February 16, 2009

February 16, 2009


The Future of the UAW and the Big Three Auto Companies Webcast

Cornell University ILR School will be presenting a webcast focusing on the crisis facing the domestic auto industry and in particular the recent near bankruptcy and subsequent federal government bridge loans to General Motors and Chrysler. The troubles in the auto sector have had enormous consequences for the UAW, auto workers, and the communities where auto production had been concentrated. Speakers will present on the labor relations aspects of the current crisis, information about how unions and workers in other countries are responding to similar crises, and the implications of the current crisis on auto worker pensions and security.

Speakers: Harry Katz, Kenneth F. Kahn Dean and Jack Sheinkman Professor, Cornell University ILR School; Art Wheaton, Industry Education Specialist, Cornell University ILR School; Teresa Ghilarducci, Director of the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis, The New School for Social Research

Webcast, Friday, February 27, 2009, 12:00-1:30: The Future of the UAW and the Big Three Auto Companies

To register: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/events/022709_Future-of-UAW-Webcast.html

Labor and Employment Relations Association (LERA) blog: Best Options for the Auto Industry Crisis, by Susan Helper, John Paul MacDuffie, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Teresa Ghilarducci, and Thomas Kochan, November 20, 2008.

UCLA Today, January 13, 2009: “How to make Detroit productive after its bailout” by Daniel J.B. Mitchell is professor emeritus of the Anderson Graduate School of Management, and the School of Public Affairs.

Canadian articles:
Toronto Star, February 11, 2009: GM Canada lowers pay for salaried employees: More jobs to be lost as U.S. parent cuts 10,000

Comment by Gary Chaison, Prof. of Industrial Relations, Clark University: The two sides of the General Motors' lay-offs of salaried workers - Feb 11, 2009

Globe and Mail, February 17, 2009: Deadlines loom for auto makers


Pay Equity Problems for Federal Government Employees

Both the Canadian Labour Congress and the Public Service Alliance of Canada point to the problems posed by the Conservative plan for pay equity to be bargained between the union and the employer. The government states that the change will eliminate costly legal battles and will ensure salaries that are fair and equitable for all employees. PSAC states that Bill C-10, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on January 27, 2009 would make it more difficult to make pay equity claims.

PSAC website, February 7, 2009: PSAC to fight budget bill: Union will challenge wage roll backs and the destruction of pay equity

Canadian Labour Congress, February 10, 2009: Beware Conservatives in Pay Equity Clothing

Bill C-10, An Act to implement certain provisions of the budget tabled in Parliament on January 27, 2009 and related fiscal measures

Globe and Mail, February 12, 2009: No evidence pay-equity shift would save money: Ottawa didn't do cost estimates for new Tory plan, senior officials acknowledge, by Steven Chase


Unions Organizing Globally

An interview with Elaine Bernard, executive director of the Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School, by theInternational Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) looks at the challenges facing unions in the coming years.

Transport International Online, Issue 34, January 2009: Elaine Bernard talks to the ITF about organizing globally and building union power.

LWP: the Labour and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School (mentioned in Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog February 13, 2009)


2009 National Awards in Governance

Canadian Blood Services and TransAlta tied as the overall winner of The Conference Board of Canada/Spencer Stuart 2009 National Awards in Governance.

2009 National Awards in Governance, February 2009 (44 pages, PDF)

MarketWire, February 10, 2009


Conflict in the Canadian Workplace

Psychometrics Canada has published a study titled, Warring Egos, Individuals, Feeble Leadership: A study of conflict in the Canadian workplace. The goal of the study was to survey Canadian human resource professionals to identify the causes and effects of workplace conflict. The study found that almost all HR professionals deal with conflict. The most common causes of conflict are warring egos and personality clashes, poor leadership, lack of honesty, stress, and clashing values.

Study, January 2009 (17 pages, PDF)

Globe and Mail, February 11, 2009: Conflict can lead to workplace harmony: Properly managed, tensions have upsides, study finds, by Wallace Immen


Director Compensation and Share-ownership

The 13th annual Canadian Spencer Stuart Board Index includes a special report on director succession and features compensation and governance trends for 100 of the largest publicly-traded Canadian companies with annual revenues exceeding $1 billion. The report contains comparisons with comparable U.S. S&P 500 firms, using Spencer Stuart’s proprietary board of directors database and includes a section on women directors serving on the boards of leading Canadian companies.

