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Joseph B. Rose

Joseph B. Rose

Joseph B. Rose is Professor Emeritus of industrial relations at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University. His research interests include construction labour relations, comparisons of trade unionism in Canada and the United States, public sector collective bargaining, dispute resolution and labour policy. His research has appeared in leading industrial relations journals and he is co-editor (with Mark Thompson, the University of British Columbia) of Beyond the National Divide: Regional Dimensions of Industrial Relations

Could you tell us a bit about two important articles you've written in your carreer?

This article evaluated laws designed to promote centralized bargaining structures. The impetus for legal intervention was premised on the belief fragmented bargaining structures were the source of high wage settlements and strike activity in the construction industry. The study found legal remedies produced mixed results. On the one hand, they strengthened employer bargaining agents. On the other hand, economic and market factors were major determinants of wage inflation and union resistance to structural realignment led to larger and more protracted strike activity. The results demonstrate that legal support for alternative bargaining structures does not by itself produce stable bargaining outcomes.

This article asked what impact government restraint laws had on the “balance of interests”  principle which is intended to protect the public by preventing strikes and to safeguard employee interests by ensuring arbitration outcomes are consistent with freely negotiated settlements. The study was based on 327 interest arbitration awards. Consistent with historical practice, arbitration awards were responsive to and guided by economic and market factors, and freely bargaining settlements. Specifically, in sectors covered by arbitration laws, there were no significant differences in wage outcomes resulting from voluntary settlements and arbitration awards. The results indicate compulsory interest arbitration safeguards employee interests.