When it’s time to bargain…

A strong dollar, pension concerns and work-life balance issues will dominate the labour scene in 2005, say employment lawyers
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/03/2005

As seasoned labour relations experts can attest, what’s hot and what’s not in collective bargaining will vary a great deal region to region. In Ontario, the repercussions of a rising Canadian dollar loom large in the minds of export-oriented employers. Whereas in the rural communities of Nova Scotia, it’s getting workers to agree to Saturday night shifts that’s causing headaches.

Overall, the positive outlook for the Canadian economy this year means that employers have to work on managing workers’ expectations, said Toronto-based employment lawyer Jamie Knight.

“First of all, we all have to watch the Canadian dollar. It’s going to put a lot of pressure on companies trying to hold down rates on the one hand. On the other hand, employees see a generally favourable economy in Canada. We have relatively low unemployment, and there appears to be high CEO and business confidence,” said Knight, partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti.