Two sides of the same coin

Number of lockouts stays the same even if media attention would indicate otherwise
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/28/2006

There might not be much to it, but there’s an adage out there (well, more among journalism circles than anywhere else) that says one’s a curiosity, two’s a coincidence, but three makes a trend.

Considering the high-profile lockouts played out in the Canadian industrial relations scene last year, it’s certainly worth asking whether there’s a trend afoot. There was the National Hockey League lockout lasting 301 days and wiping out an entire hockey season, then the eight-week lockout of 5,500 radio and television workers at the CBC in the summer. Perhaps most acrimonious was the four-month showdown between Telus and the Telecommunications Workers Union, which erupted when Telus imposed a collective agreement as part of its lockout measures. To this day, the company calls it a strike and the union calls it a lockout.

So is there a trend? Based on his impression, Pradeep Kumar, professor at Queen’s University’s Industrial Relations Centre in Kingston, Ont., said he thinks so.