Gérard Dion and Bernard Solasse
Cette étude vise à fournir un cadre conceptuel pour comprendre la participation aux décisions dans l'entreprise. On y trouve: la signification du concept de participation; les formes quelle peut prendre; les conditions quelle présuppose; les questions qui peuvent en faire l'objet; le genre de responsabilité qui l'accompagne.
Although in fashion, the idea of participation is a confused idea. Such confusion results from the great variety of intentions motivating those who refer to it, from the often contradictory nature of the objectives which the latter pursue, and from the diversity of concrete experiments with which it is associated.
The aim of this paper is to attempt to clarify the meaning of this concept and to specify the forms it can have in the decision-making process.
We shall not try therefore to give answers to questions as much of present interest as the followings : what is the present state of participation in enterprise ? It is possible and desirable to extend participation ? If so, what form will participation take and at what level will it be applied?
Before discussing these questions, it is necessary for us to use the same words in the same sense and to have a frame of reference. Although we recognize the limitations of such an approach, we think that the present paper shall be usefull to those planning more advanced studies on the subject. The analysis of the situation existing in Canada is, in fact, hardly begun with. The twenty third annual industrial Relations Conference of Laval 1 had a first try but only under a descriptive form. There is no doubt in our minds that these preliminary reflections shall be completed by series of more systematic analytical studies that, after having focused on the present situation in our country, would lead to prospective thoughts presenting the problem of participation not in a theoretical manner but by bearing in mind the characteristics of our society, its groups and organizations.
It would be very important to note at the beginning that participation can be at the service of heterogeneous ideologies susceptible to be the basis for different demands and plan of actions. Robert Cox insisted on this point in an article on the participation of the workers to the management of enterprises 2.
« The idea that the workers should participate to the management of the enterprise employing them has been existing for a long time under different forms: it has been an idea which has seduced many theorists and social groups for all sorts of reasons. Under its most militant form, it has been the expression of different ideologies based on the conception that society is the expression of group interests. This idea is an integral part of the programs aiming not only the transformation of the industrial organization but of the society itself. »
ATTEMPT TO DEFINE PARTICIPATION
Participation as a situation, as a value, as an action
A first step, strictly intellectual in nature, permits the regrouping of the multiple meanings of that idea around three essential themes : participation as a situation, as a value, as an action.
As a situation, participation is the index of the existence of a common state, of a community of views or of interests. It translates the existence of a common way of being or of an effective consensus. In that perspective, we may mention participation in the results of an enterprise or participation in a common ideology; in the first case, participation is the index of relative equality in the distribution of assets and services offered ; in the second case, the index of adherence to values, to ideas.
As a value, participation is a norm for the action in which it involves both the general finalities and conditions :
The finalities : since participation, like any other value, is an end in itself under its three aspects as a situation, a norm and an action.
The conditions : participation presupposes free partners, responsible for their choices. They are not necessarily prompted by motivations and objectives which, in the long run and in their essential finalities, would be identical, but they never-the less agree, even if temporarily, in order to achieve limited objectives. This leads to a distinction in practice of various degrees, levels and purposes of participation ; this we shall do in a moment without overlooking, however, that the strategy and stakes of long-term participation confer on any experiment in participation its true scope and meaning. This leads back to a self-questioning on the nature of short, average and long term intentions.
As an action, lastly, participation is a practice or behaviour leading individuals and groups to concerted action. Here again, the extension and nature of the stakes of participation, like its practical conditions, vary. However, as an action, participation still implies an open attitude towards the other and when it involves the action, it implies the will to act jointly rather than alone ; in the end, participation in decisions implies an actual sharing of responsibilities and of the power of decision.
Participation and Democracy
These three dimensions of the idea of participation — situation, value and action — come together and in the end, blend into the concept of democracy.
A society, an organization, a group lean towards democracy when, in respect of pluralism, they endeavour to attain objectives and ends expressing a large consensus ; when the parties concerned can and actually do participate in the drawing up of options and decisions involving their collective future whether directly or indirectly through representatives ; and when they mutually give up the idea of monopolizing power and they exercise it according to procedures and within the framework of freely accepted rules.
This excludes « forced » participation which does not respect the freedom and responsibility of the partners, whether it be based on the rousing of the masses through propaganda or through hidden persuasion.
The abstract and theoretical nature of this step is obvious but unavoidable insofar as participation as a value transcends historical situations and existing practices. Like any value, participation is more a should-be than a fact ; it is a permanent conquest, never completed and always threatened.
A FEW ESSENTIAL DIMENSIONS
Degrees of Participation
The notion of degrees of participation can be clarified by referring to the various steps of a decision-making process.
To simplify, it seems that a decision-making process may be broken down into five major steps :
1. gathering of information ;
2. drawing up and formulating possible options ;
3. the decision proper ;
4. implementing the decision ;
5. controlling the implementation of the decision.
To the various steps of the decision correspond various « degrees » of participation.
The latter concept in turn should be clarified. Firstly, it assumes a quantitative meaning ; participation may be more or less intensive. It then seems that as relationship between the various degrees of participation and the forms of participation can be established grosso modo. Lastly, a general correlation can be established between the degree of participation and the degree of « engagement and responsibility » that it implies.
1. To the first step of decision —the gathering of information — corresponds only a minimum degree of participation which nevertheless is necessary in order to be able to speak of participation. In that case, participation is expressed formally in the communication or exchange of information but in no way involves the responsibility of the partners present.
2. To the second step of the decision —the drawing up and formulation of possible options — corresponds an intermediate degree of participation. Formally, here, participation is expressed in consultation ; this means that it involves, in addition to communication and exchange of information, the formulation of advice and recommendations by the concurring participants.
