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RECENT TRENDS IN TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP IN CANADA

Michael P. Jackson (Professor of Industrial Relations, University of Stirling)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Publication date: 1 January 1992

Abstract

In many countries trade unions faced major problems in the 1970s and 1980s. Total membership declined as did the proportion of the working population unionised. This picture is by no means universal and, as Kelly has argued, if the figures are considered carefully, then the problems may be less significant than often imagined. One of the countries where unions appear to have been able to escape almost unscathed is Canada. They have done so, despite facing many of the problems that have been largely responsible for creating the difficult environment in which unions have had to operate in other countries. In particular, they had to face difficult economic conditions and shifts in the make‐up of the labour force with an increasing emphasis on service sector employment. The apparent success of Canadian unions is even more interesting when it is recalled that over the same period union membership in the USA has declined sharply and to some extent the same unions organise in both the USA and Canada. This paper seeks to examine the recent trends in trade union membership in Canada and reviews possible explanations.

Citation

Jackson, M.P. (1992), "RECENT TRENDS IN TRADE UNION MEMBERSHIP IN CANADA", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 12 No. 1/2, pp. 51-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb013157

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1992, MCB UP Limited