UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Collective bargaining under a compulsory conciliation system in the British Columbia coast forest industry 1947-1968 Anderson, Clifford Houlton


This thesis examines the behavior of bargaining parties under a statutory scheme of compulsory conciliation. The statutory scheme used in the study is the basic pattern of conciliation effective in British Columbia from 1947 to 1968. Its general function is explained in a summarization of published criticisms of the process. A particular bargaining relationship -- that of the coast forest industry negotiations -- is examined on a historical and institutional basis to discover specific characteristics which would influence behavior under a conciliation process. Using this predicted pattern of interaction, a model of party behavior is constructed for the parties involved in actual negotiations. This is tested against a summarized chronology of the actual bargaining that occurred from 1947 to 1968. The model reveals the important sections within a system of compulsory conciliation which influence the behavior of the parties during negotiations. It also emphasizes the importance of the apparent fairness of the recommendation stage of conciliation and its value to the union as a tactical "watershed" for continued bargaining. The development of the dynamic process of party interaction in the coast forest industry emphasizes the importance of union internal or intra-organizational difficulties. It suggests the existence of a limit to the effectiveness of any bargaining system which does not control the desires of the union rank and file. With the dynamic process in mind, the analysis examines some of the influences that changing the statutory process would have upon the behavior of the parties. On this basis the actual significance or effectiveness of some past changes is analyzed and new changes are proposed. Too, the basic limits inherent in the compulsory conciliation system as a control over party behavior are emphasized.

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