SummaryAMBIGUITIES AND PROBLEMSIf professional corporations are still in existance to-daw, many centuries after their birth during the Middle Ages, this is due to the fact that they have a vital role to play in our society. However, in order to be efficient, they must be well adapted to the socio-economic structure of every given society. The misunderstandings about, and the maladaptations of, the corporations give rise to ambiguities and problems which every society must solve in order that its institutions do not become useless, if not prejudicial.We must therefore ask the question: Are our corporations well adapted to the present social trends? To do so, one must draw a clear distinction between present professional organization and the notion of corporation as expounded in the social doctrine of the Church as well as that elaborated by the militants of « corporatism » in our country during the thirties. In « Quadragesimo Anno » when Pius XI talked about corporation, he chiefly referred to the natural groups of individuals or enterprises representing the different sectors of economic activity, a notion that implies by far more than only one trade or profession. It is a similar idea that has been developped and advocated by our militants of the corporative action in the thirties. But such a model has never been implemented in our social context, whether it be in Canada or anywhere else. However, the idea itself has made a long way in the mind of social thinkers so that in the years following the promulgation of « Quadragesimo Anno » a large number of professional structures have been erected in our « milieu ». These new organizations are not, for the most part, strictly liberal professions. They represent rather but a kind or another of professional organization than true corporative institutions. These new « corporations » and to a growing degree, the old ones, because of an ever growing specialization and complexity of our economic and social structures, do not any longer comply with the full and exact notion of the corporation in the sense of the modern « neo-corporatism » as elaborated in the social doctrine of the Church during the thirties. Here lies the first ambiguity.Under the present regime of employer-employee relations, a duality of status exists between workers and employers. Accordingly, within any « corporation », members of the same sector of activity must be represented according to their function and status on the labor market. Our «professional corporations » are no longer what they used to be and are no longer consistent with the model of the thirties whatever they still claim so. If a society overlooks such an evolution the consequences are that social maladaptation takes place and becomes a source of ambiguities and problems for the whole community. It would be worth mentioning some in this paper.PROFESSIONAL CORPORATIONS AND TRADE-UNIONISMIf we consider the problems from the industrial relations standpoint, we notice that, very often, most of our present professional corporations are looked upon as being the only and possible form of trade organization. From this assumption, corporations are given a monopoly of representation excluding the other types of professional association, whilst the differences of status and function on the labor market irresistibly calls for other types of association such as trade-unionism, as far as wage earners are concerned, for instance. The corporation, precisely because of the monopoly of representation it exerts towards its members, whatever be their status and function inside the profession, is not empowered to take care of the interests of its salaried members, when their own employers are also represented in, and often participate to the direction of the corporation. There is an incompatibility of responsibility, because the corporation cannot be judge and party at the same time. This has been decided by our Labour Relations Board: in order to be entitled to represent its salaried members in the process of collective bargaining, an association must be one in which entrance is voluntary. Clearly a « corporation » does not comply with this rule. A large number of our professionals are then deprived of all protection as far as the promotion of their own interests are concerned on the labor market. Consequently, we must not be surprised that trade unionism be so antagonistic to the creation of new corporations as long as our laws on labor are not radically changed on this matter.The new corporations are also inclined to substitute the corporative form of association to the trade-union one because very often, trade-unionism is looked upon by their members as being unworthy of, and unadapted to, the « professional » status. The net result of such a way of thinking is that, instead of accepting trade-unionism as a normal form of association for their salaried members, new « professions » constitute themselves into « corporations » leading to monolithism and conflict of jurisdiction with already established corporations. So, the creation of many new « corporations » opens the way to political pressures and opportunism and lack of true professional representation.PROFESSIONAL CORPORATIONS AND UNIVERSITIESAs to the relations between corporations and universities, it is imperative to think over these relations in connection with the scientific progress actually made in the different disciplines taught in our universities and professionelly controlled by the corporations. Universities must remain free to assume the academic and scientific formation of the students entrusted to them. A corporation should limit its action to advise universities on the professional side of the curriculum, the needs of the practice and the control of practicing members as to ethics and skill.Concerning a certain number of new disciplines, including the social sciences, there is a danger that corporations having full corporate status be prematurely established amongs the specialists of these disciplines. These sciences are still loosely delimited and in complete evolution; the establishment of too rigid an organization would imperil the