Media Distribution


Developed at the Centre for Industrial Relations at the University of Toronto, the series of labour relations video training programs are in almost daily use in Canada and the US

Labour unions, management consultants, personnel and labour association corporate educators and university, college and high school instructors alike applaud the nonpartisan nature of the programs and their effectiveness as teaching aids and stimulants to productive discussion.

Based on actual case studies, the programs re-enact situations which occur often in industrial relations. The key roles are played by individuals who have worked for years in particular fields - lawyers, union officials and members, management personnel and professional mediators and arbitrators. Additional authenticity is lent by the locations: the scenes are set in the actual factories and shop floors, company boardrooms and the private hotel rooms where informal discussions often take place.

The programs are useful in a wide range of situations: at the shop steward foreman level; at management seminars for training line and staff personnel; in labour orientation programs; in secondary and post-secondary classrooms; in educational workshops of a more general nature; and in university Industrial Relations departments. A set of guide notes accompanies each program, and contains a detailed summary of program contents and many useful suggestions for program use.

This subject is made up of three sub-series:

Anatomy of a Strike series

This five-part series presents a re-enactment of a typical strike by a factory workers' union against a moderate sized manufacturing company that has not had a strike in ten years.

  • Part One: The Breakdown
    The key issues and reasons for the strike are outlined as both the union and the management sides prepare for a strike.
    14 minutes

  • Part Two: The Strategy
    The initial confrontations take place as the union sets up picket lines.
    23 minutes

  • Part Three: The Turbulence
    Violence erupts as supervisory staff crosses picket lines and all signs point to a strike.
    16 minutes

  • Part Four: The Detente
    The normal functions of a strike are illustrated. Both sides experience losses and are forced to come to terms with the realities of the situation.
    17 minutes

  • Part Five: The Outcome
    A third party mediator is brought in to help negotiate a settlement. There is an effort to re-establish good union-management relations.
    29 minutes

  • Total running time for series: 99 minutes / 1983

The Collective Bargaining Process series

This four-part program enacts the re-negotiation of a collective agreement between the management of a firm and a trade union. The essential elements of the process are depicted by experienced negotiators whose point of departure is the expiry of an existing contract. Several key issues are disputed include wages, holidays, voluntary as opposed to compulsory overtime, flexible work schedules, contributions to the pension plan, and whether or not there should be a labour management committee.

  • Part One: The Preparation
    The chief negotiators from union and management meet with their respective sides to discuss bargaining concerns and priorities. In a preliminary meeting of the bargaining teams, the union presents its initial demands.
    40 minutes

  • Part Two-A: The Bargaining
    Backroom meetings are held and management submits a counterproposal. Minor items are resolved but as the more difficult items loom, the chief negotiators come under considerable pressure from their respective sides.
    43 minutes

  • Part Two-B: The Bargaining
    Talks break off on day 10 of the negotiations over the major non-monetary items. The chief negotiators confer privately.
    23 minutes

  • Part Three: The Outcome
    Talks resume on day 21 after the contentious items have been combined and tentatively settled. Hard bargaining over the major monetary items leads to eventual compromises and the signing of a memorandum of agreement.
    39 minutes

  • Total running time for series: 2 hours and 25 minutes / 1978

The Grievance Arbitration Process series

A four-part programme re-enacting an actual case in which an employee was discharged for assaulting and being insubordinate to her supervisor.

  • Part One: The Confrontation
    An incident leads to discharge of an employee and processing of a typical grievance under collective agreement.
    17 minutes

  • Part Two: The Preparation
    The board of arbitration is constituted and the respective lawyers prepare their cases.
    20 minutes

  • Part Three: The Hearing
    The formal arbitration hearing is held and the evidence presented by both sides.
    50 minutes

  • Part Four: The Argument
    Both counsel make their closing arguments. The arbitration board holds its executive session to discuss appropriate disposition of the case. Finally, this disposition is explained to the two parties.
    24 minutes

  • Total running time for the four parts: 2 hours and 51 minutes / 1975