Industrial Relations (IDRL) 201

Labour Unions (Revision 3)

IDRL 201 course cover

Permanently closed, effective December 6, 2016.

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies (Business and Administrative Studies). IDRL 201 can also be used to fulfill the Social Science area of study (credential students only).

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

IDRL 201 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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IDRL 201 is an introduction to the nature and purpose of labour unions in Canada. The course places contemporary labour unions in a labour relations setting. It describes the institutional framework, relates theoretical issues with practical concerns, and encourages students to undertake their own investigations.

The course aims to relate students’ knowledge and experience to the knowledge base of the course and to act as a ‘stepping stone’ to other more senior-level Athabasca University labour relations and labour studies courses.


  • Unit 1: Introduction to Labour Unionism
  • Unit 2: Union Organization
  • Unit 3: Unions and the Political Economy
  • Unit 4: Labour Law and Strikes
  • Unit 5: Challenges and Alternatives


To receive credit for IDRL 201, you must achieve a composite course grade of at least a “D” (50 percent) and a grade of at least 50 percent on each assignment. The weighting of the composite course grade is as follows:

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Assignment 3 Assignment 4 Total
20% 20% 30% 30% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Cronin, D., & Lewin, B. (Illust.). (2000). Click, clack, moo: Cows that type. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

Hargrove, B., & Skene, W. (1998). Labour of love: The fight to create a more human Canada. Toronto: McFarlane, Walter and Ross.

Other Materials

The course materials include a reading file and DVD's. The DVD's American Dream: Kopple, B., & Cohn, A. (Prod.). (1990). American Dream [DVD recording, 102 min.], Miramax, 'New in Town', 'Bread and Roses' and 24 'Days in Brooks' may be borrowed from the Athabasca University Library.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the IDRL 201 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, June 29, 2011.

View previous syllabus

Updated December 07 2016 by Student & Academic Services