L'auteur, après avoir étudié dans trois articles précédents la nature et les objectifs des syndicats ainsi que ses rapports avec la religion et les partis politiques, envisage ici les relations qui existent entre le syndicat et l'Etat. Son étude se place tant sur le plan des principes que dans son évolution historique.
Sommary Men have the right to organize by nature. Since trade union organization is merely a special application of the right of association, this right belongs to them by nature. The State cannot forbid them to form unions because it is obliged to recognize this natural right and conform to it. Morever, each time the State intervenes to forbid trade unions, it acts against itself, since it contravenes the expansion and functioning of the natural social instinct in man on which it depends for its own existence and which it is bound to respect. However, when it is evident that the unions pursue an illicit end or have degenerated into a subversive force — and only in this specific case — the State has the duty and the right to prevent their formation or bring about their dissolution.
RECOGNITION OF THE RIGHT OF ASSOCIATION
DUTY OF PROTECTION
The State should provide protection for the trade unions because it is obliged to guarantee the exercise of natural rights. In affording such protection, the State should take care to avoid intervening excessively in the internal affairs of the trade union organizations, since this would risk diminishing their effectiveness.
CONTRIBUTION TO THEIR FORMATION
In the present economic and social order the existence of trade unions has been demonstrated necessary to restrain the harmful effects of competition, to defend the citizency against the threat of complete absorption by the State; relieve the State of responsibilities which are not properly its own; promote the more adequate distribution of wealth; and finally to protect the fundamental human liberties. The State which is the responsible promotor of the common good, by reason of its nature, cannot be indifferent to trade unions. It should assume a positive position and conduct itself in such a way that the trade union organization can be formed and operate in such a manner as to attain its specific end. This is particularly true in nations where democratic regimes prevail. Trade unions and democracy influence each other mutually. A genuine democracy cannot exist or develop normally if there do not exist, between the State and the citizens, economic, social and professional organizations, including trade unions, which occupy an intermediary category. In like manner, genuine trade unions cannot flourish except in a political environment which guarantees legitimate freedom of expression.
THE TRADE UNION WITHIN THE STRUCTURE OF THE STATE
Under increasingly vigorous and urgent pressure of historical circumstance, State action in the economic field has become more extensive and has attained a permanent character. To achieve tangible results in this field, the State must have competent agencies. These agencies should be aware of the specific facts of economic and social life and the concrete situations that are posed by the particular environment. It is obvious that not mere arithmetical rule can prevail but that the problem of the source must be considered. This is a singularly difficult matter which cannot be solved a priori, in view of its relation with the particular historical situation at the moment. Two extremes are to be avoided: that of the desintegration of the structure of the State and that of the absorption by the State of the specific purposes of the trade unions.
THE AUTHORITY OF THE STATE AND TRADE UNION ACTION
All those who belong to a professional class do no' necessarily belong to their trade union. When a collective agreement is signed, should it be applied exclusively to the members of the union? The collective agreement would lose its effectiveness in this case because economic reality is such that labour relations cannot be effective unless worked out uniformly with relation to all who, in a given field, are in the same economic and professional situation. If non-members are to be included. State intervention is necessary. This would seem to imply a certain restriction of liberty. Should liberty be sacrificed to justice or justice to liberty? Without analysing the problem in all its face's, the following are a few suggestions to guide us in the solution of this problem regarding the relations between State authority and trade union action:
The trade unions have, by their nature, a moral authority within the professional groups which have formed them. The power to enter upon collective agreements that bind their members is not a delegation of authority from the State, but is derived from their own nature as intermediary autonomous bodies.
For reasons of the common good, the State can assume the authority of the trade unions when the latter, by virtue of inadequate organization are no longer able to carry out the obligations of social justice on the basis of professional groups.
In such an event, the State should apply the principle of subsidiarity. It intervenes in so far as it is necessary to assist the trade unions in carrying out their proper activity and in attaining their specific objectives.
It is impossible a priori to fix the limits of such intervention since trade union organization is in a state of constant flux. As gradually within the enterprise the relations between workers, those responsible for the direction of the enterprise and investors are modified, so too are the relations on the production level between trade unions and employers associations modified.
