Analyzing the 2004 HEU Strike and Union Bureaucracy

David Camfield

Abstract


As the past decade of Canadian labour history reveals, the structure of institutionalized labour relations that has prevailed in Canada since the 1940s has not been immune to processes of contradictory change. In his response to Chris Hurls "The Structure of Betrayal: Trade Union Bureaucracy and Public Sector Struggles in British Columbia" (SPE 83), David Camfield offers critical theoretical insight into the institutionalized structure of labour relations in Canada and the kinds of union officialdom and bureaucracy that it tends to promotes. As Camfield notes, this institutionalized structure can lead to the disarticulation of the interests of union officials with that of the rank and file, as evidenced in the BC Health Support Workers Strike. As this strike demonstrated, historical events create not only novel terrains of class struggle, but also new opportunities for critical inquiry into contemporary trade unionism.

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Studies in Political Economy:
Online ISSN 1918-7033
Print ISSN 0707-8552