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Canadian Strikes

This subject guide is meant to assist students, particularly those enrolled in IRE1611, with research papers and assignments.

Back to Work Legislation

Reshef, Y. & Keim, C. (2014). Bad time stories: Government-Union Conflicts and the rhetoric of legitimation strategies. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. E-book:
Chapter 3: Government intervention in industrial relations (Includes tables: Settlement Stages, Major Collective Agreements, Public Sector, 1980-2009; Settlements Stages, Employees Covered by Major Collective Agreements, Public Sector, 1980-2009)
Chapter 4: The case studies (seven cases of government intervention in public-sector industrial relations through restrictive legislation or policy)

Stevens, Andrew and Doug Nesbitt (2014). “An Era of Wildcats and Sick-outs in Canada? The Continued Decline of Industrial Pluralism and the Case of Air Canada.” Labor Studies Journal 39(2), pp.118-139

"Ontario judge finds back-to-work legislation aimed at postal workers violates Charter", August 16, 2016, Lancaster House. "In a significant victory for the Canadian Union of Postal Workers, an Ontario Superior Court judge has found that the Harper government's back-to-work legislation prohibiting strikes and unilaterally imposing wage increases was a violation of the union's rights to freedom of association and expression under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The judge declared the legislation of no force or effect retroactively." Full text of decision: Canadian Union of Postal Workers v Her Majesty in Right of Canada, 2016 ONSC 418 (CanLII)

Lancaster House Bargaining in the Broader Public Sector Conference 2014. Panel 3: Public Sector Bargaining: The Implications of Government Involvement (request from CIRHR Library staff)


Federal Back to Work Legislation 1950 to date

Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law, March 2012: "Striking Out: The New Normal in Canadian Industrial Relations?" by Ian Lee (20 pages, PDF -- Includes history of strikes and back-to-work legislation in Canada)

Fudge, D. (2006). Collective bargaining in Canada: Human right or Canadian illusion?. Black Point, NS: Fernwood Pub.
Appendix II: legislation restricting collective bargaining and trade union rights in Canada, 1982-2006. Part A: back-to-work, wage restraint and suspension of collective bargaining. Part B: restrictions on organizing, collective bargaining and union internal affairs.

Panitch, L., Swartz, D., & Panitch, L. (2003). From consent to coercion: The assault on trade union freedoms. Aurora, Ont: Garamond Press. (Appendix II: legislative orders suspending the right to strike 1950-2002)

"Back To Work Legislation, Canadian-Style", Collective Bargaining, March/April 2001 (Lancaster House). Request from CIRHR Library.

Swimmer, G., Thompson, M., & Queen's University (Kingston, Ont.). (1995). Public sector collective bargaining in Canada: Beginning of the end or end of the beginning?. Kingston, Ont: IRC Press, Industrial Relations Centre, Queen's University.
(table: Back-to-work legislation in the public sector 1987-1993, p. 436 - unpublished data from Labour Canada)

Enman, S.R. (1992). Ruminations on public sector restraints and back to work legislation. In Kuttner, T. (Ed.), The Industrial relations system: future trends and developments: volume II: proceedings of the XXIXth Conference of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association (681-691) (request from CIRHR Library)

Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights

Restrictive Labour Laws Directory (by Canadian Foundation for Labour Rights)

This directory includes back to work legislation from 1982 to the present.