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Strikes and Disputes Resolutions

Today, one of the most important questions in the modern economy is the government’s ability to resolve conflicts and disputes in the labor field. Labor disputes often lead to strikes and riots, and it is in the government’s best interests to resolve them in the beginning, while not much damage is yet done. The development of different forms of resolving conflicts and disputes helps to reduce the cost of litigations and enables effective communication with workers. Recently, a labor dispute was raised in Canada, and it calls for a very urgent solution because it directly affects the Canadian healthcare system. According to Gorman (2021, June 22), “representatives for 7,500 health-care workers in Nova Scotia are making a direct appeal to the premier, and threatening a strike if a deal cannot be reached” (pp. 1). One of the accusations of the representative union is that the wages for healthcare workers in the region are lower than in other provinces of the country. The authorities are trying to resolve the conflict via collective bargaining, mediating a solution that would satisfy both sides of the dispute.

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As far as I can see, mediation is the only way to resolve this conflict peacefully and without causing massive discontent. The essence of mediation is the vigorous activity of a third party, which is focused on the identification of contradictions between the conflicting parties. This third party has to determine the core cause of the conflict and search for ways to resolve it, which could satisfy each of the parties. In the case presented, such a third party is represented by the Canadian Premier Iain Rankin – he is the link between the workers’ unions and the government. The letter on the labor dispute that the workers had written was sent to Rankin, and that shows that the unions are confident that the situation can be resolved by the implementation of mutual trust.

In mediation, the decision to terminate a dispute on certain conditions is always made by the parties themselves, since the mediator is not empowered to make any decision that is binding on the parties. For our example, Premier Rankin cannot make any changes on his own – he has to negotiate any decision with the federal structures he represents. However, he might be able “ to commit to allowing any issues not resolved during conciliation between June 28 and 30 to go to arbitration” (Gorman 2021, June 22, pp. 2). Still, the issue would remain to need to be resolved on a higher federal level.

One of the important factors of a successful conflict solution via mediation is the authority of the mediator. Their degree of competence in the matter of controversy, the ability to convey to every party the position of the opponent, and their analytical skills are crucial to finding ways to resolve the conflict. In my opinion, Premier Rankin has this authority, as he was chosen by the workers’ unions as the main addressee of their claims.

Moreover, while communicating with each other, the parties would often show maximum restraint out of fear that the other side will use the information received to gain a negotiating advantage. Due to this possibility, a mediator who does not gain anything in the conflict is strongly needed. They possess more objective information than each of the parties separately, and, thus, see the whole picture of the dispute. This allows them to guide the parties towards an agreement they jointly accept. For our case, Premier Rankin can be considered a good mediator, as he could analyze the situation from both the workers’ and the federal perspectives to develop the most efficient way of bringing them to an agreement.

Overall, it can be concluded that mediation would be the most useful technique for resolving this particular labor dispute, and I think that both parties understand that. Their willingness to bargain openly with Premier Rankin as their mediator shows that both healthcare workers and the Canadian government have a deep understanding of their needs and limitations, and are ready for a constructive discussion.


Gorman, M. (2021). Health-care unions talk strike vote and press Rankin to back arbitration | CBC News. CBCnews.

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