Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2019-04-26

Harnessing the Possibilities of Minority Unionism in Canada

Document type Article
Author Braley-Rattai, Alison
Journal Labor Studies Journal
Volume 38
Date 2013-12-01
ISSN 0160-449X, 1538-9758
Pages 321-340


In the Supreme Court of Canada case known as Fraser, the Court determined that the statutory scheme governing labor relations for agricultural workers in Ontario was constitutional, despite lacking an effective mechanism for collective bargaining, a right that has had some (modest) constitutional protection since 2007. In the wake of this much-maligned decision it is unclear whether or not Charter litigation is capable of meaningfully protecting labor rights. However, in light of labor’s apparent commitment to litigation, this article explores a very modest claim about the potential of the labor movement to harness the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Fraser in support of constitutional protection for minority unionism.