1992, at a time when concern over environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) was being identified as a leading occupational health hazard and policy makers were instituting smoking restrictions and bans in workplaces.

Negotiation: Why Do We Do It Like We Do?

As a labour lawyer and a professor of labour law, George Adams mediated many disputes over the years. As a new member of the Ontario Court of Justice, he shared his views on the negotiation process with respect to the competitive challenges facing the workplace. He in presented this paper in May 1992 at the Annual Spring Industrial Relations Seminar. 

Labour Law Reform: Radical Departure or Natural Evolution?

The current proposals to amend Ontario's collective bargaining laws have given rise to a loud, and frequently intemperate, debate that has not only divided Ontario's labour relations community but has now moved to the centre of Ontario's political stage. Underlying this debate is a realignment of the relative political influence of business and labour that came with the NDP's election victory in the fall of 1990.

Canadian Industrial Relations in the Year 2000: Towards a New Order?

Canada's industrial relations system faces a rapidly changing external environment in this last decade of the 20th century. Significant and far-reaching changes in our economic, political and legal environment are already being felt and even more changes appear to be on the horizon. The question squarely facing Canada's industrial relations community is the extent to which these important changes will reshape our existing industrial relations order.
 

Union Beliefs and Attitudes of Canadian Workers: An Econometric Analysis

This paper was presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association, held at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario on June 2-4, 1991. The purpose of this paper to explore the determinants of union beliefs and attitudes of workers in Canada, and to examine if attitudes towards unions differ systematically by gender, that is, whether men and women differ in their union beliefs and their disposition towards joining a union.

Women’s Issues and Collective Bargaining

The purpose of this paper is to examine the bargaining agenda of selected major Canadian unions on women's issues and the effectiveness of their efforts towards incorporating these issues into their collective agreements. The first section highlights the union agenda and the common provisions the unions have been pursuing at the collective bargaining table. The second section analyzes the frequency of the collective agreement clauses on women's issues overall and of selected unions.

Who Makes the Decisions? Women’s Participation in Canadian Unions

The purpose of this report is to determine whether women are increasingly being involved in the decision-making process of Canadian unions. The scope of review of this report is restricted to public sector unions and one private sector union in the province of Ontario. A combination of methods were utilized in completing this study, including an overview of existing research, a review of statistical data, and an analysis of policy statements, convention resolutions and general union literature.

“Organizing the Unorganized” Revisited

The purpose of this paper is to examine the jurisprudence surrounding unionization attempts in the Canadian chartered banks (supplemented by decisions of the Ontario Labour Relations Board dealing with trust companies and credit unions) and to analyze the efficacy of legislation in dealing with the intransigence of the banking counter-campaign in order to identify possible areas for resolution of the barriers to collective representation for bank and other service sector workers. Prior to examination of the jurisprudence, the paper focuses on the nature of employment in the banking sector in order to provide a contextual framework for analysis of the efficacy of labour board decisions.

Work and Family Issues: Beyond ‘Swapping the Mopping and Sharing the Caring’

During the past two decades, there has been a significant transformation in the Canadian economy, labour force and in the social and familial context in which labour force participation decisions are made. An increase in the labour force participation of women, particularly married women and those with children, together with a rising number of both single-parent as well as dual-earner families in the labour force are focusing greater attention on work and family issues.

Worker Participation in Corporate Decision-Making: Canada’s Future?

This paper was presented at the International Bar Association Joint Meeting of Committees P and V, on October 4, 1989 in Strasbourg, France, by the author, George W. Adams. “Industrial democracy” is often described as the raison d’etre for increased worker participation in corporate decision-making. It is typically associated with broad social objectives and seeks to extend democratic decision-making from the political sphere into the economic sphere through the elimination or restriction of the rights of the dominant industrial hierarchy.

First Contract Arbitration in Ontario: An Evaluation of the Early Experience

Unions continue to face difficulties in obtaining first agreements, due largely to the conduct of employers. Previously, bad faith bargaining complaints have been raised against such employers, but the detection criteria and remedial response used by the Board have been inadequate in dealing with first contract situations. As a result, in 1986 Ontario adopted first contract arbitration to more effectively address first agreement cases.

Employment Relations in the Unionized Labor Movement: A Comparative Analysis of Arbitration Cases in Ontario, 1971 to 1985

The institution of collective bargaining, central to public policy with respect to employment relations, requires a well functioning labour movement. There is evidence that labour organizations in the role of employer are subject to labour conflict which, if unresolved, threatens the collective bargaining regime. The survival of the movement is at risk in terms of its principles, credibility, and effectiveness as protector of the interests of the worker and promoter of social reform.

Implementing Pay Equity in Ontario

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate issues in the implementation of pay equity, based on the experience of Ontario. The Ontario Act is considered as having the broadest scope of coverage of pay equity legislation, not only in Canada but in North America. This paper compares the Pay Equity Act of Ontario to other pieces of Canadian equal pay for work of equal value legislation, exploring the similarities and dissimilarities, highlighting the unique features and discussing the implications of various provisions.

Unions and Contemporary Innovations in Work Organization, Compensation, and Employee Participation

The 1980s have been a decade of experimentation in work organization, compensation systems, and labor-management relations. These experiments represent efforts to increase productivity and improve firm financial performance. Many of these innovations seek to tap worker knowledge and energy in the service of these goals. It is the purpose of this paper to describe the nature of these efforts, and to document their growth and significance in both the union and nonunion sectors.

Smoking Restrictions in the Workplace

This paper looks at the implementation of smoking restrictions in Canadian workplaces in an attempt to discover the impetus for these new policies and laws, as well as some of their social and legal implications. Workplace smoking restrictions have come about because of new medical evidence claiming a real hazard to non-smokers from environmental tobacco smoke. Although this evidence is inconclusive with respect to healthy non-smokers, there is still enough suggestion of a long-term risk to warrant preventive action.

AIDS and the Employment Relationship

The increased incidence of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is beginning to have a significant impact in the workplace. Some unique employment issues are being raised because of two dimensions of the problem: first, the disease is fatal and to date there is no known cure; and second, as a result of the lack of knowledge about AIDS, a great deal of fear of transmission of the disease persists among other members of the workforce.

Employment Related Drug Testing: The Legal Implications for Employers

Employment related drug testing has become a contentious issue in Canada. While some employers have implemented some form of drug testing and many more are still considering it, the extent of its legality has yet to be determined by the human rights commissions, arbitrators and the courts. This essay examines the legal implications of employment related drug testing in Canada by analyzing relevant human rights legislation, arbitral jurisprudence, and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In carrying out this analysis some reference is made to the legal developments in the United States.

The Rise of Industrial Unionism in Canada – A History of the CIO

This paper was written from the perspective of Don Taylor, who was able to work in every part of Canada with union people – both leaders and members – many of whom had been involved in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) from its beginnings in this country. He felt that there were too few written memoirs of the experiences of those whose deeds didn't conform to accepted heroic traditions or dramatic conventions, but who enjoyed the great priviledge of working for a good cause in pursuit of noble principles.

The ‘Vanishing’ Middle Class: Evidence and Explanations

In the late 1980s, a considerable body of literature was emerging about the so-called "vanishing" middle class. Studies by Bluestone, Harrison and others raised the issues of deindustrialization and a growing low-wage economy.  In this paper from 1988, the author reviews the issues and evidence, and explores nine possible explanations: the baby-boom effect, changes in family composition, more working women, labour's falling income, traditional business cycle effects, a trade-based industrial shift, deindustrialization, industrial relocation and increased part-time work.

Scroll to Top