"Industrial Voluntarism in Canada"

Abstract

The term " industrial voluntarism " has been used to describe the norm that dominated union organizing and, more broadly, union-management relations in Canada during most of the first half of the 20 th century. in practical terms, the principle defines situations in which unions and employers initiate, develop, and enforce agreements without state assistance or compulsion. This paper investigates the history of voluntarism in Canada with attention to postwar legal accommodations and various manifestations of voluntarism related to union recognition. We show how aspects of the Framework of Fairness agreement (FFa) negotiated between magna international and the Canadian auto Workers (CaW) in 2007 is informed by industrial voluntarism. The FFa facilitates voluntary recognition of CaW locals at magna plants in exchange for a no-strike promise and acceptance of many features of magna's existing human resource management system. overall, the historical and contemporary evidence show that voluntarism continues to manifest in different forms in response to changing labour relations conditions. Just as the best settlement of a dispute is a voluntary settlement, so the best way for employees and employers to settle differences of their working together is by an agreement voluntarily arrived at. stunned labour and business groups when they announced a comprehensive labour relations agreement called the " Framework of Fairness Agreement " (FFA). Long-time adversaries, Hargrove and Stronach claimed that there were " a surprising number of issues on which we now see eye to eye " (Stronach and Hargrove, 2007: A21). Observers labeled the deal historic given the potential implications it could have for union-management relations in Canada (Armstrong, 2007). The primary feature of the FFA is a Magna-sponsored process that allows 18,000 non-unionized Magna workers in Canada to Thorn for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. We especially appreciate Sara Slinn's support and encouragement of this paper and the helpful comments from three anonymous reviewers. Research Council of Canada helped to make this collaboration possible.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Tucker2013IndustrialVI, title={"Industrial Voluntarism in Canada"}, author={Sean Tucker and Alex Mucalov}, year={2013} }