Queen's University IRC

Research Briefs – November 2013

Queen's University IRC - Research Briefs

   Bringing Practitioner-Focused Research to People Management Practitioners

Nov. 2013   



In This Issue

  1. Labour Relations in Canada: The Changing Landscape of Collective Bargaining after Ontario (A.G.) v. Fraser
  2. Flashback Feature: The 'Vanishing' Middle Class: Evidence and Explanations
  Queen's University - November  

Labour Relations in Canada:
The Changing Landscape of Collective Bargaining after Ontario (A.G.) v. Fraser

Nicholas K. Miller, Queen's University MIR Graduate

Following the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in Ontario (A.G.) v. Fraser (Fraser), there has, predictably, been widespread speculation as to its eventual effect on the labour relations landscape in Canada. A departure from other recent SCC case law, Fraser found that there was no constitutional guarantee for any specific form of labour relations or collective bargaining regime. Even if the decision was significant in shaping Canada's constitutional framework for collective bargaining, any tangible effect on labour policy has yet specifically to materialize. That said, there has certainly been a shift in the discourse concerning labour relations, labour policy, and the role of unions in Canada, and certain recent policy initiatives suggest that broader change may very well be coming.

This article highlights some of those initiatives, discusses how Fraser laid the groundwork for them, and considers what they could mean for the future of labour relations in Canada. In doing so, this article first traces the jurisprudential treatment of labour relations policy since the SCC decision in Health Services and Support – Facilities Subsector Bargaining Association v. British Columbia (BC Health) – the immediate constitutional precursor to Fraser. It then reviews a number of post-Fraser policy initiatives, the effect they have on the labour relations landscape, and their potential implications for the future.

>> Download Article

Flashback Feature:
The 'Vanishing' Middle Class: Evidence and Explanations
Charles M. Beach

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.

>> Download Article



2013 Programs

Advanced Human Resources

Nov. 19-21, 2013

Mastering Fact-Finding and Investigation

Nov. 19-22, 2013

NEW Linking HR Strategy to Business Strategy

Nov. 25-27, 2013

Organization Development Foundations

Nov. 25-28, 2013

Change Management

Dec. 3-6, 2013

2013-2014 Program Planner

Download our
Fall 2013-2014 Program Planner

Join Queen's IRC online for the latest videos, articles, and information:
Queen's IRC on LinkedIn Queen's IRC on Twitter Queen's IRC on Google+
Queen's IRC on Facebook Queen's IRC on YouTube


Copyright 2013 Queen's University IRC | Call 1-888-858-7838 | Email IRC@QueensU.ca| Visit us online at irc.queensu.ca

Scroll to Top