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What is a union? -- A union is a collective voice to represent members in employee bargaining with management or the owners of a business. -- Before unions became legal, workers had no rights. As workers moved from an agrarian to an industrial society, workers were unprotected from unfair working conditions and treatment. -- workplace laws and employee rights have evolved from a period of crisis in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s; -- strikes, lockouts and confrontation between employees and employers resulted in many losses to business, the economy and society; -- Stakeholders, including business, government and labour developed a labour relations framework that outlines the roles, responsibilities and obligations of labour, management and government; --this framework and consequent legislation ensured it is fair and equitable to both employees and employers;
Some Key Labour Facts • Today legislation covers all areas of the employment realm. So what are some of the key developments that we should be aware of? • 1872 – Trade Union Act – this legislation formally legalized trade unions; • 1907 – Industrial Disputes Investigation Act – legal restrictions to strike; “cooling off” period between end of negotiations and a strike; no strike during contract settlements
(Brief) history of labour movement • There are many laws and legal obligations to protect employees and employer rights: • Employee rights – some include Charter of Rights & Freedoms, (MB) Human Rights Act, Employment Standards, etc. • 1. The Right to know about Workplace Hazards • 2. Right to Refuse Unsafe Work • Management Rights – union can not access business property without consent