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 then students will be obliged to study independently to prepare for a moot arbitration, to be held in November.

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

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

Neither Constitutional Aspects of Labour law nor Judicial review will 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.

WORKLOAD: Preparation for class and preparation and presentation of a moot arbitration in teams of three or four. No other 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 November.

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
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


Final exam 90%
Participation 10%
(although students’ presentations at the moot arbitration will not be graded, 10% of the final exam will test students’ knowledge of grievance arbitration by including a question concerning the legal issue(s) students addressed in the context of the fact scenario set out in the arbitration exercise).

ENROLMENT: Limited to 50

INSTRUCTOR: Carolyn Frost

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