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Decline; labour law; Labour Movement; Strike Frequency; strikes; Worker Voice


This paper examines strikes as an expression of worker voice. It begins with a discussion of the connection between voice and strikes. It then documents the sharp decline in strike frequency across the common law world. It looks more closely at strike rates in Canada, where strike rates have declined in both the public and private sectors and at a greater rate than the decline in union density. It then considers the role of law in decline from the perspective that structural factors primarily shape the environment for strikes but that labour law mediates their impact to a degree. It examines the role of law in each of the five common law countries under consideration and concludes with a discussion of the future of strikes, suggesting that strikes will not be revived by changes in law alone, but requires a more fundamental reorientation by the labour movement.