dynamism necessary to their normal evolution.PROFESSIONAL CORPORATIONS AND THE STATEIn the present society, a system of completely autonomous corporations is unthinkable and retrograd. An irreversible socialization of the professions is taking place. Social interdependance is growing so much in our modern societies, that the use of particular rights is becoming more and more subject to the sanctions of the general rule of law, of which the State is the depositary. We can no longer need to have « states in the State », because of the ever growing role of public authorities in socio-economic matters, and its obligations to safeguard a balance of power between particular interests. No social group escape the consequence of such an evolution. Professional « corporations » are not here in a priviledged situation: they must also face the situation.CONCLUSIONThese few thoughts are only made to tackle some problems which confront the corporations to-day. Solutions are to be found; to do so, professional corporations must accept social changes. If they do so and adapt themselves in consequence, their place and functions, once re-evaluated appear to be most precious in the edification of a renewed professional organization, no longer conceived in terms of arbitrary and monolithic structures, but based on a free cooperation of the facing groups, using the actual institutions under the democratic control of the State.
SummaryTo day in Sweden, the labor market is characterized by a mutual understanding in the field of labor relations and by a durable balance of power between the competing groups.But in order to achieve such a result, 30 years of struggles, sometimes acrimonious, have been necessary.As early as in 1880, there were some labor unions and a few federations of unions. But, in 1898, appeared a national and central organization, The General Labor Confederation of Sweden, called LO. The claims of the workers then became more aggressive.The employers retaliated with dismissals and, in 1902, they organized the Confederation of Sweden Employers, S.A.F., to face up the workers. Soon appeared a policy of constraint which resulted in many strikes and lockouts.About 1930, this policy of constraint had not brought about any valuable result and the time had come for négociation and collective bargaining.The two groups, workers and employers, are strongly organized.In Sweden, 98% of the salaried workers are organized in two groups: the blue collars or manual workers and the white collars or non manual workers. The blue collar workers are almost all members of the LO while the non manual workers spread among three organizations, TCD, SR and SACO.LO is a union of federations or national unions based on democratic principles. The local union (there are over 9,000) is the basic unit of LO. It may represent the workers of a single enterprise or these. There are also local councils grouping many local unions. They are in charge of publicity and propaganda.The 44 national unions of LO are to-day chiefly organized on an industrial basis rather than on a trade basis, as was the case in the first years of the movement, a structure that often brought rivalry between unions.There also are cartels between national unions when they have common interests.LO is constituted bodies and its constitution is based on the representative system. The supreme executive power is in the hands of the Congress which discusses the great problems of the labor market and establishes leading policies. The Congress meets every 5 years and is composed of 300 delegates elected by the National unions. The Representative Assembly, which meets twice a year, decides the wage policy to follow up and settle the internal administrative problems; it is composed of 125 members. The Bureau is the administrative agency of LO; it meets every week and is composed of 13 members. Seven departments assist the Bureau in its works: Economic Research, Legal Affairs, Education, Propaganda, Information, Women Comity and Enterprise Comity.On the side of the Industry, the employers are represented by a very strong organization: The Confederation of Sweden Employers, SAF, which groups 43 affiliated employers' associations. It possesses 4 decision making agencies: The General Assembly that once a year decides how to conduct the yearly exercice; the Trustees who are simply a kind of administrative board which takes decision on the current affairs, and finally the Executive Council. The SAF has also many directing committees acting under the secretary's office and the general manager: Negociations, Studies, Information, Public relations, Finances and Intendant; furthermore the SAF has two experts: one for the Medical matters and the other for International relations.We have then two powerful organizations facing each other. In order to collaborate and also to avoid governmental controls, they have willingly concluded agreements and set up representative bodies for the enforcement of these agreements: the Committee of the Labor Market which conducts researchs on the problems related to this field; the Council of the Labor Market which solves the conflicts on dismissals and personnel discharges; the Joint Committee on workers' protection; the Council on Professionnal Education; the Enterprise Committee which helps the creation of bodies at the enterprise level; the Council of Labor Research and, finally, the Women Committee of the labor market.So the governmental action is quite unusual in the labor relations of Sweden; it mainly exists in three fields: workers' protection, legal aspect of negociations and collective bargaining, conciliation and public mediation.In conclusion, the structure and action of these two bodies are tending to centralism, but allowance is made toward some decentralization of conflicts in the hands of specialists, a characteristic which explain much of the success characterizing the Swedish system in industrial relations. However, in Sweden collective freedom has been definitely preferred to individual freedom. This means power and efficiency of the representative organizations and at the same time, peace in the labor field.