HISTORICAL ASPECT OF THE PROBLEM
Historically the trade unions have not been formed under pressure from the public authority. It was the workers themselves who brought them into existence, who determined their character, who made them work and who established the aims they pursue. In the trade union there is an authority which establishes rules of discipline, directs, assumes responsibility, lays down rules and imposes sanctions. This authority is not derived from the State. It is based, on the contrary, on the liberty of association. The trade union is an autonomous organization in the presence of the State. One of the reasons why trade unions were created is the absence or neglect of the State in the economic and social field. The distribution of wealth, especially during the last century, was carried out, not according to the demands of justice but as a result of the free play of economic forces; that is to-ray, the competition on the market of products and of labour. The profits that accrued to each of these economic agents was proportionate to the strength at the disposal of each. Against the capitalist-entrepreneur, the isolated worker was always in the position of the weaker against the stronger. At the same time, the State, faithful to liberal principles, made every effort to avoid becoming involved in the controversy. It was then that the workers, conscious of their own rights, determined to set up a movement that would increase their strength, counterbalance that of the entrepreneurs and thus achieve a more equitable participation in wealth. The trade union appears then, fundamentally, as an instrument conceived for the purpose of establishing liberty within the limitations of justice in the economic field.
TRADE UNION AND BOURGEOIS STATE
From the beginning, the trade union insisted on its autonomy regarding the State, but ended by clashing with it. Two basic reasons explain this result:
Dominated by liberalism, the State assumed that it should neither permit the establishment or development of trade unions, since the relations between the agents of production should depend on the free play of economic forces. Since the trade unions interfered with this free play and modified the results, the State held that they should be repressed as conductive to violations of the laws of nature and as a dangerous social element.
If in theory this attitude of the State regarding the entrepreneurs and workers seems indisputable, the reality is considerably different. In fact, the isolated workers did not have the same strength as the entrepreneurs and were forced to accept conditions of work as imposed on them. To eliminate or reduce the inequality of their position two possibilities seemed available: organization or recourse to the State. The State forbade the workers to organize and refused to-intervene in the economic field so as to not disturb the play of economic forces. The mass of workers, exploited at the hands of the capitalist, looked upon the laissez faire and liberal State as bourgeois, that is, as the peculiar creation of the employers to assure their own privileges and as the instrument for the advancement of their own interests. The workers came to believe more and more generally that the State, by its nature, was the expression of a class and a means for the fulfillment of its own aims. It seemed to them legitimate therefore to oppose the bourgeois State with a state of their own conception, the proletarian state.
The marxist thesis that one of the tragedies of history has been that the State has always been the concern of one class finds its explanation in a very specific historical situation. As always the error consists of drawing a general conclusion from a specific instance.
THE THREE PHASES
In its legal relations with the State, the trade union has evolved through three phases:
Illegality. — This was a long period. Workers were forbidden to organize in permanent or temporary associations to the end of securing thanks to common action, some change in their conditions of work. Nevertheless workers were allowed to establish mutual aid societies.
Tolerance. — Workers may form trade unions, according to their own ideas as to how they should function. They may sign collective agreements but which are not recognized by law.
Legal recognition. — Certain rights are recognized as pertaining to trade unions: property, representation, sue and be sued, protect their professional interests, sign collective contracts, etc. Nevertheless, this legal recognition does not appear everywhere in the same way.
THE PRESENT SCENE
In the countries where collectivist regimes prevail, the trade union is the instrument of the State. Its purpose is not so much to defend the interests of the workers as to guarantee a greater productivity. In the authoritarian regimes the trade union is recognized in public law. In its organization, functioning and purposes, it depends on the will of the State. In democratic countries, the trade unions have a different legal status although all have in common the fact that they are the result of the free initiative of the interested parties, are vital in their operation and play an important role in the national life.
In the surveys made on the problem of job satisfaction, nobody has really questionned the necessity or the kind of relationship which should exist between the criterion and the attitude response. All the items of an attitude survey should be weighed according to their relative importance if the questionnaire is to be validated. Is there a relationship between the amount of satisfaction received from a group of incentives and the importance attributed to those incentives ? Can the present theories of human motivation explain that relationship ? The purpose of this study is an attempt to answer'the above questions. The author did it investigating operationnally for supervisors the kind of relationship which exists between the satisfaction received from certain incentives and the importance attributed to them.
