Low membership keeps unions on the defensive

Sectors to watch for possible labour strife include manufacturing, food retail and forestry
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/14/2006

People in the human resources field may hear talk about the balance of power shifting to workers as the retiring baby boomers leave behind a worker shortage, but labour unions aren’t seeing benefits of that shift, according to a Conference Board of Canada researcher.

Instead, with union density at 30 per cent — 17.5 per cent in the private sector — unions are seeing continued loss of power at the bargaining table, said Christopher Hallamore, author of the Conference Board’s

Industrial Relations Outlook 2006: Shifting Grounds, Shifting Attitudes