Using Canadian data on large, private-sector contract negotiations from January, 1967, to March, 1993, we find that strikes and wages are substantially influenced by labor policy. The data indicate that conciliation policies have largely been ineffective in reducing strike costs. In contrast, general contract reopener provisions appear to make both unions and employers better off by reducing negotiation costs without systematically affecting wage settlements. Legislation banning the use of replacement workers appears to lead to significantly higher negotiation costs and redistribution of quasi-rents from employers to unions.

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