La présente recherche avait un but pratique et un but théorique. D'abord, il fallait mesurer combien les contremaîtres sont satisfaits de certains aspects de leur travail et évaluer à quel point cette satisfaction influence l'importance qu'ils attribuent à ces mêmes aspects. Ensuite, il s'agissait de vérifier si les théories actuelles de la motivation humaine ont une certaine valeur quand elles sont appliquées à des situations concrètes.
Vingt compagnies acceptèrent de coopérer à la première phase de cette recherche. Deux cents contremaîtres remplirent un questionnaire initial d'une page, où ils avaient décrit ce qu'ils entendaient par un poste de contremaître idéal. Le matériel obtenu par ce premier sondage fut analysé afin d'en classifier le contenu. Par la suite, une liste de 51 item fut construite. Vingt-neuf item furent appelés item personnels parce qu'ils sont liés à la satisfaction personnelle de l'individu: reconnaissance pour un travail bien exécuté, sécurité financière, etc. Vingt et un item furent appelés item de compagnie parce que la satisfaction qu'ils expriment dépend de l'efficacité de l'organisation: inspection des produits, entretien des machines, etc.
Ces 51 item servirent à construire deux tests différents. Le premier test était un questionnaire auquel les contremaîtres devaient répondre en indiquant à chacun des 51 item s'ils étaient très satisfaits, modérément satisfaits ou non satisfaits. Le deuxième test consistait en 102 cartes d'IBM sur lesquelles étaient imprimées des paires d'item. Les mêmes item que ceux du questionnaire avaient été comparés entre eux selon la méthode des paires comparées. Une différente paire d'item étaient imprimée sur chaque carte. Le contremaître devait y répondre eh marquant un "X" sous l'item jugé le plus important pour son travail.
Dans la deuxième phase de la recherche, on envoya les questionnaires et les cartes à 576 contremaîtres de 48 compagnies. Sur ce nombre 339 contremaîtres répondirent. Les questionnaires furent séparés en deux groupes: primaire et secondaire.
Une double analyse d'item fut appliquée au groupe primaire. Seize item personnels et treize item de compagnie survécurent à cette analyse. Le groupe secondaire servit à déterminer la fiabilité de ces deux groups d'item. Elle se situait à.91 pour les 16 item personnels et à.80 pour les 13 item de compagnie. La corrélation de.49 entre ces deux sortes d'item suggérait une variance commune de.24 (en d'autres termes seulement 25% du même facteur est mesuré communément par ces deux sortes d'item).
Le groupe secondaire fut subdivisé en quatre groupes selon le total des points accordés pour les réponses aux deux sortes d'item du questionnaire. Les cartes d'IBM correspondant aux quatre sous-groupes furent combinées séparément. Ces cartes mesuraient l'importance relative attribuée aux 51 item. Pour chaque item quatre cotes furent calculées selon le total des points des quatre sous-groupes. Les quatre cotes des 51 item furent comparée entre elles simultanément; il en résulta un coefficient de concordance de.85. Un tel accord entre quatre sous-groupes qui éprouvaient des sentiments de satisfaction si différents, indiquait que ces sentiments de satisfaction avaient eu peu d'influence sur l'importance relative attribuée aux 51 item.
Après la réunion des sous-groupes, on calcula deux séries de cotes dont l'une se basait sur les questionnaires (satisfaction) et l'autre sur les cartes (importance). Aucune corrélation n'apparut entre ces deux séries. Par la suite une seule échelle d'importance fut construite pour tous les item.
La présente recherche donna les conclusions suivantes:
Il ne semble pas y avoir de relation bien établie entre le facteur satisfaction et le facteur importance.
Les théories actuelles sur la motivation humaine ne semblent pas fournir d'explications adéquates sur le comportement humain tel qu'étudié ici.
A cause de sa grande stabilité, l'échelle d'importance des 51 item peut être considérée comme représentative de la pensée de la majorité des contremaîtres.
Cette échelle peut servir à orienter l'entraînement des contremaîtres et le questionnaire à évaluer leur moral.