In that case, each participant should on one hand express his own point of view or that of the persons whom he represents, and on the other hand, consider those expressed by the other participants in an attempt to reconcile both in relations to the objectives which the consultative agency itself is pursuing. The particularisms should not be repudiated but exceeded, reconciled in a common perspective, fulfilling the role, the mission of the consultative agency.
In other words, each participant should firstly make sure that his opinion — which may perhaps be the same opinion as held by the people whom they represent — will be taken into consideration by the other participants. This first dimension of the role of each participant is one of information but this role is not limited to that because one should speak of participation in the form of exchange of information and not of participation in the form of consultation. Hence the second dimension of the role of the representatives of a group in a consultative agency. As members of that agency the participants are called upon to express a collective opinion ; therein lies their specific role. That opinion will not be established solely from the special criteria of each representative but should consider those which answer to the duties of the agency itself.
In that perspective, the responsibility of each participant is twofold ; he is responsible to himself or to his representatives and responsible to the agency itself. However, the consultative nature, by definition, of that agency limits the responsibility of the participants. They remain free to contest the recommendations issued and obviously the decisions which such recommendations might entail.
3. To the third step of the decision —the decision proper — corresponds the fullest and most exacting degree of participation.
In that case, the participants are not only associated with the previous steps of the decision — gathering of information and drawing up of possible options —whether directly or not, but decide jointly. The decision becomes a joint decision ; the power to decide is then shared and exercised collectively.
The « joint-decision makers » are also jointly responsible for the decision taken and thereby lose their right to contest it ; it would be a contradiction in terms to contest a decision for which one would be fully responsible. This would be possible only subject to withdrawal from the deciding agency ; this would imply the elimination of any participation at this level.
4. To the fourth step of a decision — implementing the decision — corresponds a more complex situation.
a) The joint decision obviously binds the participants at the implementation level ; each should cooperate in the implementation of a decision for which he is jointly responsible — or run the risk of contradicting himself.
If such is the case, it does not seem that a new degree of participation corresponds to the implementation of the decision. At the most, it is necessary to speak of the permanence at the time of an earlier obligation.
b) However, participation can be limited to the implementation of a decision without having previously put emphasis on codecision and consultation ; such is, moreover, the situation encountered most often.
It is possible to contest or approve an outside decision, participate or not in its implementation depending on whether one accepts it or rejects it.
It does not seem that an individual or a group can be held responsible for the implementation of a decision in which they presumably did not participate unless, implicitly or not, they previously engaged themselves to implement it.
5. To the fifth step of the decision —control of its implementation — corresponds a situation analogous to the one which we have just described.
a) The joint decision, the joint responsibility prompts participants to jointly control the implementation of the decision.
b) However, there may be participation in the control of the implementation of a decision without there being prior participation in its drawing up and in taking the decision. Such participation may assume two forms depending on whether it is a question of collecting information or opinions on the implementation of the decision considered 3 .
Modes of Participation
The notion of mode of participation refers to the practical conditions of participation as an action,or if one prefers, to the manner of participating.
On that point, we shall restrict ourselves to making two comments, essential in our opinion where participation in decisions is concerned. The first to distinguish between direct participation and indirect participation, the second to underline the importance of the moment at which participation is situated in a decision-making process.
1.Participation is direct when it is effected without a middleman, indirect when it is effected through delegates, representatives, agents. In practice, this distinction assumes great importance ; direct participation is impractical as soon as a certain number of participants is attained.
Indirect or delegated participation implies that the representatives of the group are truly « representative », that is, they are not only the faithful spokesmen of those whom they represent but also that they can actually « involve » them and act on their behalf.
This is of great importance as soon as the degree of participation reaches an intermediate level, that is, in case of consultation and a fortiori of joint decision and joint implementation. From that time onward, the representation of the participants constitutes the sole guarantee of the effectiveness of such agencies. This appears clearly in the case of joint decision ; implementation of the decision then depends on the behaviour of each participating organization, therefore on the representation of their agents ; it is only insofar as the members of such organizations will feel themselves bound, obligated through the choice of their representative that the decision will be implemented.3
2. The notion of modes of participation also brings into play the « time dimension » especially where participation in decisions is concerned.
Numerous cases can be cited ; we shall pick out only the most significant ones ;
— Participation in the information may be simultaneous or subsequent to the collecting of information ; this has only relative importance.
— Participation in consultation may come before or after the decision but the consequences will not be identical. If participation in consultation comes before the decision proper, the possibility remains, at least theoretically, of influencing a recommendation with some chance of success or, on the other hand, of actually participating in the decision taking itself. But, if participation in consultation comes after the decision proper, it loses some of its value and interest ; it has scarcely any practical bearing and becomes related to an « opinion poil ». It is rather a consultation-alibi or a dupery. Here we consult to avoid listening and even in order to compromise. However, it may be that consultation constitutes in that case one of the preliminary steps of a new decision-making process.
— Participation in a decision may be simultaneous or subsequent to the decision as an action. In the first case, the participants will actually be associated with the decision as such ; in the second case, participation has meaning only if it is associated with the possibility of exercising a right of veto which would in fact postpone the implementation of the decision.
— Participation in the implementation and in the control of the implementation of a decision does not raise any special problems.
Participation will be all the more intensive and effective when the participants are associated with the various steps of the decision successively and according to the « forms of participation » which we have previously mentioned.
Levels and Objects
There is a close relationship between decision and level of organization ; this relationship appears clearly when the various levels of organization are defined in terms of power, that is, ability to decide and implement the decisions taken. The nature, the field and the scope of decisions corresponding to the various levels establish the bounds and define the eventual object of participation.
This is applied at the establishment, enterprise, regional, industrial branch or national economic level. According to the nature of the objectives pursued, « participation » should come at any one of those levels and at each level, it may take, at least theoretically, any one of the forms which we previously mentioned.
