6 Dalhousie L.J. 523 (1980-1981)
The Michelin Amendment in Context

handle is hein.journals/dalholwj6 and id is 529 raw text is: Brian Langille*               The Michelin Amendment In
Context
On Friday, December 28, 1979 an Act to Amend Chapter 19 of the
Nova Scotia Acts of 1972, The Trade Union Act, received Royal
assent. This piece of legislation is commonly (and much more
conveniently) referred to as the Michelin Bill, the Michelin Act or
the Michelin Amendment.' Its namesake is Michelin Tires
(Canada) Limited, the Canadian subsidiary of the large French
multinational radial tire manufacturer.
It must, and indeed it should, seem odd that a bill amending in
general terms an act of general application (the Trade Union Act of
Nova Scotia)2 should bear the name of a manufacturing company
located in the province. But as seems to be admitted by all
concerned, there is a direct link between Michelin and the
amendment. Because the link has been openly admitted or alluded
to by the government which passed the amendment, much of what is
contained in this comment is not new or at all extraordinary. Also,
because it seems generally conceded that the handle The Michelin
Amendment fits, in large measure the issues surrounding the
Michelin Amendment are not labour law issues at all. The central
issue is one of fundamental economic, philosophical, and political
principle. To put it simply, the amendment has a great deal to do
with the basic political dilemma of trading fundamental, and in a
sense intangible, rights or freedoms for economic gains or increases
in the general economic welfare of an economically depressed area.
This is so much more important a question than any problem of
tinkering with technical labour law concepts such as appropriate
bargaining units and community of interest that it overwhelms
any attempted labour law analysis.
So, what reasons are there for wishing to discuss the Michelin
Amendment in labour law terms? First, there was an attempt to
justify the amendment in labour law terms - the term broad based
*Assistant Professor of Law, Dalhousie Law School. B.A., LL.B., B.C.L.
(Oxon). This paper was prepared for and presented in abbreviated form to the
annual meeting of the Canadian Industrial Relations Association at Montreal on
June 2, 1980. I wish to thank my colleagues, Innis Christie and Larry Steinberg, for
their comments.
1. The text of the legislation is set out in Appendix A.
2. S.N.S. 1972, c. 19 as amended by S.N.S. 1977, c. 70 and S.N.S. 1978, c. 34.

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