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Strikes and the Law: A Critical Analysis

Strikes and the Law: A Critical Analysis

John Godard

Volume : 53-2 (1998)


In this paper, I adopt a critical sociological approach to analyse how labour law shaped a 23-day strike at a western Canadian university in the fall of 1995. I begin with a brief discussion of the sociological alternative. Next, I provide a chronology of the strike, followed by a brief analysis of how both economic and sociological models contribute to understanding the “rationale” of the strike. I then discuss the implications of specific labour laws for this rationale, extending the critical legal studies tradition by establishing how legal biases against unions shape strike activity. I conclude with a discussion of possible labour law reforms which follow from the analysis.