Dans une civilisation où la technique et les loisirs peuvent constituer une menace à l'émancipation des travailleurs comme à l'épanouissement de leur personnalité, le syndicalisme peut se révéler une ressource formidable pour le relèvement culturel des masses laborieuses et le développement d'une culture ouvrière respectueuse de toutes les valeurs humaines.
Our industrial civilization is characterized by the power of technique and the importance of leisure time. These two factors may serve in the emancipation of man, enabling him to gain greater domination over creation or, on the other hand, may contribute to his debasement.
Faced with these two outsanding problems, it is the fate of man himself which is at stake, with his dignity, his personality, his liberty. The whole thing reduces itself to the question of knowing whether one or the other is going to carry man along to his destruction, or whether, thanks to the unsuspected possibilities which they also present, they will provide the masses with opportunities for culture.
The traditional vocation of the labour movement has always been to aspire to freeing men from inhuman conditions and bringing them an income and security. It could play an irreplaceable part in correcting the evil consequences of the domination of technique and the poor use of leisure.
The specific objective of trade unionism is primarily economic. But it is not merely an association of material interests of one part of the population. It represents a mode of life, a method of expression and of evolution of the human person in its moral as well as economic exigencies. As a matter of fact, by its very nature, it is a reaction against individualism, it appeals to solidarity, it calls for an orderly social life m which respect for the dignity of man, the fair distribution of goods and the progress of the individual are the conditions in labour relations and even in the whole of society. It constantly brings up the problem of liberty, justice and solidarity.
Moreover, trade unionism which confined itself to complete conformity with whatever is accepted around it would soon become indurated, and would no longer have any reason for existence.
The amalgation of labour organizations may involve a great danger — the risk of reducing union members to mere ciphers, as certain mass-production concerns have been blamed for doing.
Nevertheless the labour organization, properly speaking, is the most natural grouping of the workers, in the sense that it is made for them and that in it they are most at home.
It is a medium which is capable of satisfying their human aspirations and developing their individual and collective conscience. If it is really democratic in its acts, the individual worker will be led, in accordance with his desires and ability, to assume social responsibilities, to experience community life, and, in this way, to serve the whole of society better.
As a matter of fact, just as union activities, while remaining specifically economic, run over into the social and political fields, so they cannot fail to reach the cultural, the human sphere.
Up to the present time, the labour movement in our country has not completely ignored the education of its members. It can be stated that, of all professional groups, it is certainly the one which has put forth the most efforts in this field.
The labour movement has always been interested in raising the cultural level of the people. At its very beginning, in all countries, in America, and even in the Province of Quebec, it was seen not only to call for an opportunity for all children to attend primary school, but, and in this it made the first move, as in many other fields, to the great scandal of many people, it asked the State for free education and compulsory school attendance. It took many years before this claim was satisfied. Today the trade unions have allies in other circles who advocate an opportunity for secondary and even university education for all who have talent, regardless of their financial means. As we all know, a great deal of ground remains to be covered before this legitimate wish is realized in our country. Unfortunately there are still people who, although they do not put it quite so blundy, consider money as a valuable citrerion of selection to open the way to the higher levels of education.
To reach its cultural objectives the labour movement must not keep apart from the rest of society. It must co-operate with institutions engaged in cultural activities in any sphere whatsoever. But, on the other hand, all such institutions should begin by accepting organized labour as a respectable movement which has its normal place in our society and should recognize that it has a part to play other than that of demanding wage increases and regulating working conditions.
Unfortunately, it is far from certain in our circles that we are really ready for such co-operation. It is to be hoped that prejudice will disappear in the not too distant future and that we will even go so far as to ask the unions for this cooperation.
In a civilization in which technique and leisure time may constitute a threat to the emancipation of the workers and to the development of their personality, trade unionism, because of its economic power, its organizational strength and the undeniable influence which it exerts over a large part of the population, reveals itself as a tremendous means of cultural revival for the working classes and for the development of a labour culture which respects all values.
L'auteur, conférencier invité aux Semaines sociales du Canada, reprend le thème des encycliques définissant les relations entre l'individu et l'Etat. Il rappelle brièvement les fondements des théories qui, d'une part, veulent tout laisser faire à l'Etat et, d'autre part, ne rien lui confier; il s'arrête au triple rôle assigné par Pie XI à l'Etat, dans le domaine tant économique que social. Il expose ensuite comment l'Etat canadien dont il était le chef a accompli sa tâche et décrit les grandes lignes du programme social mis en oeuvre au cours des dernières années.
The theme of this conference — the Church's Social Teachings — is particularly appropriate in this anniversary year of two great social Encyclicals which have defined the relation between the individual and society and, more specifically, the relation between the citizen and the State. Several unsuccessful attempts have been made to define the nature of this relation between the individual and the state and have given rise to the most unfortunate social experiences of mankind. At one extreme, individualism maintains that individuals should be completely free to seek their own good according to the best of their abilities. The "laissez-faire" philosophy leads to the very negation of the State and to complete anarchy. At the other extreme, communism identifies society with the State which becomes responsible for everything and all powerful. The communist doctrine leads to the negation of the individual and to complete dictatorship.
