Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Business & Economics Human Resources & Personnel Management

Bad Time Stories

Government-Union Conflicts and the Rhetoric of Legitimation Strategies

by (author) Yonatan Reshef & Charles Keim

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
May 2014
Human Resources & Personnel Management, Public Affairs & Administration, General, Canadian, General, Green Business
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    May 2014
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


The 1990s and 2000s were especially difficult decades for government–public sector union relations in Canada. Rising costs and growing debts meant that governments were on the lookout for savings, and public sector unions and employees were easy targets for government actions. Bitter conflicts between unions and governments erupted and each labour dispute involved numerous rounds of public rhetoric in which both sides attempted to justify their actions and stigmatize their opponents.

In Bad Time Stories, Yonatan Reshef and Charles Keim analyse the language of both parties in order to identify the legitimation strategies at work during government-union conflict. The authors use evidence drawn from newspapers, speeches, parliamentary transcripts, and legal statements in presenting a new framework for understanding the discursive strategies employed by governments and unions in labour disputes.

Using a case study and linguistic approach, Bad Time Stories offers a unique perspective on industrial relations and will be of interest to scholars in the areas of business, public policy, and communications, as well to those directly involved in union-management negotiations.

About the authors

Yonatan Reshef is a professor in the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta. He is the co-author of Unions in the Time of Revolution: Government Restructuring in Alberta and Ontario.

Yonatan Reshef's profile page

Charles Keim is an assistant professor in the School of Business at MacEwan University.

Charles Keim's profile page

Other titles by Yonatan Reshef

Related lists