One of the major questions encountered in any debate on participation is first to discover and determine at what level and then according to which procedure (form) might the questions be approached, according to whether they concern for example :
— organization of labour ;
— technical of technological problems ;
— personnel training ;
— labor relations including direct and indirect wage payment ;
— economic and social questions (investment, price, etc.) ;
— economic and social policies of the governments.
One shall not expect everything out of participation. The enterprise is one decision taking place among others. The scope of both its actions and decisions is limited.
Participation's « Stake »
If the object of participation refers to its immediate content, the notion of « stake » has a wider meaning since it concerns the average and long term strategy, objectives and aims which the groups and organizations present are pursuing.
At that level, it is scarcely possible to draw up a series of general comments ; only an examination of the special situations permits an all-round and specific statement of participation's stake. On the other hand, a general statement seems necessary ; the increasing socialization which characterized our industrial societies calls for increasing participation whose most obvious index lies in the multiplication of committees, commissions, board which most often are consultative. Such new situation is less a consequence of a sudden change-over to the requirements of democracy than the sign of an increasing interdependence among groups and organizations resulting from the complementary nature of their functions which makes them indispensable to one another.
Contradictions may here oppose the short and long term. Participation can be only a strategy at the service of contestation : participation is sought in order to contest from within. From that time onwards, participation is only an immediate objective, a tactic subordinated to a strategy which, in the longer run, aims at contesting. On the other hand, contestation, conflict may tend to obtain recognition which constitutes the first step towards participation.
Furthermore, in the end, a situation of a predominantly conflicting nature does not exclude the existence of areas of participation of limited scope.
Conditions of Participation
A distinction must still be made between the general conditions of participation. Perhaps it would be preferable to speak of the state of mind of the partners and of the special specific conditions of each case which concern the structures and means to be used. Listing them would be an endless task which would be identical to the description of the multitude of situations encountered. Therefore, we shall set forth only the general conditions of participation.
A first condition lies in the existence of a minimum of consensus among the partners on a common plan or action to be realized jointly. This is indispensable so that participation will prevail over contestation so that it will not be a mere tactical moment for a strategy of predominantly conflicting nature. The existence of such minimum consensus is largely subordinated to the existence of common interests.
A second condition is the recognition of the other as a responsible partner in its own role and not only of the strength and power which he represents. This recognition of the other, who in fact is a « valid speaker » is largely fostered by taking into consideration the complementary nature of the economic, social and political functions of the groups and organizations present. « Recognition of the other » is a major point where promoting indirect participation is involved. It involves the respect of the various levels of an organization, the refusal to disassociate the bottom from the top, the will to foster internal democracy.
A third condition is to aim for equality among the means. Equality among the means is firstly equality in access to information, in knowledge of the problems to be tackled ; then equality in competency, that is, in the ability to overcome the questions and problems in abeyance.
Lastly, a fourth condition applicable only when participation in decisions is involved is to aim for a distribution of power.It would be useless to speak of participation in decisions even if the three foregoing conditions were met but if power of decision remained the exclusive prerogative of a minority group or organization.
PARTICIPATION AND INDUSTRIAL DEMOCRACY : A FEW BASIC QUESTIONS
If in our society, the validity of this outline is scarcely contested when applied to political realities, it is contested when the organization and functioning of the economy are concerned.
In addition to statements of principle favouring industrial democracy, to calls to participate and to the multiplication of consultative committees and commissions especially on the governmental level, basic questions persist which we could attempt to regroup around a few theme topics :
— A first series of questions concerns the existing situation ; to answer them, an outline, even a summary one, of the existing forms of participation, should be drawn up insisting particularly on their stake.
— A second series of questions leads to a more basic questioning on the possibility of extending the field of participation as a means of access to decisions by insisting mainly on the conditions required to do so.
It is around these two themes that reflections on participation in enterprise should be built.
(1) GÉRARD DION and others,Le syndicalisme canadien: une réévaluation, Les presses de l'Université Laval, Québec, 1968, 293 pages.
(2) ROBERT COX, « La participation des travailleurs à la gestion des entreprises. Etat et avancement du projet. I—Un champ d'enquête fertile » inBulletin de l'Institut international d'études sociales, Genève, No. 2, February 1967, page 73.
(3) GÉRARD DION, « Représentativité et représentation » in Industrial Relations, Volume 21 (1966), No. 3, pp. 317-332.
Pending the results of such further research it can only be concluded at this juncture that, given the nature of the Canadian economy and the system of wage determination, there is no reason to believe that the contribution of collective bargaining to recent price developments was any greater than that of other factors in the inflationary process.
Afin d'établir le rôle qu'a joué la négociation collective dans les récentes variations des prix et des salaires, nous tenterons de vérifier les six hypothèses suivantes :
1.—la négociation collective a une portée telle qu'on peut ressentir ses effets à travers tout le pays ;
2.—la négociation collective est centralisée permettant ainsi l'application soit uniforme, soit d'une autre façon rationnelle à l'échelle nationale des ententes salariales qu'elles que soient les différences de moyens ou de besoins entre les industries ou les compagnies impliquées ;
3.—la méthode d'imitation d'une négociation maîtresse est très utilisée ;
4.—les récentes ententes salariales ont des effets inflationnistes ;
5.—les augmentations importantes de salaires sont réservées aux secteurs syndiqués ;
6.—de façon générale, la négociation collective joue un rôle prépondérant dans la détermination des cycles et des événements économiques.
Après vérification, nous nous sommes aperçu que, de façon générale, ces hypothèses étaient loin de la réalité. Disons, en premier lieu, qu'environ 25% de la main-d'oeuvre voit ses traitements et ses conditions de travail établis par le processus traditionnel de négociation collective. En second lieu, nous devons admettre que la négociation collective n'est pas centralisée. A quelques exceptions près, les décisions dans les négociations collectives sont prises localement, indépendamment des décisions prises ailleurs. En troisième lieu, disons que le « pattern bargaining » n'existe pas à l'échelle nationale. Ceux qui emploient cette méthode, le font habituellement pour une région géographique donnée : nous pouvons citer à ce sujet l'exemple de l'industrie automobile du sud-ouest ontarien et celle de l'industrie du papier dans l'est du pays.
