Posted by & filed under Communication, Environment, Social Responsibility.

A recent scientific report finds that burning billions of barrels of oil sands crude actually has only a modest impact on climate. The report, published in the journal ‘Nature’, clarifies that when it comes to global warming, the oil sands are far from the world’s chief villain. This report helps to boost the image of the oil sand proponents who can now claim that the oil sands aren’t as dirty as some have made them out to be.

Questions:

  1. Do you feel the report will boost the image of oil sand companies?
  2. Do you feel global warming is a hype or it’s something that companies need to consider strongly?
  3. Think of possible PR strategies (in light of this new report) that companies working in the Alberta oil sands can develop to improve their image?

Source: Nathan Vanderklippe, “Oil sands proponents get a PR boost”, published Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/oil-sands-proponents-get-a-pr-boost/article2345543/page2/

Posted by & filed under Chapter 1 - Introduction, Chapter 10 - Third-Party Intervention, Chapter 13 - Future Issues, Chapter 8 - The Collective Bargaining Process, Chapter 9 - Strikes and Lockouts.

Description: Air Canada and the Air Canada Pilots Association have agreed to a six-month mediation process after the pilots voted overwhelmingly to approve strike action.

Source: The Financial Post

Date: 02/15/2012

Link: http://business.financialpost.com/2012/02/15/air-canada-union-agree-to-extend-mediation-process/

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Refer to your text and briefly describe the conciliation process.
  • Does mediation prevent a strike or lockout?
  • Will the recommendations of the co-mediators be binding?
  • How long have the two sides been trying to achieve a new collective agreement?
  • Given the government’s actions in recent disputes, what do you think would happen if the pilots did strike?

Posted by & filed under Chapter 1 - Introduction, Chapter 10 - Third-Party Intervention, Chapter 9 - Strikes and Lockouts.

Description: The Alberta health authority and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees have agreed to binding arbitration after a one-day illegal walkout by hospital support staff.

Source: The Edmonton Journal

Date: 02/17/2012

Link: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/health/Hospital+support+workers+return+work+Thursday+evening+Calgary+after/6167433/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why was this strike illegal?
  • What are the issues in this negotiation?
  • What is a wildcat strike?
  • How did this strike begin?
  • What is binding arbitration?
  • How does it differ from the third-party intervention that has already occurred in these negotiations?

Posted by & filed under Environment, Ethics, Global Management, Social Responsibility, Strategy.

Bombardier Inc.’s $3.7 billion Gautrain project in South Africa was launched in 2010 during World cup soccer. Gautrain, which runs on an 80 km route covering two cities and an airport, is now facing several problems such as limited train schedules, technical issues, limited bus service connectivity to the train stations and lower than projected passengers. It seems now that this showcase project was installed for political and prestige reasons rather than to benefit masses.

Questions:

  1. Do a SWOT analysis for the Bombardier Gautrain project. Suggest reasons if it should continue.  
  2. Suggest a few ways to promote ridership on the train?
  3. Was it necessary for the South African government to fund this project when there is a great need to use this money to meet the basic needs of its people?

SOURCE: GEOFFREY YORK, “Bombardier’s South African showcase coming off the rails” The Globe and Mail (Retrievable online http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-news/global-exchange/globe-correspondents/bombardiers-south-african-showcase-coming-off-the-rails/article2329163/)

Posted by & filed under Communication, Conflict, Entrepreneurship, Social Responsibility, Technology.

Dave Carroll, a Halifax based musician and song writer, started “Gripevine”—a company that gave consumers a platform to complain about firms and also gave firms an opportunity to respond to these complaints and resolve them. It started when Mr. Carol’s guitar was broken by United Airlines baggage handlers, and he posted a complaint video on you-tube. The video has received 11.5 million hits till now.

Questions:

  1. What other modes can consumers use to reach the firms/ brands?
  2. Would you suggest this way of reaching the brands is effective for the firms? And does getting back personally to consumers help?
  3. Suggest the role of social media in promoting brand image?

