Sweetening pot post-dispute not always wise: Lawyers

NHL lockout shows goodwill gestures could undermine negotiations between parties
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian Labour Reporter|Last Updated: 01/28/2013

After a labour dispute, employers eager to repair relationships with workers should avoid the temptation to give away additional benefits beyond what’s already negotiated, say labour lawyers.

These giveaways might be meant as goodwill gestures to hasten the healing, but they could easily backfire, causing further damage to employee relations and undermining contract talks down the road, the lawyers warn.

An example of such goodwill gestures might be seen in the world of professional hockey. In the days following the 113-day National Hockey League lockout, the NHL team owners decided to improve a benefit fund for retired players. The league upped its contribution to the Senior Player Benefit to $3 million annually, previously $1 million.