That, I think, is why Pope Pius XI, in Quadragesimo Anno, chose to define what ought to be the relation between the individual and the State according to the traditional principles of the Catholic Church and the Christian philosophy.
According to the Church's teachings, the role of government in the economic and social field may be briefly summarized as consisting of maintaining a high level of prosperity, ensuring a fair distribution of that prosperity among the various elements of the community, and stimulating or restraining private initiative without supplanting it in the fields where it can be efficient or controlling it unnecessarily.
The Canadian Government was thus assuming as a duty to aim at maintaining a stable level of prosperity. Serious attempts are being made to minimize seasonal unemployment. In collaboration with the Department of Labour, private industry and labour unions are increasingly contributing to this effort. In the postwar period, the menace to the stability of our economy has come from inflation. Various measures have been adopted to reduce the rate of total consumption.
The government has aimed not only at maintaining a high and stable level of employment and income but also at ensuring a better distribution of that national income between the different groups of our society.
A comprehensive system of social security has been built up in Canada over the last fifteen years: in 1941, unemployment insurance, in 1945, family allowances, in 1949, old age pensions and pensions to the blind. We have, under the National Housing Act and other legislation, aided in the construction of over 300,000 houses spread over hundreds of communities in Canada. Our agricultural policy has been aimed at expanding our markets and at fixing floor prices for several products so as to protect the farmers and their families against too low prices and to help them secure a decent minimum of income.
I therefore suggest that it should be the urgent business of all levels of government as well as private enterprise, both individual and co-operative, to see to it that agricultural production keeps up with our increase in population and thus provides the farming population with a fair share of the national income.
It is the purpose of our economic policy to stimulate or restrain private initiative as circumstances require. In our efforts to stabilize our economy at high levels of prosperity, we try to apply indirect methods because we do not favour, under relatively normal conditions, direct economic controls over production, prices and wages. In the field of social risks to which we all exposed, the same principles should apply.
We are sometimes accused, even by some Catholics, of being inspired by socialist principles. I do not take these accusations seriously because I know, as Pope Pius XI says, that "Indeed there are some who can abuse religion itself, cloaking their own injust imposition under its name". Communism remains a tragic challenge for all those who believe in freedom and in spiritual values but perhaps more particularly for Christians. They must not merely oppose that threat, it is their responsibility to provide an alternative to an unstable world. As Cardinal Paul-Emile Léger said in St-Jerome during the last French Catholic Social Life Conference: "They have to face up to Destiny, refuse to believe in man's defeat and set out again to conquer the future".
In this article, the author considers the possibility of using standard data in setting standard times to perform a specific job. Where and when can those data be used? Before answering these questions, he describes the procedure to be followed in applying this method and insists on the limitations of its application, taking into account the data themselves, the operator and the study man.
La pratique de déterminer de façon exacte le temps requis pour accomplir une tâche est de plus en plus répandue dans nos manufactures modernes et leur usage est des plus varié. Une méthode employée pour déterminer ce temps que prend l'accomplissement d'une tâche est l'usage des temps déterminés par les ingénieurs industriels et qui sont censés donner le temps exact requis pour l'accomplissement des éléments les plus simples d'une opération. C'est cette méthode qui fera l'objet de notre critique.
La façon générale de déterminer le temps requis pour accomplir une tâche est la suivante. La tâche est démembrée dans ses opérations les plus simples et le temps de ces opérations est enregistré. Mais comme ce temps varie d'un individu à l'autre, on en choisit un jugé représentatif, on le multiplie par un facteur appelé facteur de performance et on obtient ainsi un temps de base. A ce temps de base on ajoute un certain pourcentage tenant compte de la fatigue, des délais inévitables, etc., et on obtient le temps standard de l'opération.
Le jugement est nécessaire pour déterminer le facteur de performance, et comme les ingénieurs y voient une source d'erreur, on a tenté de tabuler les temps requis pour accomplir les éléments les plus simples d'une opération et qu'on appelle therbligs.
Il va s'en dire que ces temps calculés à l'avance sont sujets à la question suivante: Sont-ils représentatifs? Ordinairement ces temps sont obtenus dans un laboratoire où les conditions sont différentes de celles d'un atelier et les individus analysés sont trop peu nombreux pour représenter une population entière. De plus, ils sont rarement choisis au hasard.
En employant ces temps prédéterminés il faut présumer que le rythme de travail n'est pas personnel ou du moins qu'on peut l'imposer. Dans une expérience conduite par Barnes et Mundel, on a réalisé que plus l'opération est longue, plus la différence de temps entre les opérateurs est minime, et que plus l'opération est courte, plus la différence est marquée.
On découvre par ailleurs que les éléments d'une opération influent les uns sur les autres, qu'un élément dépend de celui qui le précède et qu'à son tour il influencera le suivant. C'est pourquoi il n'est pas justifiable de prendre ces temps prédéterminés et donnés dans des tables, de les additionner et de déterminer ainsi le temps requis pour accomplir une tâche.
