Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

Public Sector Industrial Relations in Canada: Does It Threaten or Sustain Democracy

Document type Article
Author Slinn, Sara
Author Thompson, Mark
Journal Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal
Volume 34
Date 2012
Pages 393-414


Examines labor relations between the state (federal and provincial governments) and public sector workers since the 1960s, including interventions into collective bargaining through wage control legislation, wage control policies, back-to-work legislation, and emergency no-strike legislation. Concludes that while Canadian governments have generally accepted the industrial relations system, they have not accepted the outcomes of bargaining. In addition, the authors conclude that there is little evidence to support the thesis of Wellington and Winters (1969) that public sector labor unions use their power to threaten democracy by settling agreements that are contrary to the mandate and best interests of the electorate.