Labour-Management Relations

Course number: LAW 3770

A survey of the development of trade unions; their present status under both federal and provincial legislation regarding the right of association, collective bargaining, and the settlement of disputes.

Extended Course Description

COURSE CONTENT: The course basically deals with collective bargaining law as opposed to individual employment law. Some topics in individual employment law will be dealt with, in an introductory way only. Grievance arbitration will be covered in overview fashion in one lecture and film and then students will be obliged to study independently to prepare for a moot arbitration, to be held in October or November.

The course will deal primarily with The Manitoba Labour Relations Act under the following headings:

  • Constitutional issues;
  • Status;
  • Unfair Labour Practices;
  • Certification and Decertification;
  • Collective Bargaining;
  • First Contracts;
  • Strikes and Lockouts;
  • Duty of Fair Representation;
  • Successorship; and
  • Grievance Arbitration.

Judicial review will not be covered in any direct way. See Administrative Law.

TEACHING METHOD: Lectures, with the class expected to be prepared to discuss cases assigned in advance; possible guest lecture from a practitioner or member of The Manitoba Labour Board; and a moot arbitration program, including a film demonstration followed by case presentation by the students.

WORKLOAD: Preparation for class and preparation and presentation of a moot arbitration in teams of three or four. No essays, assignments or supplementary seminars are required.

Preparation time for classes will roughly equal three hours per week spread relatively evenly over the year. Additional work will be required in the preparation and presentation of the moot arbitration on a Saturday in September or October.

PRACTICAL IMPORTANCE OF THE SUBJECT: Labour law is a growing area of specialized practice, with more legislation constantly being added. In addition, practitioners of corporate and commercial law, as well as those doing general litigation, will find this knowledge particularly useful.

BOOKS – REQUIRED: Labour Relations Act and Regulations (Manitoba)

Casebook prepared by instructor with an emphasis on Manitoba jurisprudence but including cases from other jurisdictions, primarily Ontario, British Columbia and Federal.Canada Labour Code


Canada Labour Code
Ontario Labour Relations Board Practice (2d) (Sack and Mitchell)
Canadian Labour Law (Adams)
Canadian Labour Arbitration (3d) (Brown and Beatty)
Collective Agreement Arbitration in Canada (3d) (Palmer)
Employment Law in Canada (2d) Christie, England and Cooper

ASSESSMENT: Final exam 100% (although moot arbitration will not be graded, one third of the final exam will cover grievance arbitration law in the context of the arbitration exercise).

ENROLMENT: Limited to 50

INSTRUCTOR:  Bryan Schwartz

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