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Articles on Labour relations

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Video game workers in Edmonton became the first video game union in Canada — and the third in North America — after voting unanimously to unionize this month. (Shutterstock)

Canada’s first video game union shows that labour organizing is on the rise

In an important step for an industry that has been accused of exploitative working conditions for decades, video game workers in Edmonton recently voted to unionize for the first time in Canada.
Staten Island’s Amazon distribution centre union organizer Chris Smalls celebrates with union members after getting the voting results to unionize their warehouse on April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)

Why did Amazon workers win the fight to form a union in Staten Island but not in Alberta?

Staten Island’s Amazon union has proven that one of the most powerful anti-union companies in North America can be unionized.
A pedestrian views his smartphone as he crosses a city street. Right-to-disconnect laws are aimed at improving the work-life balance of employees, but giving them more freedom over how they work might be a smarter approach. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

How businesses can best help employees disconnect from work

The best way to help employees disconnect from work is to allow them the autonomy to choose for themselves how, when and where to disconnect.
Thousands of teachers from the Peel District School Board hold a one-day strike in Mississauga, Ont., in February 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

The advantages of unionization are obvious, so why don’t more workers join unions?

Wanting a union and securing a union are two very different things. That’s because there are enduring obstacles to unionization that make it incredibly difficult for workers to unionize.
When star performers leave, research shows it can lead to turnover contagion — especially when company leaders fail to motivate or inspire. (Shutterstock)

Is quitting contagious? Depends on who else leaves and who’s in charge

When our colleagues quit, are we more or less likely to quit too? Is quitting contagious? Research shows it depends on the departing employee’s performance — and what kind of manager is in charge.
A man heads past a clothing store where mannequins sport face masks in Halifax. Retail workers, long-term care workers and teachers say the media has failed to reflect their pandemic experiences. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

To create a better work environment after COVID-19, we must truly hear employees

In post-pandemic Canada, the media will play a big role in shaping public understanding of labour conditions. A future of work that is safe and equitable requires the voices of workers.
Employees are often reluctant to speak up at work. But if they make efforts to research their ideas and ensure they benefit the organization, it benefits both workers and employers. (Unsplash)

Why employees hesitate to speak up at work — and how to encourage them

Studies consistently show that many employees are reluctant to speak up at work, and are even hardwired to remain silent. How can we help people voice their opinions more effectively?
CEOs have diverse opinions about the effectiveness of remote work. (Mohammad Shahhosseini/Unsplash)

What Canada’s top CEOs think about remote work

Research and surveys show that many Canadian employees want to continue to work from home, at least sometimes, following the pandemic. But what do CEOs think?
How do people really feel about working from home? (Corinne Kutz/Unsplash)

Working from home during COVID-19: What do employees really want?

The COVID-19 crisis is transforming work and how it is done, not just in universities. If managers think that they unilaterally know how to manage remote work, disorder could become chaos.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a window is opening for good ideas to move from the fringes to the mainstream — and that includes a four-day work week. (Simon Abrams/Unsplash)

The day is dawning on a four-day work week

The four-day work week is an idea that should make it through the pandemic’s open policy window.
Two health-care workers arrive at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montréal on March 23, 2020. Unionized nurses are among those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Coronavirus crisis poses risks and opportunities for unions

Nurses, cleaners, grocery store clerks and other unionized workers have been on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19. They should emerge from it with a greater level of respect.
Employees want their companies to be genuine in their embrace of corporate social responsibility, and have no appetite for self-serving efforts. (Unsplash)

Employees want genuine corporate social responsibility, not greenwashing

Even if employees don’t care about a particular cause to begin with, they will react positively or negatively to the reason they believe their organization is choosing to engage in that cause.
Striking CN rail members are seen outside the Mclean Rail Yard in North Vancouver on Nov. 20, 2019. Confidential RCMP documents reveal how involved corporations are when faced with disruptions to “business as usual” and how federal agencies should respond. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Why government and industry want us to view the CN Rail strike as a security risk

Internal documents reveal how police and government respond to protests or labour disputes that are framed as threats to national security, and how heavily corporations are involved.
Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) members stand on picket line in Halifax in October 2018 after a call for a series of rotating 24-hour strikes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ted Pritchard

Back-to-work legislation may come back to haunt Justin Trudeau

Ordering Canada’s postal workers back on the job may hurt Justin Trudeau. CUPW could direct its anger directly at the Trudeau Liberals ahead of the 2019 federal election.

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