Les faits ne supportent pas non plus la cinquième hypothèse (les augmentations de salaires des syndiqués sont plus grandes que celles de travailleurs non syndiqués). Les augmentations de traitement de plusieurs travailleurs non-syndiqués sont aussi sinon plus importantes que celles du secteur syndiqué.
Il y a peu d'informations disponibles pour la vérification de la quatrième hypothèse. Nous nous sommes aperçu que les récentes ententes salariales importantes avaient une portée à long terme et qu'elles furent négociées avant la hausse actuelle des prix et de l'activité économique. En plus, disons que l'augmentation de traitement inclus dans ces ententes représente deux choses différentes : d'abord un « rattrapage » puis une clause pour la prochaine période que couvre la convention. Nous pouvons cependant dire qu'il semble que les travailleurs soumis à une convention de longue période n'ont pas, durant une période de hausse des salaires, un train de vie aussi haut que ceux qui ont affaire à une entente de courte période.
En dernier lieu, une comparaison entre les tendances salariales et les tendances des autres variables économiques combinée avec l'information fournie dans cet article et les résultats d'études sur la détermination des salaires au Canada démontre que la négociation collective ne façonne pas le cours des événements économiques (6e hypothèse). Les forces du marché sont à la base de la détermination des salaires dans notre pays, et dominent les développements de la négociation collective.
Après l'analyse que nous avons faite pour écrire cet article, nous pouvons conclure que la négociation collective n'a pas semblé être un facteur primordial ou même indépendant dans l'introduction de la récente période d'augmentation des prix. En plus, il existe un point encore moins réglé que les autres : c'est la question de savoir si la négociation collective a un rôle important à jouer dans le maintien, l'étendue ou l'accélération de l'inflation après qu'une hausse des prix et de l'activité économique ait été notée.
Les preuves à ce sujet sont contradictoires. On peut seulement dire, en attendant d'autres recherches que, vu la nature de l'économie canadienne et le processus de détermination des salaires, il est difficile d'accepter l'idée que la négociation collective a eu, sur le taux d'augmentation des prix une influence plus grande que celle des autres facteurs dans le processus inflationniste.
A. W.J. Craig and H. J. Waisglass
After an examination of the socio-economic environment within which collective bargaining functions, the authors study the parties involved, the structures of negotiating units, the procedures for resolving conflicting interest disputes. They also present some of the major outputs of the collective bargaining system and formulate a few suggestions about the future functionning of collective bargaining and the role and structures of union and other groups within the system.
Nous tenterons, dans le présent article de faire ressortir ce que nous considérons les facteurs importants dans notre système de négociation collective, facteurs pertinents à la discussion des structures syndicales.
LE CONTEXTE SOCIO-ÉCONOMIQUE
a) L'implication de plus en plus grande du public dans l'établissement des buts de la société ;
b) La société canadienne en est une d'opulence;
c) Nous vivons dans une société caractérisée par de rapides changements dans la technologie, l'économique et l'édifice social de notre nation ;
d) Depuis six ans, nous avons connu une période de prospérité sans précédent accompagnée d'augmentation des prix et des coûts ;
e) Notre système de sécurité sociale représente un méli-mélo de programmes publics et privés.
LES PARTIS DANS LE SYSTÈME DE NÉGOCIATION COLLECTIVE
Même si la CSN semble exercer un plus grand contrôle sur ses affiliés que le CTC, on peut se demander si chacune de ces organisations agit sur et au nom de leurs affiliés de façon suffisante pour influencer la direction et l'implantation des politiques et des programmes nationaux dans une société comme la nôtre.
Du côté patronal, on doit noter au départ l'absence d'une organisation nationale représentative de tous les employeurs. Il est alors difficile pour eux de s'exprimer sur la définition des buts dans notre société.
Les 11 gouvernements canadiens ont des idéologies différentes quant au rôle qu'ils doivent jouer dans la négociation collective. Ceci n'est pas sans compliquer la situation d'autant plus que nous faisons face à 11 législations du travail différentes.
LE PROCESSUS DE NÉGOCIATION COLLECTIVE
a) La structure des unités de négociation
Nous définissons unité de négociation comme étant l'unité de prise de décisions qui négocie des changements en termes de conventions collectives ou de nombre de conventions collectives.
Suite à une foule de statistiques, il est possible de conclure qu'il y a peu de négociations collectives impliquant plusieurs syndicats au Canada.
b)Etapes favorables aux ententes
On peut tirer quelques tendances :
1.—on tend de moins en moins à être d'accord au niveau de la simple négociation ;
2.—on tend de plus en plus à signer les ententes au niveau de l'intervention du conciliateur et de moins en moins au niveau du « conciliation board ».
c)La durée des conventions
La durée moyenne des conventions collectives a passé de 18.1 mois en 1953 à 28.5 mois en 1966. Cela serait dû aux causes suivantes :
1.—les employeurs croient à la plus grande probabilité de paix industrielle avec un accord de plus longue durée et peuvent établir avec plus de précision les coûts du facteur travail ;
2.—les négociations sont devenues tellement complexes que les parties préfèrent les distancer le plus possible ;
3.—les augmentations de salaires sont plus en plus réparties également sur toute la durée de la convention ;
4.—après avoir réglé les problèmes tels la sécurité syndicale et les droits de la direction, les parties passent à des accords de plus longue durée.
LES RESULTATS DU SYSTÈME DE NEGOCIATION COLLECTIVE
On remarque des changements substantiels dans les clauses de conventions collectives touchant les salaires, les heures de travail, les congés payés, les jours fériés et les changements technologiques.
