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Négociation locale et négociation sectorielle

Normand Cinq-Mars


A partir des limitations de notre régime de négociation collective, l'auteur tente d'élaborer, à laide de certains critères, de nouvelles structures de négociation.


Local bargaining vs section bargaining – the private sector

Normand Cinq-Mars

The structure of collective bargaining both in Canada and in Quebec exhibit two major characteristics : a high degree of decentralization and a limitation in terms of the proportion of workers covered. The former results in the following effects (1) the local level bargaining practically excludes discussion of technological change, planning and standardization of fringe benefits ; (2) involves a conflict between this high degree of industrial relations decentralization and the increased concentration of decision making within the firm ; (3) creates difficulties in extending the collective agreement because of plant unit certification ; (4) promotes whip-sawing strikes.

It is thus necessary to devise a new bargaining structure so that the contents of collective agreements can be rationally planned. Upward movement of the power center would also permit the bargaining locus to adjust to a similar on-going transformations within the business enterprise. .

Encouragement of this trend does not mean strict « industry wide » bargaining since in some areas of Quebec the socio-economic realities do not call for such a system. A comprehensive approach to modernizing the collective bargaining structure would need to consider the factor and product markets, the subject matter to be negotiated, the desire of the workers, government policy and the relative bargaining power of the parties.

The type of negotiating unit should also vary with industry concentration ratios, and indeed the rate of change in these ratios should condition the speed and direction of the transformation of existing bargaining units.