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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Strikes in essential services in British Columbia Zafer, Muhammad Masoud Uz


One of the most contentious issues within the area of industrial relations is strikes in essential services. This topic has been the subject of much debate in developed and developing countries, and, in British Columbia, it was the subject of amendments to the Labour Code of British Columbia in 1977 and the enactment of the Essential Service Disputes Act. This study will examine how this problem is dealt with in British Columbia. The first chapter of the thesis examines the problems confronted by successive governments and the efforts made by them to deal with strikes in essential services. The second chapter deals with the concept and nature of essential services. An attempt is made to define the term and draw upon the legislative assembly debates and various examples to put the argument in a nutshell. A brief overview of the concept in other countries is also included to put the discussion in context. The third chapter will deal with the actions taken to contain harm caused by strikes in these areas. The general guidelines regarding the designation of essential employees established by the federal Public Service Staff Relations Act and the notion taken from it and applied to the designation of esential services in British Columbia will be discussed. Chapter four will focus on impasse resolution machinery mentioned in the Essential Service Disputes Act. The final chapter of the thesis contains the observations and recommendations.

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