Industrial Relations Analysis

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Industrial Relations Analysis

PART A-Industrial Relations Analysis

  1. The definition of labour according to Godard refers to the workers who are in an employment relation but are not in a position to exercise substantive authority as they are subordinates. In general, labour comprises of manual and non-manual workers, as well as, union and non-union workers.
  2. The fundamental role of the labour unions is to present and promote the values and interests of their respective members in the capacity of formal negotiations with management representatives commonly termed as collective bargaining.
  3. Initially, workers were divided into distinct categories or groups by the different industries they operated in and the special skills that enabled them to work across industries. For instance, industrial unions consist of workers in a particular industry whereas trade unions or craft unions consist of workers with certain craft or skilled trade that is present across discordant industries.
  4. The role of managers is to exercise substantive authority over other workers in subordinate positions within a company. Managers are not always in positions of superordination as they could be employees of the owners of the companies. Nonetheless, they are still tasked with exerting substantive authority over subordinates. Managers are also actively involved with labour unions. For instance, in situations where the labour unions are performing their collective bargaining duties on behalf of workers, they negotiate with managers or management representatives of the respective companies.


  1. Employment is both an economic and a social relationship in that workers trade their ability to work in exchange for remuneration subject to specific mutual terms and conditions and agree to submit to managerial authority through their compliance with managerial regulations and instructions of day to day work performance respectively.
  2. Employment involves both cooperation and conflict between employers and workers in that both the managers and subordinates work together to achieve common goals and production targets for the company while adhering to the same rules and directives. However, conflict arises when workers in the same company have different expectations, goals and interests and one employee jeopardizes the work of another while in the process of pursuing a discordant objective or goal.

PART B-Industrial Relations Analysis

  1. Canada unions face key challenges, for instance, the competitive national and international markets that have resulted in increased hostility of numerous employers towards unions have eroded the influence of Canadian unions on benefits, wages and working conditions. The privatization and deregulation of sectors such as communications, transportation, and health, as well as, increased international trade have also limited the ability of Canada unions to shape the economies of whole sectors. Another key challenge for Canada unions is the decrease in the number of unions in the country leading to a decline in their political influence contrary to the increasing influence of employers. But perhaps the most critical challenge to Canada unions is the emergence of a highly educated and diverse workforce. The new workforce that comprises of numerous racialized workers and an almost equal ratio of men to women has been a great hindrance to labour movements that once consisted of skilled and semi-skilled white male manual workers. Finally, the initial workers’ demands for benefits and wages have changed to an emphasis on work-life balance and quality of work issues rendering the work of Canada unions difficult.
  2. The unions have shown immense strength in the public and social services sectors due to the stable size of the direct public sector, as well as, the regularly contracted services of the union such as child care, long-term care, and home care. Notably, the coverage of Canada unions has been extremely high in public administration and education, as well as, health and social services. Some of the unions that have enjoyed immense success in the public sector are the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).Industrial Relations Analysis