L'auteur présente ici une analyse critique et détaillée des amendements nombreux et, à certains égards, très importants que le législateur québécois a cru bon d'apporter à la législation du travail de cette province le 10 juin 1961. La LOI DES RELATIONS OUVRIERES, comme il se doit, est surtout en cause; mais la modification récente de La Loi des relations ouvrières, comme il se doit, est surtout en cause; mais la modification récente de la Loi de la convention collective et de la Loi concernant les corporations municipales et scolaires et leurs employés fait également l'objet de cette étude. L'auteur prend pour guide de ses évaluations critiques les principes et les impératifs fondamentaux d'une société libre et démocratique dans leurs applications concrètes au domaine des relations industrielles.
To speak about professionnal organization with regards to the present economic and social context is to use a notion which is still very misunderstood, very often badly applied, and in several sectors, rejected in advance as constituting an attempt to freedom and a return to dark ages. Curiously enough, if we only superficially consider the phenomenon, it is especially from the organizations which have grown out of the flagrant gaps of the regime of individual liberty characterizing the beginnings of our social era, that the incomprehension and the negative attitudes have been the most strongly expressed in respect to the concept of professionnal organization. One seems, at the same time, to ask for a change in the actual socio-economic realm without giving-up the immediate profit one can get from the characteristics of the regime to which, however, one is opposed.
Professionnal organization constitutes without any doubt, and in spite of the protests which inevitably greet the mention of it one of the options opened to the present world of labour in order to perfect the work already done with respects to social structure and working conditions. This can be so on one condition, however, the professional organization must adapt itself to modern society and be based on fundamental ideas of democracy and liberty as we conceive them in our milieu.
If we refer to social history of the last thirty years or so in Quebec we notice that most of those expounding the traditional thought have seen the professionnal organization, not so much from the point of view of the dynamics of such a system but above all, as a complex of structures encovering the entire economy. Assuming the necessity of establishing a certain order within the liberal society those spokesmen advocated an organization of the many professionnal and industrial sectors through a complete system juridically sanctionned by the positive law of the state. They refuted the marxist arguments based on the historic dialectics and contended that even within a system of liberal economy and of private property of the means of production, not only the class struggle is unnecessary, but definitely, the common interests of the different professionnal groups were inviting them to cooperate in an organic and permanent way.
How can we be surprised that such a conception of professionnal organization (which was also called at that time «corporatism») juridically and structurally requiring the organic collaboration of the weaker among the economic agents with the leaders of industry, was regarded by individuals and groups eager for liberty as a right-minded ideology fed with good intentions but somewhat chimerical and even very dangerous to freedom, had it ever been realized.
We think that the time has come to think about professionnal organization along with new concepts and formulas. If the economic agents, individuals in the liberal professions or others, workers in industry and unions do not do so the government will inevitably fill in the gap with all the good and evil this might bring with such an action.
We will not try at this point to define professionnal organization as a « system ». We will rather attempt to show the means by which the economic agents may work together to the solution of their common problems, taking into account the condition and limits of such a cooperation.
PROFESSIONNAL ORGANIZATION AND UNIONISM
The expression « professionnal organization », means any structured way of representing and administering a profession or «calling». The expression «profession » covers any natural group of individuals and enterprises contributing to the performance of a same service to the community or to the production and marketing of the same economic goods, of a product or group of products, the production of which is carried on through a common technology. These are, we believe, the true criteria of a « profession » from which we must envisage the professionnal organization.
The notion of professionnal organization cannot be used to cover all kinds of associations existing among trades and industrial sectors. These associations (labour unions, for example) represent various interest groups facing each other within the profession. Therefore we must not confuse professionnal organization with unionism.
The role of professionnal organization is to endow the profession as already described of some representative and administrative organs capable of representing it amongst the other professions and toward the entire community (governmental bodies and the general public). It also has to manage the « profession » for the best interest of its members and the public in general by controlling the recruitement of members (academic requirements) and their activity (professionnal requirements, code of ethics, etc.). The trade union, on the other hand, has as its first obligation, to represent, to protect and to promote the interests of its members within the profession according to the contribution they bring to the performance of the services or to the production of goods within the profession. The union acts on the labour market, while the profession acts on that of the products or services.
The professionnal organization is represented as to its structure by the professionnal corporation. This means that the latter must not be substituted to the labour union in the matter of claims on the labour market. It must not encroach on the right of its members to freely become members of a union, under the pretext that they already are members of a professionnal corporation.
NECESSARY LABOUR UNION DIFFUSION AND COLLABORATION BETWEEN ORGANIZED GROUPS
Professionnal organization requires that the different functional groups be formed in associations and that these associations contribute to the improvement of the profession. This assumes that there cannot be any genuine professionnal organization if it is not based on already existing labour and management associations capable of co-operation between themselves. These two ideas, first: the necessary presence of labour and management associations and second: the cooperation between such associations presently constitute so many fundamental prerequisites to any true professional organization.
About the cooperation needed between labour and management associations it must not be looked at as denying the necessity of conflict when many liberties face each other in a regime of free industrial relations as ours.
It must try to achieve the best possible balance between these different liberties by means of systematized bargaining and ever renewed compromises between the groups of interests. In such a process unions do not have to give up any traditional means of revendication on the labour market; collective bargaining and the eventual recourse to economic strength need not be abandoned. Nothing prevents the parties, with the passage of time, from developing more positive forms of cooperation.
