Industrial Relations Outlook 2014: Back to Basics for the Labour Movement

The Conference Board of Canada, 44 pages, December 2013
Report by David K. Shepherdson
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Canadian unions are under pressure, which will alter the tone of negotiations in 2014. In order to thrive in a harsher economic, political and legislative reality, the labour movement will need to get “back to basics” and focus on growing their membership base.

Cette publication comprend un résumé en français.

Document Highlights

The latest edition of the Conference Board’s Industrial Relations Outlook maintains that the labour movement in Canada is at a crossroads. Unions have lost bargaining power due to globalization, deregulation, the lingering effects of the recession, and a shift in the political landscape.

Both employers and unions share a number of concerns related to fiscal restraint and greater government involvement in labour disputes.

On a positive note, Canada should see relatively solid employment growth, and real wages are expected to increase, as they have for much of the last decade. However, the sustainability of real wage gains may be in question since productivity improvements have not kept pace with wage growth.

Find out how senior labour and management practitioners envision labour market and collective bargaining prospects for 2014, and what unions need to do in order to survive the new reality.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Chapter 1—The State of the Unions

  • Back to Basics

Chapter 2—The Economic Outlook

  • The Global Outlook
  • The U.S. Outlook
  • The Canadian Outlook

Chapter 3—Compensation Outlook

  • Average Base Pay Increases

Chapter 4—The Bargaining Outlook

Chapter 5—The Roundtable

  • Public Sector Bargaining
  • Private Sector Bargaining

Chapter 6—Conclusion

Appendix A—Bibliography

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