Collective bargaining is democracy at work (Guest commentary)

Influence significant part of Canadian employment relations
By Mark Thompson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 10/03/2007

With a civic strike that has been needlessly prolonged in Vancouver and a major stoppage in the forestry sector that seems destined to last even longer, British Columbians might be asking why they have to be inconvenienced by labour disputes.

This question is best answered in the context of Canadian democracy.

The place of collective bargaining is debated in primarily economic terms. The parties focus on the costs of demands and concessions. Third parties estimate the financial losses caused by work stoppages. Economists study the wage benefits unionized workers receive. Employers are concerned about the costs of restrictions on their right to manage.