Industrial Relations Essay

Industrial Relations Essay

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I. INTRODUCTION
Industrial peace is one of the core issues in the field of industrial relations. Moore (1951) suggested that industrial conflicts can be minimized or prevented by resort to two types of procedures: first, a procedure of regulating and limiting the power of the two interest groups, especially by restricting power that can be exercised; second, a procedure of providing positive interference in industrial disputes. Both procedures suggest that beyond workers and employers, a third important player may also directly interfere in industrial relations processes.

The Pluralist theory, the mainstream industrial relations theory, focuses primarily on the bipartite relationship between the workers and employers. The third player, governmental agencies, though is equally important, is largely overlooked (Keller, 1991). However, as a theory of politics in essence, the Pluralist theory requires considerable elaboration on such a missing piece, for it leaves itself open to questions of inequality of power among different interest groups: some groups may wield an influence on public policy which may not be the interest of other groups. Legislation and other public policy decisions oftentimes work through a complex process of political party structure (Hameed, 1982). Politics is one of the most important underlying developmental dynamic within industrial relations; as such governmental interference shall not be absent from existing theoretical frameworks.

The primary objective of this paper is to examine the Pluralist theory focusing on its explanation on the role of governmental agencies in industrial relations. Furthermore, I hope to prove that the absence of the role of the state may be a theoretical flaw within Pluralis...


... middle of paper ...


...on] McGuinty is being a lapdog for a union-hating right-wing mayor because he is afraid of Ford's political clout, not because he cares about transit in Toronto. (CBC News, 30
March, 2011)

Though these statements may be purely Mr. Kinnear’s expression of personal interests, one interesting fact about this dispute is that, TTC management and TTC employees in fact unanimously oppose this provision. Management fear the unintended consequence of governmental intervention will reversely cause higher wage, TTC employees worry that they may lose their right to strike as a powerful channel to articulate themselves. All in all, it is without a doubt that government actively involves in this industrial conflict, and pluralism theory again, fails to explain why government has taken such an active role in interfering labour relations between TTC management and employees.

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