Labour relations is the study and practice of managing unionized employment situations. In academia, labour relations is frequently a subarea within industrial relations, though scholars from many disciplines--including economics, sociology, history, law, and political science--also study labour unions and labour movements. In practice, labour relations is frequently a subarea within human resource management. Courses in labour relations typically cover labour history, labour law, union organizing, bargaining, contract administration, and important contemporary topics.
In the United States, labour relations in the private sector is regulated by the National Labor Relations Act. Public sector labour relations is regulated by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and various pieces of state legislation. In other countries, labour relations might be regulated by law or tradition.
An important professional association for U.S. labor relations scholars and practitioners is the Labor and Employment Relations Association.
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- John W. Budd (2010) Labour Relations: Striking a Balance, 3rd ed. (Boston: McGraw-Hill/Irwin).