L'auteur décrit ici la réalité juridique et sociale de l'Etat considéré comme un employeur et pose le problème des objectifs et des moyens du syndicalisme chez les fonctionnaires. Il rappelle les notions de base du droit d'association et de son exercice, et souligne les obligations de l'Etat envers ses employés.
There is a growing tendency among civil employees to organize and to join the general labour movement. On the other hand, the government and certain important sections of public opinion are afraid of some consequences that collective bargaining might have, especially on the authority of the government as an employer.
There is no reason why civil employees should not get substantially the same conditions as workers from private business. International agreements have recognized the right of association to every employee, including those working for governments, and the consequent right to bargain collectively their conditions of employment. Of course this right is to be exercised in different ways, according to special circumstances.
The theory that civil servants should work under the unlimited and uncontrolled authority of the State, without a voice in the determination of their working conditions, is obsolete and totalitarian. As far as labour legislation and collective bargaining rights are concerned, the distinction should not be made between public and private workers, but between essential services for the nation and all the others. In some cases, government services are far less important and vital to the country than some others performed by private firms; in other cases, the government and private business are in direct competition.
One of the reasons for denying to civil servants the right to full collective bargaining is the fear that such an action would give them such power as to overcome democratic government control on public administration. As a matter of fact, unionism and collective bargaining have had the opposite effects when and where civil employes have enjoyed their full rights.
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GOSSELIN, EMILE, LL. L., (Montréal), MA. en Economique (Toronto), Secrétaire de la Faculté des Sciences Sociales, directeur adjoint du Département des relations industrielles, Université Laval, Québec.