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VANCOUVER - CUPE’s civic and library workers have said over and over again that the root cause of the strike in Vancouver is the City’s refusal to engage in “real bargaining”. Almost a year has passed since collective bargaining was supposed to begin and the City of Vancouver continues to state that the union’s issues are not acceptable and non-negotiable. Mark Thompson, professor emeritus at the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, weighed in this Labour Day on the value of collective baragaining to a democratic society.

In his Vancouver Sun Labour Day 2007 opinion piece in the Vancouver Sun titled “Collective Bargaining: Democracy in the Workplace”, Thompson express how collective bargaining is precisely the vehicle by which democracy is brought into the workplace. Click on above link for full story.

Excerpt of “Collective Bargaining: Democracy in the Workplace”, Thompson:

Little attention is directed at the aspirations, frustrations, satisfactions or fears of workers represented in bargaining.

What recourse do they have if their employer wants to terminate them because it believes that a service can be delivered less expensively by an outside contractor?

How can they respond to a supervisor who treats them unfairly in a job they fundamentally enjoy? If workers are dissatisfied with their conditions, must they resign and start another career to obtain relief?

Democratic societies address these issues through collective bargaining.