Canadian Law of Work Forum editor, Prof. David Doorey, has a new article in Jacobin Magazine that discusses the challenges workers face under the Wagner Model of the collective bargaining in Canada and the United States, and the potential impact of a Joe Biden win on labor law in both countries.
“As Paul Weiler wrote in 1984: “The prospects for collective bargaining in the Canadian private sector are not particularly rosy, despite the more favorable legal framework.” That’s why clear-sighted thinkers have recognized the need for labor law to move beyond Wagner altogether….”
“The threat that companies will relocate to the United States in search of a weaker regulatory environment is ever present. As one conservative politician in British Columbia argued, when making the case against card-check union certification: “You simply cannot pass labor legislation as an island. Capital can go anywhere in the world; it can go to Whatcom County, for example” — just across the Canadian border in Washington State….”
“Canadian workers will be vulnerable to such pressures as long as their US counterparts are denied basic rights to organize. By the same token, any steps in the right direction south of the border will help Canada’s labor movement, worker advocates, and progressive politicians in resisting a race to the bottom. But tinkering with the Wagner model won’t be enough — after more than eighty years, it’s time for a fresh start….“