Voici le troisième d'une série de textes sur la législation québécoise du travail (et sur les services connexes du Ministère du travail) de 1885 à nos jours. Ces notes pourront un jour servir à une histoire plus méthodique des relations du travail au Québec.
Cette série d'articles est la synthèse d'une « Etude analytique et évolutive des services du Ministère du travail et de la législation ouvrière et sociale de la province de Québec, 1885-1952 » préparée par l'auteur à la demande du Ministère, et reproduite ici avec sa permission.
SommaireL'importance du mouvement syndical aux États-Unis se manifeste par le nombre de ses adhérents, par la puissance des syndicats particuliers, et par leurs activités, tant à l'intérieur qu'à l'extérieur du pays. Le rôle du mouvement syndical ne s'arrête pas à la lutte pour l'obtention de salaires plus élevés ni à celle tendant à la reduction des heures de travail. Par l'intermédiaire des dirigeants de leur centrale, les syndicats sont à même d'influencer non seulement la législation du pays mais aussi son application.Nous traiterons exclusivement des activités de l'AFL, du CIO (et de l'AFL-CIO) étant donné le rôle primordial joué par ces organisations et le fait qu'elles représentent 90% du mouvement syndical américain. Dans notre discussion, nous avons essayé d'établir une différence entre le rôle politique, économique et social des syndicats, quoique :« Les travailleurs et le pays ne sont pas séparés. Le groupe le plus large du public est celui des salariés et de leur familles. Le progrès de la communauté est donc intimement lié au progrès du bien-être chez les salariés. Tout ce que font les syndicats pour obtenir de meilleurs salaires, un emploi plus stable, et de plus grands loisirs, contribue à faire progresser le niveau de vie du pays tout entier et lui permet de croître. Les régions où les travailleurs ont les meilleurs salaires et les metileures conditions de travail sont les plus prospères. Au sein dun pays, des salaires plus élevés signifient de meilleures affaires... Faire de notre pays un meilleur endroit pour vivre a été un des buts les plus importants de l'A.F.L. depuis son établissement. En tant qu'organisation ouvrière, notre préoccupation n'a pas été restreinte au bien-être seul des ouvriers. Depuis le début, nous avons proposé et soutenu des programmes et une politique destinés à élever le niveau de vie général, à fournir une meilleure organisation de la communauté, et à étendre les services dont la communauté a besoin. »Dans cette déclaration typique, notez l'accent mis sur le bien-être général du public, bien-être qui dépend de la vitalité et des efforts du mouvement syndical.
