Canada v USA
The American and US labor relations show a lot of similarity starting from similar Labor Day celebrations. However, there are certain clear differences most of which emanate from the different structures of government and some of the legislative and even judicial aspects that characterize the governance and management of human resource. The differences are discussed as below;
First, in Canada unions have a lot of support and backing. Essentially, most of the jurisdictions compel workers to be members of union’s failure to which they can be fired. It means that most of the workforce in Canada are union members that contribute funds to the unions even if they do not share in the ideals of the unions. This is different in USA where the federal legislation guarantees freedom of choice for employees to be part of a union or not to be (Lewin 120). Contributions to the unions are based on choice which is not guaranteed in Canada. In Canada, employees’ security is reliant on participation in union activities.
The second difference is that Canada has a decentralized labor relations system. This is because all the provinces have the power to determine the labor laws and rules in their jurisdiction. While there are federal laws and policies, the laws ae applied to the legislative circumstances of the states. The reason for the existence of this is the fact that Canada’s labor system is regulated by the provinces and follows its decentralized system of government. The greater percentage of the workforce are managed by the provinces which means that the federal government does not exercise direct authority or manage human resource matters for the greater majority of employees (Fossum 109). The result of this phenomenon is that there are as many as eleven labor structures or jurisdictions comprising of the ten provinces and the federal government itself, in addition. In USA, there is a lot of involvement of the federal government and even a board that reviews union conducts and behavior (Fossum 10). The federal government in USA provides the fundamental framework within which states can attempt to vary their labor rules.
The third difference emanates from the first difference that unions are a prominent entity in labor relations in Canada. This means that individual choice and a focus on individual will have little room if any. Will in this case reflects both employers and employees. In practice, employers cannot fire employees at will in Canada. The position of employees is strongly protected by provincial legislations. Employees can only be fired for a legally justifiable cause and there are instances where an employee who has attained a certain threshold of service in employment cannot be discharged easily. If they are discharged, the employer will have to automatically be ready to meet severance costs and make the employee whole. This is not the case in USA where employment can be “at-will” (Lewin 126). They can be discharged for reasons that the employee feels merit the action.
The differences between the two countries demonstrate fundamental variations in the structures of governance for the two countries. Essentially, the style of government often begets a certain labor system. For USA, there is more liberalism with even secret-ballot voting being a requirement for election of a union which barely exists in Canada. This highlights the differences in expression of free will and the level of regulation or rather the nature of the regulation that characterizes the human resource landscape in the countries.