Résumons les changements que nous considérons comme nécessaires dans notre système de négociation collective.
1.—Une définition plus explicite de nos objectifs économiques et sociaux et une meilleure organisation pour les atteindre ;
2.—Un système national de négociation collective doit être conçu et reconnu pour nos industries essentielles nationales ;
3.—Le nombre des syndicats devrait être réduit graduellement afin de former des syndicats industriels forts ;
4.—La négociation basée sur la productivité deviendra dominante dans l'avenir.
It seems appropriate for students of industrial relations to look back on the events of the last thirty years to see what where the major influences shaping the labor movement over this time and to look ahead a decade or so and speculate on the major issues which will have to be faced by labor in the foreseeable future.
Il serait sûrement utile pour les étudiants en relations industrielles de faire une revue des trente dernières années et de tenter d'en faire ressortir les facteurs qui ont eu le plus d'influence sur le syndicalisme américain. Nous pourrons ensuite risquer quelques prédictions quant aux problèmes majeurs auxquels le mouvement syndical aura à faire face dans la prochaine décade.
La polémique autour du syndicalisme de métier et du syndicalisme industriel a causé la formation d'une fédération séparée qui devait exister comme telle durant vingt ans. Durant cette période une foule de facteurs ont influencé la structure du mouvement syndical américain. En voici quelques-uns :
La législation fédérale du travail
Une caractéristique commune à la loi Wagner (1935) et à la loi Taft-Hartley ( 1947 ) est la reconnaissance du principe de représentation exclusive i.e. un syndicat pour tous les employés d'une unité de négociation.
La 2e guerre mondiale et la guerre de Corée
Ces périodes d'urgence sensibilisèrent le gouvernement fédéral au problème d'assurer la coopération d'un mouvement syndical divisé. L'administration nationale en vint à croire fermement à un mouvement syndical unifié.
Les facteurs politiques
L'absence d'une voix unifiée du travail face au gouvernement représentait une certaine faiblesse.
Les facteurs idéologiques
L'existence de syndicats à idéologie communiste empêcha la fusion entre COI et FAT jusqu'à 1949, moment où le COI les expulsa.
Syndicat de métier versus syndicat industriel
La distinction entre le syndicat de métier et le syndicat industriel se fit de moins en moins claire, favorisant ainsi la fusion des deux centrales.
Les facteurs importants durant cette période furent :
L'automation et les changements technologiques
Ces facteurs amènent les syndicats à s'intéresser de plus en plus aux « collets blancs ».
Le comité McClellan
L'établissement d'un code d'éthique pour la FAT-COI, l'expulsion des « Teamsters » et de quelques autres syndicats eurent pour effet de modifier l'image que le public se faisait du syndicalisme.
Les affaires internationales
Les positions du président de la FAT-COI quant au « communisme international » et aux pays communistes de l'Europe de l'Est furent une des causes de la scission entre l'U.A.W. et la direction de la grande centrale syndicale américaine.
Les droits des minorités
Malgré les positions officielles des syndicats américains face au problème des noirs, plusieurs syndicats exercent de la discrimination.
L'émergence des syndicats dans les services publics
LA PROCHAINE DÉCADE
Avec la suspension des U.A.W. nous pouvons difficilement parler d'un mouvement syndical aux Etats-Unis. C'est donc un retour à la division.
Il se peut cependant qu'il y ait des effets dans cette séparation. Il nous semble que l'avenir du syndicalisme américain dépend de la façon dont les syndicats attaqueront les problèmes suivants :
1.—la pauvreté ;
2.—les noirs ;
4.—les universités ;
5.—les associations professionnelles.
After a brief review of Maslow's and Herzsberg's theories, the author proposes three solutions to help unions in satisfying the real needs of its members.
Nous avons l'intention d'aborder la problème ci-haut mentionné au moyen de quelques-unes des conclusions récentes des sciences du comportement. Il ne s'agira pas de discuter les idées émises par les Maslow, les Herzsberg, les McGregor, les Likert ou les autres. Nos commentaires seront exclusivement basés sur la théorie des besoins de Maslow et sur les conclusions de Herzsberg sur la motivation des employés.
LA THEORIE DE MASLOW ET LE MOUVEMENT SYNDICAL
Nous pouvons considérer la croissance spectaculaire du mouvement syndical comme un moyen de satisfaire autant les besoins de base que les besoins secondaires des travailleurs. Il n'y a pas lieu ici, croyons-nous, de rappeler les conditions qui prévalaient dans le milieu industriel au début du siècle. Disons cependant que ces conditions étaient telles qu'elles justifiaient une action dans le but de satisfaire les besoins fondamentaux des travailleurs.
C'est durant ces années noires que les bases et les structures de nos syndicats modernes furent établies. Cependant, nous ne vivons plus aujourd'hui dans un tel contexte. Nous irions même jusqu'à dire que les problèmes de notre société industrielle sont dus à la frustration des travailleurs non pas de ne pas pouvoir satisfaire leurs besoins de base, mais de n'être pas capable de satisfaire leurs besoins plus élevés (higher needs) pour employer une expression de Maslow.
LA THÉORIE DE LA MOTIVATION DE HERZSBERG
Suivant la théorie d'Herzsberg, nous croyons qu'il serait grand temps de repenser les clauses d'ancienneté, les structures de salaires et les dispositions relatives aux changements technologiques afin que les travailleurs ressentent un certain accomplissement, une certaine croissance personnelle dans leur milieu de travail.
1.—Le leadership syndical devrait s'intéresser aux sciences du comportement ;
2.—A la lumière de ces connaissances, le leadership syndical devrait repenser ses hypothèses de base au sujet des travailleurs et des hommes ;
3.—L'application de ces théories nouvelles aux problèmes internes actuels du syndicalisme.