SummaryA council of arbitration, appointed under the Act respecting Municipal and School Corporations and their Employees, which remained in office after rendering its award with power to hear any dispute arising as to its interpretation but whose authority has been limited by a clause in the agreement annexed to the award and reading as follows:Le Tribunal d'arbitrage n'aura pas juridiction pour rendre une
décision incompatible avec les dispositions de cette convention,
ni pour changer, modifier ou amender quelque partie que ce
soit de cette convention.has the right to interpret its award and to correct a simple clerical
error, but not to amend it.In the present instance, under the terms of the award, the employees of the same category as plaintiff were entitled to be paid at the rate of $1.29 per hour for time worked up to 44 hours a week, plus 50% for time worked in excess of 44 hours a week, the whole retroactive to a specified date. It cannot be said that it is only through a clerical error that the award was made retroactive not only as to the rate of pay but also as to the hours of work a week, even if it resulted in hardship for the employer. A tribunal cannot amend its decision any time that it finds that it acted without full information or complete realization of the effect of such dicisionAn arbitration award is not null because it was made retroactive for 13 months, contrary to the article 12 of the above-mentionned Act which limits the retroactivity to 12 months; but tis retroactivity should be reduced to that period. In amending its award as it did the council acted without jurisdiction and plaintiff was justified in taking action for the amount due to him under the award as originally made, but with the period of retroactivity shortened from 13 to 12 months.
SommaireSans pour cela que soient en rien diminués ou modifiés les bénéfices et avantages énumérés au plan d'assurance-groupe inclus dans la convention collective liant les parties, la Compagnie a le droit de diminuer sa contribution à ce plan, lorsque, par l'adoption de la Loi de l'assurance hospitalisation, l'Etat a assumé une partie des frais hospitaliers prévus par la convention collective existante.Hafner Fabrics of Canada Ltd., Granby, vs l'Union des Employés de Hafner Fabrics de Granby, Que.; M. le Juge André Montpetit, président; Me Jean-H. Gagné, C.R., arbitre patronal; Me Jean Marquis, arbitre syndical, dissident; Ministère du Travail, Province de Québec, Bulletin d'information No 1646, 1962, 18 avril 1962.
SommaireNonobstant les dispositions de l'article 41a de la Loi des relations
ouvrières qui a pour but évident de soustraire la Commission de relations
ouvrières aux brefs de prérogative, les tribunaux ne sont pas empêchés
d'intervenir dans les cas où les actes de la commission s'avèrent assez nettement posés en marge et à l'encontre des textes qui la régissent
pour constituer un excès de juridiction, avec la conséquence que
les commissaires ne peuvent plus être considérés comme ayant agi
"en leur qualité officielle", seul cas que l'article précité protège textuellement.Ne peut être accueillie la requête d'un employeur pour bref de prohibition aux fins d'ordonner à la Commission de relations ouvrières de surseoir à toute continuation d'une enquête concernant la demande d'une union ouvrière pour être reconnue agent négociateur, jusqu'à ce que cet employeur ait obtenu de la commission communication ou copies de tous les documents produits au soutien de cette demande de certification et, plus particulièrement, la liste des employés du requérant qui auraient signé des cartes d'adhésion à l'union et qui seraient demeurés membres en règle, le tout afin d'établir que plusieurs de ces employés ont démissionné et que l'union ne représente pas la majorité absolue des employés concernés. Ce ne sont pas là des moyens se rattachant à une mesure de prohibition, mais des moyens se rattachant plutôt à la question de savoir si l'union peut ou non avoir raison d'être admise à représenter les employés visés, matière relevant de la juridiction exclusive de la commission dont la décision à ce sujet est sans appel et ne peut être revisée par les tribunaux.Cie Legaré Limitée vs Commission de Relations ouvrières de Québec et Union Internationale des employés de bureaux (A.F.L.-C.I.O. ) Local 57, mise-en-cause; Cour Supérieure, l'Hon. juge C.-A. Bertrand, no 447-611 — Montréal, 2 octobre 1960; Horace Friedman et Wolfe Friedman, pour la requérante; Lucien Tremblay, c.r., Monk, Forget et Boivin, pour l'intimée; André Antonuk, pour la mise-en-cause.
SommaireLe 23 novembre 1961, la Chambre de Commerce du Canada présentait au Cabinet fédéral un important mémoire. Nous en extrayons certaines parties qui ont trait à la philosophie et aux problèmes des relations patronales-ouvrières.