Osgoode Hall Law Journal

Document Type

Special Issue Article


Statutory collective bargaining has been the linchpin of Canadian industrial relations since World War I. It yielded benefits to large segments of workers, although its reach and impact were always exaggerated. As the economic entente which underpinned the scheme is unravelling, workers fight desperately to hang onto a system which, in retrospect, looks even better than it did before. But the narrow, male-centred, economic premises of collective bargaining make statutory collective bargaining reform a poor vehicle with which to offset employer attacks on the working classes. An agenda which seeks to link the economic and the political, men and women, must be developed. This can be done, in part, by exploiting some of the claims (contrast realities) of the existing industrial relations system. But, more is needed; some suggestions are offered.