An examination of the discharge and reinstatement experience under grievance arbitration in Alberta, Canada, a conservative, low-unionism province, reveals that the pattern of outcomes is remarkably similar to the situation that prevails in Ontario and across North America. Management's decision to terminate was upheld approximately 45 percent of the time and the remaining grievants won reinstatement, the majority with some back pay.
Of the factors systematically related to the decision to reinstate, the strongest proved to be gender: women were more than twice as likely as men to be reinstated. An examination of reinstated grievants, based on an employer questionnaire, shows that reinstatement carries with it some potential problems. Few employees lasted more than two years following their reinstatement. Many did not progress at a normal rate, others encountered further disciplinary problems, and, in the employer's view, the work unit was adversely affected by their return to work.