Labour Policy and Labour Economics in Canada

Labour Policy and Labour Economics in Canada

Labour Policy and Labour Economics in Canada

Labour Policy and Labour Economics in Canada

Excerpt

Part I of this book, by H. D. Woods, deals with labour policy in Canada. Part II, by Sylvia Ostry, covers labour supply and wages. A concluding chapter, written jointly by the two authors, gives some observations on the future of labour in the Canadian economy. This, therefore, is not the comprehensive text-book on Canadian labour which must some day be compiled, with fully developed accounts of all the main institutional and economic aspects of the subject. The authors explored the possibilities of preparing such a volume and found that it would have been an impossible task. Not only were there virtually no secondary sources available in most of the areas that would have had to be covered to make a Canadian book comparable to a typical recent American text on labour, but there were also enormous gaps in primary source material, and hence some of the necessary analytical studies simply could not have been undertaken. And so the plan of the present book had to be a compromise.

Part I has concentrated on public-policy issues and practice in collective bargaining in this country both because this subject has been relatively neglected in the institutional literature, although it is of undoubted importance, and also because the author's long-standing personal interest, experience and research activity provided a considerable body of both quantitative and qualitative source material not available in other areas of institutional analysis. On the other hand, there is some literature on Canadian trade- union history, structure and government, and rather than include a précis of this material (which was the only realistic choice open, since a fresh treatment of this vast topic from primary sources is, surely, almost a life-time's work for one scholar), it was decided to omit the subject entirely. Again, an analysis of the content of collective agreements in Canada was contemplated and would have been undertaken if the raw data had been available from the federal Department of Labour. But the Department's project in this areawas not completed in time (indeed, at the time of writing, it is still under way), and hence analysis of this very important question was precluded. Since it proved impossible to discuss the results of bargaining, it was decided to omit also an analysis of procedure and issues, and the present form of Part I emerged: labour policy in the Canadian economy.

In Part II, the chief victims of this liquidation process were the chapters . . .

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