En conclusion, disons que le temps requis pour accomplir une tâche dépend:
de l'individu lui-même qui l'accomplit et,
de l'ordre dans lequel les éléments d'opération apparaissent dans la tâche.
De plus, certaines expériences nous amènent à conclure que non seulement la relation des éléments varient d'un individu à l'autre mais aussi chez le même individu.
Ces temps prédéterminés peuvent quand même être d'une grande utilité pour établir des contrôles et améliorer le processus de la production, mais ce n'est pas rendre justice à l'employé que de s'en servir pour établir un système de rémunération selon la production accomplie.
R. Douglas Archibald
Dans cet article, l'auteur, un participant de la conférence du Duc d'Edimbourg sur les problèmes humains des collectivités industrielles, donne un bref aperçu de l'organisation de la Conférence, des diverses phases qui la constituèrent et des sujets variés qui y furent étudiés. Il livre quelques-unes de ses impressions personnelles et des conclusions qui se dégagèrent de cette mémorable et fructueuse réunion.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Study Conference at Oxford in July 1956 was concerned with the human problems of industrial communities within the Commonwealth and Empire; it grouped 280 men drawn from all levels of industry such as employers, trade unionists and administrators, all highly interested in the problems and needs of the world, inevitably brought about by the rapid progress of science and technology and the spread of industrialization.
This conference, which was planned two years earlier, was divided into three phases:
During this first phase, which lasted three days and a half, all delegates gathered at Oxford to listen to prominent persons dealing with various human aspects of the nature and growth of industry. Twenty smaller groupes, heterogenous in their composition, were formed to facilitate the study and discussion of the various speeches.
During the second phase, everyone participated in the ten-day visit of various industrial centres of England, Scotland and Wales. This practical aspect of the conference gave the delegates an opportunity to see the workers at the bench and to talk with them, to meet management, and to try to understand the industrial way of life in every aspect. Some of the subjects studied were: satisfaction at work, conditions of work, promotions and incentives, education and training, adjustment to change, housing, etc. Each group had to prepare a report containing general observations.
The third phase, lasting one week, consisted of discussions within and between the various groups and ended with oral reports presented by each group.
After attending the various phases of such a conference, every delegate came back with interesting impressions and observations. One should always remember that the first duty of industry is to produce some goods. But the industrial visits proved that even though good physical conditions are essential, human relations are much more important, and that good relations are not the natural consequence of good material working conditions alone. Indeed, the factories with the best morale as much among the workers as among management and where every one seemed to be the happiest were the ones whose management considered the working personnel as a principal part of its responsibilities. Every one knew clearly what was going on around the plant, what he was doing and why he was doing it.
This Edinburgh Conference was enriching and precious for everyone who participated in it; it will certainly have wide consequences which will spread over the coming years.
L'expérience originale poursuivie, depuis quelque quatre ans, par le service d'éducation du Syndicat national des fonctionnaires municipaux de Montréal offre un intérêt à tous ceux que passionne l'épanouissement humain. Une revue rapide des causes de l'éclosion d'un tel organisme au sein de l'Hôtel de ville de Montréal et de la pensée des responsables présentée dans ces deux articles dira un peu l'importance qu'attachent à l'éducation certains groupes de fonctionnaires.
Jean de Laplante
Four years ago, the National Union of Municipal Employees of the City of Montreal, affiliated to the C.C.C.L., established an education service which has made interesting and valuable efforts to improve the training of its members. This selection was taken for indirect reasons: the increasing effort towards education in trade unionism in general; the growing interest of people in education and the development of consciousness among the City Hall personnel for the urgency of education. There also were direct reasons: the vigilant action of the union itself to favour the personal development of its members; the climate reigning at the City Hall, and the attitude of the Union towards the civic authorities.
Before getting into action, everyone decided that some thinking and discussion was in order; so the group responsible for educational activities was supported by the union leaders and strongly encouraged. Every member was convinced that education should promote the human person, develop his consciousness and make him accept his responsibilities. First of all, one must know oneself in order to be integrated into society; science and techniques are very useful and must not be neglected; in and of themselves, however, they are unable to shape man. For the last two years, the themes inspiring the education program have been: "Conscience and competence of the unionized civic employee", and "Development of the personal initiative and of the sense of responsibilities".
To realize its objectives, the group makes use of various techniques: study circle, union paper, union meetings, and luncheon meetings; it has also added a union practices workshop and a course for professional betterment in cooperation with the University of Montreal. Almost 300 unionized civic employees attended these sessions and paid their own fees; the union offered 50 scholarships. The methods of education used are simple, and the efforts made are on a collective basis. The key to its surprising success is group work and group decision-making.
A research study has been undertaken and published in order to appreciate the value of the methodological technique used and to be used successfully in the elaboration and application of an educational program for civic employees.
Jurisprudence du travail
Dans un jugement de la Cour supérieure rendu à Québec le 7 septembre 1956 par le juge Fernand Choquette, celui-ci déclarait illégale la Formule Rand. Les parties en cause étaient le Syndicat Catholique des employés de magasins de Québec Inc. et La Compagnie Paquet Ltée. Ce jugement est cependant devant la Cour d'appel.
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