Phil Stone has been a union organizer for 15 years. He recently targeted a firm in the garment industry. Up to this point he has had informal discussions with a few of the company’s four hundred employees so that he can get a better feel for the chances of succeeding in the organizing drive. Phil is aware that he does not face a ‘slam dunk’ in this situation and his prediction is that the certification vote could be very close. He is aware that launching a full organizing campaign is an expensive proposition for the union, in time as well as resources, and his personal reputation as a successful organizer is at stake.
That being said, the union needs additional members as their overall membership has decreased in recent years. The decrease in membership has meant a decrease in union dues and a resultant loss of manpower and resources in the union offices. All of the full time personnel in the union are spread very thin so, if the union proceeds with the organization drive, they have to be successful. The vast majority of the employees in the company are women who have been in Canada for less than five years.
Case Scenario Written by Charles Purchase, Seneca College
1.What major events in Canada’s labour relations history got Phil to the point in which he could lawfully organize a union, have it certified, and negotiate a collective agreement with the company? (10 marks)
2.What strategies can Phil use to increase his chances of success in organizing a union within this company? (10 marks)
3.What barriers will Phil face in his attempt to attract these workers to the union, and what arguments will he use to try to convince them to join? (10 marks)
4.What specific arguments would the company want to try to use to convince employees not to join? (10 marks)