Lakeside Case Study

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A very telling sign that hung for years at the entrance to Lakeside read “Proudly Union Free” (Foster, 2006, p. 29). Management at Lakeside operated as if they were above reproach in how they treated workers, in their heavy-handed anti-union tactics, and in their unwillingness to collectively bargain, because, historically, they always had been. They were very adversarial and spent millions to keep the union out (Inkster, 2007). They controlled workers through avoidance, intimidation, coercion, and sometimes violence. There were many examples of such treatment. When a small group of workers went on strike to protest working conditions in 2004, they were all fired (Foster, 2006, p. 30). Offers of mediation were refused outright (Foster, 2006,…show more content…
The strike was not only meant to bring financial hardship to Lakeside, but also to garner public awareness and support. The union used the media (radio ads) to its advantage to gain public sympathy and increase labour movement momentum (Foster, 2006, p. 33). It planned rallies, and talk of a beef boycott began to spread, placing more pressure on the indignant company (Foster, 2006, p. 33). These informal methods of gaining momentum that the union used were far more successful than trying to resolve the conflict through formal…show more content…
As economic and social factors pushed workers to fight for a balance of workplace/bargaining power through union participation, political factors and Lakeside’s anti-union sentiment constricted that effort. Through the course of events, as the workers used the only tool at their disposal (striking), the balance of bargaining power shifted to where they could finally achieve a negotiated agreement with Lakeside. With labour law reform and across-the-board support for the labour movement, maybe incidents like Lakeside could be prevented in the

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