To this end it is essential, however, that we cease analysing our industrial relations system in marxian terms, i.e. in terms of irremediable class struggle. We cannot any longer identify as being class struggle what is only in reality a diverging opposition of interests between functional groups using their respective rights. It is in a new perspective, a functional perspective that we must consider industrial relations.
Unions, in such a view, are no longer the representatives of a class against another but the normal agents of the various functional groups of the economy entrusted to represent them and to promote their respective interests.
THE DEMOCRATIC CHARACTER OF ORGANIZED GROUPS
It is essential to a sound professionnal organization that the democracy be respected within the organized groups. Any effective cooperation between economic agents requires that their leadership adopt a realistic attitude free of any emotional tone in the conduct of their affairs. It is also essential that adequate control be exercised on the leaders of organized groups in order to prevent them from any abuse of power and any bureau-cratic excess.
SummaryThe author examines the evolution of the Catholic Social Doctrine on the Industry Council Plan. This paper, while general in outlook and scope, must be read in light of the fact that it was first presented as a communication at the Catholic Social Life Conference, Halifax, October 1961.
SommaireLe texte qui suit est, à quelques mots près, le RAPPORT du président de la Fédération canadienne de l'Imprimerie et de l'Information (CSN), présenté lors du 37e Congrès de cet organisme tenu à Montréal les 9 et 10 juin 1961.
SummaryBy a majority, the board in this case holds, first, that the question of whether a board of arbitration may or may not award damages is not one going to jurisdiction, but is a matter of the powers of a board once it is properly seised of the dispute under the collective agreement or under the relevant legislation.On the question of the power to award damages, it holds that this does not depend on the inclusion of a specific provision in the agreement. The object of the voluntary submission by the parties to arbitration of their disputes is that there shall be a final and binding settlement of the disputes, and a board of arbitration has an inherent power to award damages where any compensable loss is suffered by either party. By submitting to the board's adjudication the parties must be presumed to have intended to submit to a complete adjudication of the matter and a proper redress of any wrong suffered as a result of a breach by either party of its obligations under the agreement.Polymer Corporation Ltd and Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union Local 16 - 14 - Arbitration award, Nov. 10th 1959, Bora Laskin, Q.C., C.L. Dubin, Q.C., M. O'Brien.
SummaryThe union had the capacity to incur liability for damages and the Board of Arbitrators were within their powers in proceeding to assess and award damages. The arbitrators had the same jurisdiction with respect to damages as they had to hear and dispose of the grievance which had arisen from a breach of the agreement. Moreover, since the union had the legal capacity to enter into a collective agreement, it was fastened with the responsibility that arose from a breach thereof and, therefore, it had the capacity to incur liability for damages.In the matter of an arbitration between Polymer Corporation Ltd. and Oil Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union, Local 16-14 Ontario High Court of Justice, January 23, 1961; McRuer, C J.H.C.
SummaryA Company has no absolute right of discretion when applying a
seniority clause containing objective criteria for its application in case
of short-term lay-offs, otherwise the seniority rights of the employees
could be obliterated by Company action.The arbitration board must satisfy itself that the company's
administrative act was taken with full appreciation of the right for
senior employees to be retained on short-term layoffs provided in the
Company's reasonable judgment exerciced with care and in good
faith, it is practical to retain themCanadian Industries Ltd. and Le Syndicat des Travailleurs de Produits Chimiques de McMasterville; H.D. Woods, Chairman, Me Raymond Caron, Company's nominee, Me Marc Lapointe, Union's nominee.
SommairePuisque l'article 21b impose au salarié l'obligation de soumettre sa plainte à la Commission, l'on doit nécessairement reconnaître à cette dernière la faculté de s'en saisir. Et puisque l'article 21a, accorde à la Commission la faculté d'ordonner la réintégration, il faut nécessairement lui reconnaître le droit de disposer du cas soumis.Raymond l'Archevêque — vs — The Nalpac Company, Montéal; Décision (D-52) rendue le 16 mars 1961 ordonnant à la Compagnie de réintégrer le plaignant dans son emploi avec tous ses droits et privilèges, et de lui payer à titre d'indemnité l'équivalent du salaire qu'il a ainsi perdu.
SommaireUne fois que les parties à un litige impliquant le congédiement d'un salarié en ont saisi la Commission de Relations ouvrières et que celle-ci a rendu sa décision, il devient illégal pour elles de conclure une entente dans le but de changer de juridiction nonobstant l'article 41 de la Loi des Relations ouvrières.Le Syndicat des Commis et Comptables d'Alma Inc. — vs — Harvey Transport Limitée, Québec, le 10 mai 1961; Victor Trépanier, J.D., Arbitre unique.
SummaryThe Charter of the City of Montreal does not require that, in order to be an elector, a person should either reside or work within the City limits. Article 328 not only gives to any elector the right to quit his work; it also imposes upon the employer the obligation not to reduce an elector's salary. Such an obligation is decreed as a consequence of the employee's right freely to quit his work, and according to the charter, this right does not vary according to the elector's place of work.United Steelworkers of America Local 5063 and Dominion Steel and Coal Corporation Ltd (Canadian Bridge — Truscon Steel Works); Montreal, March 14th 1961; Jean Beetz, Arbitrator.
SommaireVoici les principales recommandations du Mémoire de la FTQ et de la CSN présenté en juin 1961 au Comité d'étude sur l'enseignement technique et professionnel. Ce long et substantiel document de 80 pages se recommande par son sérieux et sa qualité.