UBC Theses and Dissertations
The mediative role of the Labour Relations Board of British Columbia in disputes involving illegal work stoppages Mathes, Raymond Walter
The Labour Code of B.C. embodies a policy to promote collective bargaining by reducing legalism and emphasizing voluntarism and mutual accommodation. The Labour Relations Board's approach to illegal work stoppages supports this policy by encouraging settlements with informal mediation rather than proceeding to a formal hearing and adjudication. The Board's approach is based on understanding labour disputes as symptoms of underlying conflict between parties in a collective bargaining relationship. This is a significant departure from the traditional remedies used by the courts for enforcing statutory provisions concerning illegal work stoppages. The purpose of this thesis was to assess the Board's performance in handling illegal work stoppages. Thirty-one management representatives and twenty-eight union representatives who experienced the Board's approach were interviewed Their perceptions were used to assess the Board's performance The Board's approach is a successful alternative to the courts and supports the intent of the Labour Code. The majority of management representatives indicated, however, that the Board's approach works to the advantage of. unions because it attempts to mediate too often rather than issue an order. They felt unions sometimes manipulate the Board's procedures to obtain concessions during illegal work stoppage Therefore, the Board needs to exercise more discretion as when to mediate and when to convene formal hearings. The Board responds speedily enough to complaints, successfully determines underlying causes in disputes and its mediative role is not impeded by partisanship of Boardmembers.
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