It is now necessary that the labour movement free itself from a short-sighted interest in ad-hoc gains and start to take into account, with far more rigour than before, the wider, social and economic spectrum.
En mai dernier, le CTC tenait un congrès à Toronto. On y choisit un nouveau chef et les structures furent modifiées dans une certaine mesure. Nous croyons qu'il est opportun, après de tels événements, de nous demander dans quelle direction se dirige cette organisation.
Il y a concensus autour de l'idée suivante : les réformes adoptées à Toronto offrent peu d'encouragement à ceux qui avaient relevé les imperfections des syndicats canadiens et avaient osé espérer une révision substantielle des attitudes et des structures. Cependant l'émergence de la Fédération des travailleurs du Québec comme un élément vigoureux de changement stimulera, nous l'espérons, une réévaluation des attitudes et des objectifs syndicaux, thèmes que la « Commission on Constitution and Structure » n'a pas étudiés.
Le mouvement syndical fait face à un problème fondamental : il y a conflit entre son rôle traditionnel et celui qu'on peut appeler « évolué », qui en fait est le sous-produit d'un contexte économique de plus en plus complexe.
Le syndicalisme endosse généralement le rôle de partenaire responsable dans le processus de la planification économique. Cependant la fonction syndicale traditionnelle prédomine toujours. Le syndicat apparaît alors comme un « private operator » caractérisé par un manque d'objectifs à long terme clairement définis. Cette approche pragmatique a ses origines dans le développement « hasardeux » du mouvement syndical dans une économie libérale et capitaliste. Cette approche a été de plus en plus acceptée avec les années pendant que les idéaux radicaux des débuts du syndicalisme se perdent peu à peu.
Pour retrouver son niveau d'efficacité, il est maintenant nécessaire que le syndicalisme dépasse les intérêts à court terme et commence à prendre en considération les questions sociales et économiques de grande envergure. Le syndicalisme est malheureusement au crochet d'une action industrielle dans le but d'atteindre ses objectifs et ceci est une bonne représentation du point auquel nos syndicats sont absorbés par le système de libre entreprise.
En guise de conclusion, disons que le syndicalisme doit se réévaluer s'il veut combattre la schizophrénie inhérente à plusieurs de ses attitudes. Ceci implique une reformulation de ses objectifs à long terme et un examen approfondi pour savoir si ses croyances et ses méthodes actuelles sont les plus efficaces pour l'atteinte de ses buts.
Claude A. Edwards
Après un historique et une présentation de la nature de l’Alliance de la fonction publique du Canada, l'auteur en présente les structures et relève quelques problèmes internes de ce syndicat.
In order to discuss the structure of the Public Service Alliance of Canada as it is now and indicate ways in which it is changing to conform to the pressures of collective bargaining in the Federal Public Service — a relatively new development — we must briefly review the history of Public Service Unions as they approached the development of collective bargaining in the Public Service.
In the days following the Second World War when Canada was less concerned about inflation and the wage-price spiral, when the economy was booming but not « over-heated », there was an increasing demand by the general public for more and more services by government at all levels. To meet this demand, the federal government service was expanded considerably — from 116,000 in 1945 to 160,000 in 1961. Today, it is approximately 183,000.
Meantime, the staff association movement was developing. The Civil Service Federation, which began its career in 1909 with a membership of 5,223 but had grown to 37,000 by 1945, increased its membership to 80,000 by 1958. It had, however, suffered setbacks in the breaking away of the Civil Service Association of Ottawa (later to become part of the Civil Service Association of Canada) in 1954 and the Canadian Postal Employees Association in 1962. Before the merger of the CSAC and the Federation in 1966, the CSF had a membership, nevertheless, that was nearly double that of all other staff associations combined.
It was not only in numbers that the Federation grew. The 1947 Convention appointed a paid full-time National Secretary with a supporting clerical staff. After the passage of the Civil Service Act of 1961, this staff developed further so that, by 1962, there were upwards of thirty paid employees and a full-time President at the Head Office.
The CSAC, at the time of its merger with the Amalgamated Civil Servants of Canada in 1958, had 22,000 members. In the following eight years, this figure had increased to 33,000. It, too, increased its Head Office staff and, when the Alliance was formed in 1967, this staff amounted to about 20.
Politicians eventually began to take notice of this growth in strength of Civil Service Staff Organizations. In response to often voiced complaints, they began to speak of paying salaries comparable to those paid by « the best employers in the private sector ». This was soon watered down to « good employers in the private sector » and eventually to « rates comparable to those paid in the private sector ». The Civil Service Act of 1961 and the consultation process embodied in that Act were considered sufficient to produce the desired results. These measures were, however, quite inadequate.
Meantime, the increased pressure occasioned by the development of staff organizations was not without its effects. In 1944, after numerous endorsements by parliamentary committees over a period of twenty-five years, and after a considerable amount of agitation, the government of the day had authorized the establishment of what came to be known as the National Joint Council. On this Council there was equal representation for employer and employee organizations, but the Council fell short of expectations. The Council which has continued into the collective bargaining era, has now assumed some of the functions of a labour-management committee and it is hoped that in the Council, agreement can be reached in matters affecting the whole service such as medical plans, insurance plans, mileage and commuting allowances, etc.
Another effect was the creation in 1957 of the Pay Research Bureau, the reports and findings of which were made available to both management and staff organizations. This provided a common base on which consultations could take place. There was, however, constant sniping by representatives of the Treasury Board at the basis on which the statistics were compiled by the Pay Research Bureau, and the Board frequently interpreted the tabulations in PRB reports in a manner that was unacceptable to the staff organizations. Even more important, after consultation and agreement between the Civil Service Commission and the representatives of the employees, the Treasury Board arbitrarily set aside, on a number of occasions, the salary recommendations of the Civil Service Commission and made unilateral decisions that negatived the whole value of the consultation process.
