Oakbridges - Labour Relations Strategists

We bring strength to bridging the gap

About Us

Welcome to Oakbridges Labour Relations Strategists.

We are thought leaders in the broader field of Industrial Relations. We develop custom strategies that go beyond traditional day to day Labour Relations and collective bargaining planning. We work with you to understand your environment, desired social impact and long term business goals and develop a framework that will act as a road map to achieve the changes you want and need.

Our Differentiators
We think deeply and broadly and from the point of view of all stakeholders to:
• Identify LR risks and opportunities
• Develop LR strategy
• Integrate LR strategy with your overall business strategy and plans
• Provide LR execution expertise and assistance

Our specific tool kit includes:
• Situational analysis and risk assessment;
• Development of a comprehensive strategy and road map;
• Collective bargaining expertise;
• Experience in developing community engagement strategies;
• Unique approaches to labour-management forums for continuous dialogue;
• Alternative approaches to performance management ;
• Comprehensive attendance management programs (including injury management programs);
• Positive disciplinary processes;
• Education and subject matter training.

Our name is designed to evoke the mental picture that we bring strength to bridging the gap that sometimes exists between management and front line employees and other stakeholders such as unions. We focus on building long-term relationships and creating shared value for all.

We have dealt with every major union in Canada and together have experience in every sector of the economy.

Our team members all have significant experience in the field of Labour-Management Relations. Each has acted as the Chief Negotiator in rounds of collective bargaining and has deep experience in the administration, application and interpretation of collective agreements.

headshot of Hugh Secord
Hugh Secord B.A., M.B.A., CHRP, SHRP
Chief Strategist

Hugh is an accomplished Labour Relations Professional with over 30 years of experience. He has been the Chief Negotiator in over 130 rounds of bargaining in all ten provinces. Hugh has helped numerous organizations develop labour relations strategies that have lead to the creation of competitive advantage and shared value. Hugh has worked in the manufacturing, mining, pulp and paper, logistics, power and services industries.

Hugh received his Honours B.A. (Sociology and Economics) from U of T and his MBA from York University. He also holds the CHRP and Senior Human Resources Professional (SHRP) designations.

Hugh has also written extensively on Labour Relations and Human Resource Management topics.  Some of his publications and articles are featured on our website including Out of the Mist: Understanding Canadian Labour Relations Strategy (2012), coauthored with Sue Mackintosh.

Recent and Current Assignments:

  • Labour Relations Strategy: Development and execution of construction labour relations strategies for for BHP Billiton's Potash Mine Development in Saskatchewan and Washington State.  These two multi-billion dollar projects (Canada and U.S.) also required the development of Employee Value Proposition and negotiation of Project Enabling Agreements.
  • Labour Relations Strategy: Development of strategy to manage through complex jurisdictional constraints for an Ontario Hydro successor company.
  • Develop and execute IR strategy to support growth at Oakville Hydro.

Hugh can be reached at hughsecord@oakbridgesconsulting.ca or find him on LinkedIn  or on his cell at 1 416 432 5546

Sue Mackintosh
Sue Mackintosh B.Comm., M.I.R.
Chief Strategist and Managing Director

Sue has 20 plus years experience in senior HR and LR roles. After graduating from Queen’s University with her B. Comm. and Masters of Industrial Relations Sue spent a good part of her career with the George Weston/Loblaw companies in senior HR/LR roles. She then went on to be a senior leader in Labour Relations with Bruce Power where she developed long term LR strategies to improve the relationships with the Society of Energy Professionals and the Building Trade Unions.

Her expertise includes Policy Development and Communication, Case Management, Reporting and Governance, Collective Bargaining, Investigations and Group Facilitation. Sue has experience in many sectors of the economy including  the manufacturing, retail, logistics, energy and construction industries.

Sue is the co-author of Out of the Mist: Understanding Canadian Labour Relations Strategy (2012) and has also coauthored several articles on Shared Value and the application of that principle to industrial relations.

Recent and Current Assignments:

  • Employee and labour relations strategy for Sterling Marine Fuels Canadian distributor to marine, transport and agriculture industries. 
  • Labour Relations Strategy: Development of strategy to manage through complex jurisdictional constraints for an Ontario Hydro successor company.
  • Research and develop labour relations and bargaining strategy for Oakville Hydro.

Sue can be reached at sue@oakbridgesconsulting.ca and can be found on Linkedin or on her cell at 1 416 899 9122