SOURCE: MARK EVANS, “Broken guitar leads to startup consumer gripe site”, The Globe and Mail (Retrievable online at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/small-business/starting-out/broken-guitar-leads-to-startup-consumer-gripe-site/article2332674/)

Posted by & filed under Chapter 10 - Third-Party Intervention, Chapter 13 - Future Issues, Chapter 8 - The Collective Bargaining Process.

Description: Air Canada and the union representing mechanics and ground crews have reached a tentative settlement that the union says includes the retention of a defined-benefit pension plan.

Source: Canada.com

Date: 02/10/2012

Link: http://www.canada.com/business/Canada+gets+tentative+deal+with+mechanics+ground+crew/6133341/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What were the issues in the negotiations between Air Canada and District 140?
  • How was the question of pensions resolved?
  • In what way is the pension solution a compromise?
  • Review the related links. What form of third-party intervention was used in these negotiations?
  • Why is the pilots’ union taking a strike vote?

Posted by & filed under Chapter 10 - Third-Party Intervention, Chapter 8 - The Collective Bargaining Process, Chapter 9 - Strikes and Lockouts.

Description: B.C. Education Minister George Abbott says B.C. teachers and their employer are “oceans apart” and suggests the dispute won’t be “settled happily.”

Source: The Victoria Times-Colonist

Date: 02/10/2012

Link: http://www.timescolonist.com/business/Teachers+bosses+ocean+apart/6132362/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • What is the role of the government fact finder in this dispute?
  • What are the B.C. teachers asking for?
  • What is the government’s position?
  • Which do you think is more reasonable?
  • Why?

Posted by & filed under Environment, Global Management, Innovation/Creativity, Technology.

Alex Wood, Senior Director, Policy and Markets for Sustainable Prosperity, compares Canadian and American perspectives on energy. He explains that Canada treats its energy as a commodity and relies on its existing natural resources to prosper in the world market. U.S., on the other hand, focuses on innovation and technology and believes its traditional advantages in developing new technology will lead to prosperity.

Questions:

  1. Whose perspective do you agree with and Why?
  2. In your view, how long can Canada continue to rely on its natural resources to gain comparative advantage in the world market?
  3. Suggest another parallel strategy for Canada?

SOURCE: Alexander Wood, “Canadian vs. American perspective on energy”Financial Post (Retrievable online http://business.financialpost.com/2012/01/30/canadian-vs-american-perspective-on-energy/?__lsa=f5772e0b)”

Posted by & filed under Change, Communication, Environment, Global Management, Management, Strategy, Technology.

Research In Motion Ltd.’s new chief executive, Thorsten Heins, discusses his ideas on how he plans to revive his firm. He does not rule out the possibility of licensing BlackBerry Messenger technology to other platforms. Mr. Heins mentions that RIM needs to take some dramatic steps to regain its lost market share in the U.S. One such step is the aggressive marketing of its new “Be Bold” campaign.

Questions:

  1. On seeing the advertisement, do you think the new “Be Bold” campaign will be effective?
  2. Suggest a few strategies to RIM to increase its U.S. market share?
  3. Performs a SWOT analysis for RIM in the U.S. market.

SOURCE: Matt Hartley, “Comment: RIM’s ‘dramatically different’ recycled marketing campaign”, Financial Post (Retrievable online at http://business.financialpost.com/2012/01/30/rims-dramatically-different-recycled-marketing-campaign)

Posted by & filed under Chapter 13 - Future Issues, Chapter 2 - Theories of Industrial Relations, Chapter 9 - Strikes and Lockouts.

Description: Caterpillar Inc. has announced it will close its London, Ont. Electro-Motive locomotive plant, where workers have been locked out since the beginning of the year.

Source: The Montreal Gazette

Date: 02/03/2011

Link: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Caterpillar+Electro+Motive+plant+London+close/6099000/story.html

Related links:

Questions for discussion:

  • Why does Caterpillar say it must close the plant?
  • What has been the union’s reaction?
  • What do you think about this situation?
  • Review the Related Links above. What is the connection between this closure and recent events in Indiana?
  • Which of the columns listed under Related Links above do you think makes the strongest arguments? Why?
  • What effect do you think this will have on other contract negotiations?