Nov 1

Hi all. We will be discussing the third regime of workplace law starting this weekend: Collective Bargaining Law.

I used to show two videos in this class.  One is a history documentary following the development of the Canadian labour movement and labour laws. The other is a documentary of a particularly difficult round of collective bargaining at Bombardier near the Toronto airport in the mid-1990s.  I decided that it wasn’t the best use of classroom time to show these videos, but after some lobbying, I’ve managed to get York librarians to obtain the streaming rights to the videos. That means you can watch the videos from your home computer if you have time and interest.  If you use a Mac, I suggest you use Firefox instead of Safari to view these movies.

The Labour History Videos

There is a series of 4 short documentaries of about 20 minutes each.  I used to show Part 2 (Hard Times, High Hopes, 1929-1945), because it shows the origins of our modern labour law model (P.C. 1003, which we learn about in Class 3).  If you want to watch it, or any of the other 3 videos, follow the links here, stroll to the bottom where it says Click to Access this Resource, and enter your York library passwords:

Brave Beginnings, 1900-1925

Hard Times, Brave Beginnings (1929-1945)

The New Militancy (1965-1984)

Holding the Line (1984-New Millennium)

The Bombardier – CAW Strike and Bargaining Documentary

This is a pretty fascinating film, because it follows the back room in-fighting within a divided CAW bargaining team.

Background:  The CAW’s main people in the film are the CAW President (Buzz Hargrove) and the Head of the union bargaining committee (Merv Grey).  Grey is a worker in the factory who has been elected by the workers to represent them in bargaining.  Buzz runs the union.  The employer eventually tells the union that if the union does not agree to the employer’s proposal, it will close the factory and fire everyone.  Buzz thinks the threat is real, and advises Merv and the bargaining committee to accept the employer’s offer.   The workers and some on the committee think the employer is bluffing about the threat to move the work.  So in much of the movie, the union is engaged in in-fighting with one another.  Buzz disagrees with the strategy of the workers, and the workers are very angry with Buzz and the employer.  We don’t see the employer that often.

Watch how the union’s negotiators are always concerned about whether the workers will vote for the proposed agreement.  This bargaining is way more hostile than most, but you can see how collective bargaining is way different than individual bargaining.   If you have questions about the movie, use the Comment function.

Warning:  there is a lot of bad language, so I apologize for this.

Here is the link to the video. You will need to enter your York library information.


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