Paths to Union Renewal: Canadian Experiences

Edited by Pradeep Kumar and Christopher Schenk

© 2005

This book focuses on the efforts and progress of union revitalization and organizing, and documents the renewal initiatives undertaken by unions in Canada. Unions, separately or in coalition with other unions or social groups, have begun to re-examine the basis of their organization and activity in the face of a harsher economic and political climate. Signs of union renewal include increased rank-and-file participation in the life of the union, increased democratic decision-making, evidence of new horizontal union structures, the development of a worker-centred societal vision, and a new emphasis on organizing both internally and externally.

Paths to Union Renewal addresses a subject of considerable political and social importance about which there have been a number of debates. A key impetus for this re-examination has originated in the United States where decades-long union decline has engendered new ideas adopted by a number of unions and the national central labour body the AFL-CIO. This in turn has led to debates on renewal strategies in Western Europe and Anglo-Saxon countries from Britain to Australia.

Despite this, little detailed research of the processes, structures, and implications of union renewal has been undertaken across Canada. Paths to Union Renewal fills this gap by critically examining union renewal in a variety of unions, providing a basis for informed discussion and debate on the role and place of trade unions in contemporary society.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
Product Formats

SaveUP TO 15181

Book Formats

SKU# HE000200

  • PUBLISHED NOV 2005

    From: $29.71

    Regular Price: $34.95

    ISBN 9781551930589
  • PUBLISHED APR 2013
    From: $42.95

Quick Overview

"The diverse cases and experiences examined in this book hold valuable lessons for labour everywhere." - Elaine Bernard, Harvard Law School

Paths to Union Renewal: Canadian Experiences

Edited by Pradeep Kumar and Christopher Schenk

© 2005

This book focuses on the efforts and progress of union revitalization and organizing, and documents the renewal initiatives undertaken by unions in Canada. Unions, separately or in coalition with other unions or social groups, have begun to re-examine the basis of their organization and activity in the face of a harsher economic and political climate. Signs of union renewal include increased rank-and-file participation in the life of the union, increased democratic decision-making, evidence of new horizontal union structures, the development of a worker-centred societal vision, and a new emphasis on organizing both internally and externally.

Paths to Union Renewal addresses a subject of considerable political and social importance about which there have been a number of debates. A key impetus for this re-examination has originated in the United States where decades-long union decline has engendered new ideas adopted by a number of unions and the national central labour body the AFL-CIO. This in turn has led to debates on renewal strategies in Western Europe and Anglo-Saxon countries from Britain to Australia.

Despite this, little detailed research of the processes, structures, and implications of union renewal has been undertaken across Canada. Paths to Union Renewal fills this gap by critically examining union renewal in a variety of unions, providing a basis for informed discussion and debate on the role and place of trade unions in contemporary society.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.7in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    Union renewal is absolutely key to the future well-being of working people. The Canadian labour movement continues to grow because our unions are responding creatively to new challenges along numerous dimensions. The case studies in this important book provide important information and inspiration for all labour activists.


    Ken Georgetti, President, Canadian Labour Congress

    Unique among labour in advanced industrial countries, the Canadian labour movement has continued to experience modest growth over the last decade. Anyone interested in organizational change and labour will find this book a valuable study of how unions in Canada have continued to innovate and change. The diverse cases and experiences examined in this book hold valuable lessons for labour everywhere.


    Elaine Bernard, Labor Worklife Program, Harvard Law School
  • Author Information

    Pradeep Kumar is Professor Emeritus and director of MIR program in the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University, Kingston. His books include From Uniformity to Divergence: Industrial Relations in Canada and the United States (IRC Press, 1993) and Unions and Workplace Change in Canada: Union Perceptions of Impacts, Responses and Support Systems (IRC Press, 1999).



    Christopher Schenk is a union activist, steward, chief steward, and union staff member. For the last 14 years he has served as the Research Director of the Ontario Federation of Labour. He received his Ph.D. in sociology and industrial relations from the University of Toronto.

  • Table of contents

    List of Figures and Tables
    Contributors
    Acknowledgements

    Introduction
    Pradeep Kumar and Christopher Schenk

    Part I: Union Renewal and the State of Unions in Canada

    Chapter 1: Union Renewal and Organizational Change: A Review of the Literature
    Pradeep Kumar and Christopher Schenk

    Chapter 2: Rowing Against the Tide: The Struggle to Raise Union Density in a Hostile Environment
    Andrew Jackson

    Chapter 3: Innovation in Canadian Unions: Patterns, Causes and Consequences
    Pradeep Kumar and Gregor Murray

    Chapter 4: Women are Key to Union Renewal: Lessons from the Canadian Labour Movement
    Charlotte Yates

    Chapter 5: Globalization and Union Renewal: Perspectives from the Quebec Labour Movement
    Christian Levesque and Gregor Murray

    Part II: Case Studies on Union Renewal

    Chapter 6: The BCGEU: The Road to Renewal
    Gary Steeves

    Chapter 7: Union Renewal and CUPE
    Jane Stinson and Morna Ballantyne

    Chapter 8: Union Resistance and Union Renewal in the CAW
    David Robertson and Bill Murninghan

    Chapter 9: Rank-and-File Involvement in Policy-Making at the CEP
    Keith R. Newman

    Chapter 10: Mobilizing Young People: A Case Study of UFCW Canada Youth Programs and Initiatives
    Anna Liu and Christopher O'Halloran

    Chapter 11: Renewal from Different Directions: The Case of UNITE-HERE Local 75 
    Steven Tufts

    Chapter 12: Building Capacity for Global Action: Steelworkers' Humanity Fund 
    Judith Marshall and Jorge Garcia-Orgales

    Part III: Unions and Community: Campaigns and Organizing

    Chapter 13: Community Unionism and Labour Movement Renewal: Organizing for Fair Employment
    Cynthia J. Cranford, Mary Gellatly, Deena Ladd, and Leah F. Vosko

    Chapter 14: The Workers' Organizing and Resource Centre in Winnipeg
    Geoff Bickerton and Catherine Stearns          

    Chapter 15: A Community Coalition in Defense of Public Medicare 
    Natalie Mehra

    Chapter 16: Organizing Call Centres: The Steelworkers' Experience 
    Julie Guard, Jorge Garcia-Orgales, Mercedes Steedman, and D’Arcy Martin

    Part IV: Leadership Development and Education

    Chapter 17: Increasing Inter-Union Cooperation and Co-ordination: The BC Federation of Labour Organizing Institute
    John Weir

    Chapter 18: Union Education, Union Leadership and Union Renewal: The Role of PEL 
    Johanna Weststar

    Index

By the Same Author(s)

Related Titles