Dans le but de maintenir le standard de vie des ouvriers à son niveau de 1953, les grands syndicats ont songé à différentes mesures à prendre. La plus efficace paraît être la garantie de salaire fixé par contrat durant un minimum de cinquante-deux semaines. L'auteur expose de façon très succinte, le fonctionnement de ce système dans quelques milieux où il a été appliqué et apprécié.
The present economic slow-down and the limited unemployment that has followed it, are directing union demands towards long-term security during the year 1954. The unions have looked at various measures of which the most striking and at the same time, the most efficient, would appear to be the guaranteed annual wage, which, already ranks first on draft agreement of the automobile union.
The guaranteed annual wage, though, is not an absolutely new idea. A dozen large American companies have in force since several years, programmes by which they guarantee their employees a weekly wage, fixed by contract, during a minimum of 52 weeks. In all these cases, there has been nothing but compliments and satisfaction expressed by employers and employees.
It is to be noted, first of all, that the employers who have agreed to this are manufacturers of soap, shoes or consumer products of vital necessity of which even a serious economic depression would not decrease production to a radical degree. This is not the case, for example, of the automobile industry of which the prosperity is tied to some extent to the possibility for the majority of the workers to enjoy luxuries.
The newspapers who represent the viewpoints of the large-scale enterprises feel that, under the pretext of union cooperation, private industries will be called upon, in practice, to replace the government in the case of a depression. Is not the guaranteed annual wage a denial of the well-known law of supply and demand on which all the North American economy is based?
Along with these criticisms, may be registered those of certain observers and advanced unionists who, taking up the theories of revolutionary European unionism, refuse by principle, to cooperate with employers. In Canada, however, the evolution has been in such a way that the cooperation of the union and the enterprise towards the maintenance of economic stability does not appear to be an impossibility. On the contrary, it would seem that the tendency or at least the spirit which prevails at present among the union groups, will cause a general demand for a clause of guaranteed annual wages from which point it would not be impossible to favour a structural change.
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GIGUERE, L.-G., administrateur, Comité Conjoint des Matériaux de Gonstruction, Montréal.