UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Cooperative industrial relations in the B.C. solid wood products sector Murphy, David Gerald


The initiation of more cooperative relations between the companies and the union (IWA-Canada) in the B.C. solid wood products sector, on the one hand, and between these two and the federal government, on the other hand, appears to signal an end to the "exceptionalism" which precluded the establishment of "corporatism" in Canadian industry. As the sector has been under tremendous pressure from various structural and technological changes, as well as interest groups both inside the forest industry and outside of it, does this change in industrial relations provide a model for the future forest industry or is it an impediment to change, as many critics contend. This thesis will explore the formation of "Fordist" industrial relations in the sector and the present "crisis" in Fordism as it relates to the sector, in order to understand the factors impelling cooperative industrial relations, and how these factors will affect these relations in the future. As these factors are undermining Fordism, they might also undermine the tentative, defensive cooperation between the three parties. In place of this exclusive policy-making regime a new, broad-based, decentralized, and more democratically controlled forest sector might emerge which will encourage cooperative industrial relations, but without the dominance of the old Fordist structures. The ensuing changes will widely affect economic, political and social relations throughout the province.

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