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TOPIC: Collective bargaining rights and the union movement in Canada


  • Demonstrate leadership in class discussion and small group assignments.
  • Demonstrate respect and value for the diverse viewpoints and experiences in the classroom population.
  • Research an employment issue alleging discrimination and describe how it is handled in Canada and US.
  • Compare HR legislation in Canada and the US and differing effects on managing people.


  • Textbook
  • Slide deck (PDF)
  • Slide deck on flashdrive
  • Copies of Assigned Readings




  • Binder check -- For Final Exam
    Study Notes Binder
    Worth 3/5
    Further 2/5 when Study Notes Binder is handed in with Final Exam
    Once final marks have been submitted, students can pick-up their Study Notes binder from their instructor.
  • Focusing Activity
    Think-Pair-Share regarding different experiences and knowledge of global attitudes regarding trade unions.
    To cover as many countries as possible, students from the larger groups (e.g. India and Brazil) will work with partners from other countries.
    In pairs, students will discuss their different experiences of trade unions. Also, students will discuss their knowledge of global attitudes about trade union.
    Then, groups may choose to volunteer to tell the rest of their class what they have discussed regarding personal experiences and global attitudes regarding trade unions.
    The goal of this exercise is to learn the broad range of experiences with collective agreements and attitudes about trade unions around the world.



  • Activity - Comparing US and Canadian union recognition
    Splitting up into groups of 6 students, each group are assigned one (1) article from the Assigned Readings list.
    First, each group will then read and discuss their assigned article.
    Next, each group will prepare a brief presentation to give back to the rest of the class about what they learned from their group-assigned reading.
    Then, each group in turn will have their designated spokesperson present to the class.
  • With the class time remaining, Assignment #2 groups will have time to work on their New Employee Handbook and Career Fair presentation.



  • Card, D. & Freeman, R.B. (1993). Small differences that matter: Labor markets and income maintenance in Canada and the United States.  In Riddell, W.C. (Ed). Unionization in Canada and the United States: A tale of two countries. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
  • Godard, J. (2013). Labour law and union recognition in Canada: A historical-institutionalist perspective. Queen's Law Journal 38 (2); 391-417.
  • Kochan, T.A., Bamber, G.J. (2010). Industrial relations and collective bargaining. In Wilkinson, A., Bacon, N., Redman, T., & Snell, S. The SAGE Handbook of Human Resource Management. 308-321.
  • Kumar, P. (1987). Organized Labour in Canada and the United States: Similarities and Differences. Kingson, ON: Industrial Relations Centre.
  • Sack, J. (n.d.). U.S. and Canadian Labour Law: Significant Distinctions.
  • Warner, K. (2012). Protecting fundamental labor rights: Lessons from Canada for the United States. Washington, DC: Center for Economic and Policy Research.


  • Step #1
    Search online for a Collective Agreement that has not been used in class or by a classmate.
  • Step #2
    Examine the various clauses and look for a clause that may be problematic due to how it has been phrased.
    - Maybe it is not clear enough.Maybe it's out of date. 
    - Maybe it uses unusual vocabulary.
    - Maybe there is a grammatical or punctuation error that changes the interpretation.
    - Maybe it inappropriately excludes some employees or population groups
    - Maybe you can find news articles where grievances have become public knowledge because of problems with the clause
    - Maybe you can find information on the union website that further clarifies this clause (which hints to there being problems with its interpretation).
  • Step #3
    In your post, tell us about what you have learned and your thoughts on the problems that might be happening in that workplace.  Make sure to include the following information for others to understand the situation you are describing in your story.
    - Link to the Collective Agreement
    - The workplace and employee group the Collective Agreement was negotiated between
    - Copy and paste the exact phrasing of the clause you are discussing.
    - If relevant, links to news articles
    - If relevant, link to the Union website explaining the clause