By preventing centralized bargaining, existing labor laws make Starbucks organizing an uphill battle. A short-lived law from 1990s Ontario points to how incremental store-by-store wins could be transformed into more powerful, broader-based bargaining.
David Doorey is a professor of labor law at York University in Toronto and a senior research associate at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program.
Amazon workers in Alabama are voting on whether to unionize, but the company is able to bombard them with anti-union propaganda. In Canada, by contrast, union votes are held quickly, making it harder for companies to stack the deck — a model that can work in the United States.
Although Canadian unions are in a better position than their US counterparts, the Wagner model of industrial relations still can’t be relied on to protect vulnerable workers in either country. American and Canadian labor law need a complete overhaul.