Prior to the 1962 federal election, the leaders of all political parties were asked by some of the staff organizations if they and their parties were prepared to endorse a system of collective bargaining for civil servants. Leaders of the Liberal and New Democratic parties answered affirmatively, the others supported the idea but with some reservations. The result was that when the Liberals formed their government they were reminded of their promise and, in 1963, the Preparatory Committee on Collective Bargaining was set up under the Chairmanship of Mr. A.D.P. Heeney, former Ambassador to Washington and former Chairman of the Civil Service Commission.
In the deliberations of the Heeney Committee, the staff organizations were consulted. At first they co-ordinated their efforts through the Staff Side Conference but, as the ideas of the Heeney Committee became better known, the Professional Institute and the Federated Association of Letter Carriers (later to become known as the Letter Carriers Union ) withdrew their support and decided to « go it alone » since they could see from the Heeney Committee discussions that bargaining would be based on occupational groupings. The Professional Institute believed it could command the allegiance of professional employees and thus capture the professional bargaining units and the Letter Carriers believed their destiny lay with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers to form a Council of bargaining agents in the Post Office. The two remaining members of the Staff Side Conference (the Civil Service Federation and the Civil Service Association) decided that they could only achieve bargaining rights for the majority of groups by merging their two organizations in the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The final step in this merger was taken at the Founding Convention of the Alliance in November, 1966. It was this organization's function to put collective bargaining into effect in 1967 for 115,000 members.
The Public Service Alliance was a creature of compromise. The founding fathers had been traditional rivals for many years. Without the catalyst of collective bargaining, with the need to join forces in order to obtain certification for the various bargaining units, I doubt whether unity would have been achieved for several more years.
The Constitution of the newly formed Alliance, born of compromise, inevitably produced problems for our new role. The Federation was composed of affiliates which had full autonomy but had delegated certain rights to handle service-wide problems to the central establishment of the Federation. The Association was a unitary organization with full control vested in a central body. The founders of the Alliance attempted to create an organization that would reflect the best features of both parents. Just as parents can never be sure that their child will only inherit their best qualities, likewise the Alliance suffers from the same natural tendencies.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ALLIANCE
The passage of the Public Service Staff Relations Act of 1967, has meant that Public Service Organizations must deal with the Government in a fashion that differs from the practices of years gone by.
There have been some fundamental changes in the feelings and attitudes of our members in the past few years. To some, their participation in a union is a traumatic experience. The word was always one of opprobrium. They even shrank from the term « collective bargaining » and preferred to use the word « negotiation ». On the other hand, we have members who now believe they can challenge management decisions at every level and at every opportunity and expect their organization to be militant on every issue regardless of merit. Luckily the vast majority fit into some grey area in between and will permit us to develop and mature in this new relationship without coming to blows with the employer at each difference of opinion.
Section 26 of the Public Service Staff Relations Act of 1967 empowers the Public Service Commission to « specify and define the several occupational groups within each occupational category... in such manner as to comprise therein all employees in the Public Service in respect to whom Her Majesty as represented by the Treasury Board is the employer ». There are six Categories ( Executive, Scientific and Professional, Administrative and Foreign Service, Technical, Administrative Support and Operational) and seventy-two groups.
As I have pointed out, this arrangement by groups for bargaining purposes operates across departmental lines and, as far as the Public Service Alliance is concerned, has brought about certain administrative and organizational arrangements that were considered necessary for the efficient operation of the bargaining process from the viewpoint of the staff side.
First of all, it was obvious that research would have to be channelled along lines calling for detailed study and understanding of the classification standards and the selection standards to be used for the appointment, promotion, transfer and lay-off of public servants. Rates of pay for the seventy-two groups, including those who were formerly regarded as hourly rated and those who were paid « prevailing rates » in the locality of their employment, had to be studied on the basis of the new group classification. The Research Department was also required to give advice to the Alliance on projected legislation and regulations, to consult with the Pay Research Bureau on a variety of matters related to the technique of the Bureau's surveys and, a new development, to consult and discuss with the bargaining committees representing the various occupational groups for which the Alliance is, or expects to be, certified.
Secondly, recruiting had to be directed towards achieving the goal of fifty per cent plus one in each group to obtain certification to represent that group.
Thirdly, the introduction of the grievance process, an entirely new procedure in Canadian Government staff relations, together with the provision for adjudication of certain types of grievances, necessitated the appointment and training of a corps of shop stewards and the education of the membership in the proper use of the grievance procedure. This has necessitated training more than 1,000 stewards across the country, a program that is in process of being expanded five-fold. All grievance proceedings arising from collective agreements are the responsibility of the Appeals and Grievances Department.
Whether it is a matter of classification and selection standards, rates of pay and conditions of employment, certification procedures or grievances, all the activities of the Alliance are ultimately directed towards obtaining higher salaries and better conditions of employment for the membership. This procedure has to be begun, in the final analysis, as with all other unions, by direct negotiation with the employer. Here is where the most important differences are to be found between the old consultation process and the new bargaining procedure. The old paternalism to which so many of the management personnel are still wedded, has been replaced by participation. Unilateral decisions, often unreasonable, have given way to collective agreements negotiated in good faith. The Alliance does not now « consult » the Public Service Commission and the Treasury Board. It negotiates directly with Treasury Board, and the Public Service Commission has no voice in determining salary increases and conditions of employment.
There was, too, an important change in the previously existing relationship between the former Civil Service Federation and its affiliates. These affiliates were departmental organizations which delegated some of their powers to the central authority. When the Alliance was established, these affiliates became components, retaining their departmental relationship, but with their responsibilities within the Alliance more clearly defined and circumscribed by the Constitution.
The structure of the Alliance is analogous in many ways to the structure of the Government in Canada at the Federal and Provincial levels. The central segment corresponds to the Federal government with its power over issues of major concern to the whole membership, e.g. collective bargaining, organization and research. The Components, like the provincial governments, have a relatively subordinate role, being responsible for the relationship of the employer with the employee at the work site.
