For example, if the union sees improving communication between the union and management as the most important role in the complaints process, management could interpret the filing of complaints primarily as an information-gathering exercise and strive to reach agreements both earlier and at lower levels of the process and improve communication with the union. Alternatively, complaint rates may be higher if split collective bargaining is considered by both parties to be the main function of the complaints procedure. Therefore, understanding the parties` perception of the role and function of the complaint procedure may be essential to the interpretation of complaint behaviour. The complaints procedure can improve the perception of fairness and justice. It allows employees to have a say at increasingly high levels of decision-making power and perhaps, perhaps, ultimately, before an independent external adjudicator (Lewin and Peterson, 1988, at p. 27; Thomson, 1974, page 1). It also serves as a force against arbitrary or discriminatory unilateral measures and as a mechanism for the “just and just interpretation” and application of the negotiated collective agreement (Staudohar 1977, 6). A subsequent Canadian study of the complaints procedure in 118 organizational units contains data on the structure of the complaint procedure (Gandz, 1978). In the process steps, the average number of steps in the procedures reviewed was three (61%), while 23% of organizational units had four steps, 7% five steps and 9% only two steps (Gandz 1978, 37). However, the study notes that in most organizations there is an additional “unofficial” step before arbitration, but after the union has indicated its intention to take the claim to arbitration (Gandz 1978, 39). If the parties are not already on strike or locked out when a section 74 application is filed, they may not strike or lock out until 48 hours after the mediator has presented the dispute. For this reason, the Associate President appoints a mediator in accordance with § 74 only if both parties agree. The Commission will not allow one party to prevent the other from striking or locking out its employees by requesting section 74 mediation.
(4) Understanding the parties` perception of the relative importance of the different functions and roles of the appeal procedure may also enable the parties to better assess the reasons for its application. For example, if union and management representatives perceive the importance of different roles in the process in a markedly different way, the parties may misunderstand each other`s motivations. The Minister of Labour is entitled to appoint an intermediary in accordance with § 74 at any time during collective bargaining. While the complaints process is recognized as an important part of the collective bargaining relationship, there are inherent drawbacks to the process. A number of weaknesses have been identified in the industrial relations literature. The union can use the complaints process to lobby print management for strategic purposes (Lewin and Peterson, 1988, pp. 25-6). This could include the numerous submissions of certain complaints as a bargaining tactic before negotiations begin for the new collective agreement or the overloading of the complaint procedure as a means of lobbying in response to a unilateral management initiative. If the mediator is appointed in accordance with the Code and section 55 and the parties are unable to enter into a first collective agreement within 20 days of the mediator`s appointment, the mediator must report to the associate chair and recommend: however, if it is a request for first collective mediation under section 55, any strike or lockout must be stopped immediately, until the proceedings in accordance with § 55 are completed.
The Vice-President ordered that the collective agreement be dissolved by strike/lockout and that the applicable deadlines be respected. Another of the biggest weaknesses is cost, both in money and time. The procedure is costly and disruptive because production is disrupted when complainants and superiors are removed from their regular employment to participate in the process (Dalton and Todor, 1981, p. 25). .