Canadian Spencer Stuart Board Index: Board Trends and Practices of Leading Canadian Companies, 2008 released February 2009 (54 pages, PDF)

Financial Post, Financial Post: Executive compensation for directors falls due to stock market declines, John Shmuel


Canadian Social Trends

The current issue of Statistics Canada’s Canadian Social Trends is available online. Articles included are: “Who participates in active leisure?” by Matt Hurst; “Immigrants in Canada who Work in a Language other than English or French,” by Derrick Thomas; “The Impact of Working in a Non-official Language on the Occupations and Earnings of Immigrants in Canada,” by Derrick Thomas; “Métis in Canada: Selected findings of the 2006 Census,” by Linda Gionet

Canadian Social Trends Number 87, February 17, 2009


Shared Concerns for Workers and Employers in the IT industry

A study released by Canadian Policy Research Networks titled, Dilemmas of Owners and Workers in a Risk Society, looks at both the risks borne by workers and employers in small IT organizations. The paper offers an analysis of risk discourse and employment relations gathered from IT owners and workers in four study countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. The authors show that not only owners and managers but also employees worry a great deal about the future of the firm – and employees worry more about that than they do about a range of other job-related issues, including their personal ability to be competitive in the job market.

CPRN Research Report, February 12, 2009: Dilemmas of Owners and Workers in a Risk Society (24 pages, PDF)

Press release


Ontario in the Creative Age

The Martin Prosperity Institute has released a commissioned report providing recommendations to the Province of Ontario on how to keep the economy and workforce competitive and prosperous. The authors of the study are Roger Martin, Dean of the Rotman School of Management, and Richard Florida Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School. According to the authors economic growth in Ontario can be achieved by developing highly innovative creative industries, by bolstering productivity in manufacturing, by improving productivity and wages in the service industries, by establishing a new social safety net system, and by developing the province’s infrastructure.

Martin Prosperity Institute website: Ontario in the Creative Age, February 5, 2009

Ontario in the Creative Age, February 5, 2009 (46 pages, PDF)


Strengthening Canada’s Economic Relationship with India

Participants at a recent Public Policy Forum conference in Toronto called on the federal government to show political leadership in strengthening its economic relationship with India. The conference, India Rising: Implications for Canadian Business and Public Policy, brought together stakeholders to talk about the growing importance of the Canada-India business relationship.

Summary report, February 14, 2009 (46 pages, PDF)

News release


A Call to Renegotiate NAFTA

On the occasion of the first visit to Canada by US President Obama, major organizations from across Canada representing unions and religious, environmental, student and social justice organizations, have signed a letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to demonstrate a positive change in course for Canada’s trade policy by publicly committing to a transparent and thorough renegotiation of NAFTA. The organizations also call for an immediate moratorium on all bilateral free trade agreements involving Canada, and an end to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.

Common Frontiers website, February 13, 2009: Canadians to Harper: Renegotiate NAFTA with Obama

Toronto Star, February 14, 2009: It's time to renegotiate NAFTA, critics tell Harper: Coalition wants to see trade pact on the agenda for Obama's state visit


The Contribution of Collective Bargaining to Vocational Training in Europe

Cedefop and Eurofound have developed a joint study on The contribution of collective bargaining to the development of Continuing Vocational Training (CVT) in Europe. The main objective of the project is to provide an overview of how social dialogue and collective bargaining has contributed to the development of CVT policies and initiatives in the 27 EU Member States.

Report, February 11, 2009 (41 pages, PDF)

Press release


Book of the Week

Getting Even: the Truth About Workplace Revenge-And How To Stop It,by Thomas M. Tripp and Robert J. Bies. San Francisco : Jossey-Bass, 2009. 230 p. ISBN 978-0-470-33967-1

Tripp and Bies educate employees and managers about the right and wrong ways to deal with workplace conflict, specifically revenge. The authors have amassed dozens of lively stories, insights and counter-intuitive truths to bring to the book. Not only will managers and employees find this information useful and entertaining, but most readers will find applications in their home lives as well as in their work lives.The core argument is that revenge is about justice. Avenging employees are not unprofessional, out-of-control employees; rather, they are victims of offenses who feel compelled to seek justice on their own.

This book offers a model that sequences avengers' thoughts and behaviors, from the beginning of the conflict to its end. The model is grounded in scientific research and organizes disparate findings into a whole.

About the Authors:

Robert J. Bies is a professor of management and founder of the Executive Master’s in Leadership Program at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

Thomas M. Tripp is a professor of management and operations at Washington State University. Professor Tripp has published dozens of research articles in scientific journals on the subject of workplace conflict and organizational justice. Currently, he is chair of the Conflict Management Division of the Academy of Management


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Editor: Vicki Skelton
Designer: Nick Strupat

Copyright © 2008 Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources, University of Toronto. All rights reserved.

Date posted: 
Monday, February 16, 2009