Organized Labour in Canada and the United States: Similarities and Differences

Labour Relations

This paper was presented at the 36th Annual Conference of the Association of Labor Relations Agencies, held in Albany, New York, July 26-31, 1987.

Labour movements in Canada and the United States have much in common and close historical ties. They are bound together by a common continental heritage, interdependent product and labour markets, and a similar labour relations framework in the two countries. International unions, with predominant membership and head offices in the United States, are an integral part of the Canadian labour movement. Unions in the two countries share common goals and beliefs, have similar functions and organizational structures, and have been fighting in recent years an uphill battle for legitimacy in face of a hostile and challenging economic, social, political, and technological environment.

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