Les tactiques utilisées avec un certain succès, par les communistes pour s'infiltrer dans les industries anglaises et canadiennes incitent à réfléchir sérieusement. Avant de mettre en oeuvre une action organisée, on est forcé de repenser les buts et objectifs du syndicalisme et les idéaux de l'action civique; ce sont là des aspects dont l'auteur veut montrer brièvement la nécessité dans cet article.
All the free countries suffer from the corrosive pressure of Russian spying and Communist propaganda. Canada is not free from it. A recent exposure of Com-piunistic activity in England throws new light on the danger that it constitutes for this country.
Even though the English Communist Party has known desertions that have aroused considerable interest in the last few years such as those of Douglas Hyde, of Kendall and Fred Copeman, even though the number of its members does not exceed the figure of 35,000; even though its candidates had very little success in the local and national elections of 1950, its increasing influence is no less a serious obstacle to the recovery and to the prosperity or English industry.
The Communist party inside the basic English industries concentrates its propaganda efforts in a permanent state of work stoppages, unrest and strikes.
The Communists have succeeded in multiplying work stoppages for trifling causes and to start, against the will of the union leaders, disastrous strikes such as that of the Canadian sailors and that of the workers in the oil indusries.
These examples show the new Communist strategy of guerilla strikes of which the two — fold aim is to block the defence preparations of England and to experiment with in this country a form of industrial struggle which has proved itself on the Continent.
From this point of view, the 24-hour strike fomented by the Communist-controlled electrician's union is very typical. The strikers had to attend the general meeting and participate in the parade or lose their strike allowance.
Already 476 Communist cells have been formed in vital industries chosen by party officials. Party chiefs appoint trained agitators. Once installed in the factory as workers, they are grouped and directed by the local Communist party chief. The final aim is no doubt control of the enterprise; but the immediate aim to be attained is to infiltrate in the local union and to take over its direction.
Obviously, it has not been a general success; but the red influence is much stronger than its numerical value. Once the union is controlled by the Communists, it stops following the directives of the union leaders and becomes a branch of the Communist party.
This strategic action of the English Communists in the factories and vital industries of the country is backed up in public opinion by clever and insidious propaganda in various civic and cultural movements. This communist propaganda ecomes diluted, at the city level, in some fifty organizations and societies controlled by the party and of which the apparent neutrality draws representatives from all schools of thought and opinion but which carry no less Communist ideas.
In face of these Communist infiltration tactics, it may be asked if free unionism has been able to perfect a defence able to frustrate them.
Marxist dynamism, which has succeeded in dominating the third of the world, forces us to think again about the aims and objectives of unionism as well as about the ideals of civic action.
A Communist, converted to the Catholic religion, Fred Copeman, wrote not long after his conversion: "Because it is opposed to hate and proclaims the law of love, the Catholic religion is the only possible reply to Communism".
As Pius XII recently declared to the members of the I.L.O. "the labour movement cannot be satisfied with material success. The aim which it pursues must be glimpsed... in a social order where material prosperity results from a sincere cooperation of all for the common good and which serves as a support for higher values, those of culture and, above all, the indefectible union of.hearts and minds".
Unionism of Christian inspiration such as the C.C.C.L. is already placed in a favourable position in this anti-Communist struggle of the labour world; but this advantage will bear little results if it does not succeed in sharing the truth about man and society with all the other free union forces which believe in the liberty of the worker but sometimes do not know to what height this liberty may attain.
Jurisprudence du travail
Le 10 octobre 1953, le Saint-Père recevait en audience des membres du premier Congrès de l'Union européenne des experts comptables économiques et financiers. Il leur adressa en français le discours suivant, que reproduisit l'Osservatore Romano du 12-13 octobre 1953.
Faits et commentaires
Livres et revues / Books and Reviews
Histoire du mouvement ouvrier, Edouard DOLLEANS, Tome III, 1 vol. 424 pp., Librairie Armand Colin, Aux Editions Ouvrières, 1019, rue St-Denis, Montréal, $4.95.
Stokdyk, Architect of Cooperation, by Joseph G. KNAPP, American Institute of Cooperation, 1953, 229 pp.
Voluntary Medical Care Insurance — A Study of non-profit plans in Canada. Ottawa, 1954, Research Division, Department of National Health and Welfare, 208 pp. Multilith.
All Rights Reserved © Département des relations industrielles de l’Université Laval, 1954