As is evident in the relationship between the Federal and Provincial governments, this creates stresses. Our stronger Components want more and more autonomy. They want to provide research facilities, training, process grievances to the highest levels and have greater control over the members' dues. Our smaller Components or those with a strong regard for the merits of central control of services are more inclined to permit and request the central organization to do everything possible for them from handling contentious problems in departmental employee-employer relationships to membership education and grievances. Since duplication of services inevitably costs more, we must continue to seek the most effective administrative structure, that will provide the member the best service at every level at the lowest cost.
The Alliance must resist the pressures for decentralization or further proliferation of bargaining units if it is going to maintain a «one big union» concept to deal effectively with the Federal Government in bargaining involving occupational groups that cut across departmental lines. On the other hand, it must recognize that Government is decentralizing more and more through delegation of authority to departments by the Public Service Commission. This delegation of authority for staffing, promotion and classification will create a variety of problems that must be dealt with at the departmental level and we must be organized to deal with these problems quickly and efficiently.
Unfortunately all our Components are not equal in resources or determination when dealing with problems in their own areas of responsibility. An inadequately staffed Component with executive officers or staff who are not prepared to stand up to management on behalf of their membership, will not only create problems for themselves but will also tarnish the image of the Alliance as an effective union in the Public Service. On the other hand, an aggressive Component anxious for more autonomy and control, can create difficulties and divisions by attempting to deal with matters that might more appropriately be left to the central authority.
I do not want to give the impression that we are a « house divided » in the Alliance. We are not. Some of the bitterest opponents of pre-Alliance days are now firm friends and solid supporters of the Alliance. The five executive officers, three formerly C.S.F. and two C.S.A.C., are working extremely well together as a team.
The Components help in the processing of grievances at the departmental level, they provide for the determination of the demands of their membership with respect to salaries and working conditions, they play an active part in the developing of policy and programs affecting the Public Service and they develop and maintain effective responsible employee-employer relations at the departmental level. They participate at the grass-roots level in bargaining committees. In short, representatives of the membership through the Components, share with the executive and staff of the central office of the Alliance in formulating demands in the bargaining process in a way that brings these demands into conformity with the wishes of the membership.
A FEW PROBLEMS
The changes that have been brought about have nevertheless occasioned a few problems. First, most managers and professionals have never understood the system of collective bargaining and, being generally of an older age group, are conservative in their outlook and have an antipathy towards unions in the Public Service, indeed towards all unions. An educational program is required to change their attitude, the burden of which, except possibly with respect to some of the management personnel who are excluded from the bargaining process, will fall on the staff organisations.
A second problem is raised by the decentralization policy of the government demonstrated in the delegation of authority to departments already mentioned. This appears to run counter to the policy of bargaining for groups at the centre. It could open wide the door to political and bureaucratic patronage despite provision for post-audit by the Public Service Commission of appointments within departments and another audit of job classification by Treasury Board, likewise within Departments. This decentralization also raises such issues as the possibility of a multiplicity of rules and regulations.
The membership itself, too, is in need of an education program and a large share of our resources must now go to this. The old fear still persists that the employee who presents a grievance becomes a marked man and his future is thought to be jeopardized. There have been numerous examples of employees who, though unfairly treated, would not allow their names to go forward on a grievance issue.
Belonging to a union carries with it the requirement to conform to the discipline of the union. Members must be prepared to exercise discipline in the event of a strike and they must be prepared to expect discipline by the Alliance if they fail to abide by the terms of the Constitution.
Further, they must be educated to respect the terms of the contracts negotiated on their behalf and to realize that the millenium has not yet arrived. Some find it difficult to understand that it is sometimes necessary for those who are conducting the bargaining on their behalf to make a choice between an additional fringe benefit and an increase in salary for the members of the group. Others complain of the length of time taken to negotiate a contract, though many collective agreements in the private sector have taken a much longer time. Only as they become more union-educated, more union-minded, will they realize that bargaining means bargaining, not obtaining all at once everything that is demanded.
It has been suggested, too, that because of lack of unified action, the employer in some instances might be able to play off one bargaining agent against another. This is possible. There is a gulf that exists between some of these agents that cannot be overcome overnight. There is dissension, for example, over the issue of exercising the right to strike. Nevertheless, there is the possibility that some day a revived and revitalized National Joint Council might be able to bridge these gaps and produce a common program that all staff organizations can support. In this way a unified position can be taken vis-a-vis the employer to produce a more efficient, more capable and more respected Public Service.
As yet, there has been no national convention succeeding the Founding Convention of 1966. The first one will be held in 1970, by which time the Alliance will have had three years of experience and will have solved many of the problems of the initial certification period or will be prepared to discuss possible solutions to any that are outstanding. The application of a modified Rand Formula will bring increased membership and the organization problems should diminish.
Our Committee on Constitution and Structure will be reporting at that convention and undoubtedly will be making many suggestions to strengthen and clarify the Constitution of the Alliance. The Committee has received briefs calling for a complete change in the Component structure with a series of departments within the Alliance to handle the problems now being handled by Components. On the other hand, the Committee has received briefs recommending more autonomy for Components and there have been suggestions that bargaining should be on the basis of departmental units rather than occupational groups. It is to soon to speculate which way the pendulum will swing. My guess is that within the next three years there will be little major change in the structure of the Alliance. I think the central body will be given clear jurisdiction over central issues and overall disciplinary jurisdiction over the Components. The role of the bargaining groups will become stronger and we may see them becoming politically structured. If this does happen, they will reduce the power of the Components on policy decisions relative to collective bargaining issues. This to me seems inevitable if the bargaining continues on an occupational group basis. If this should change to bargaining on an occupational category basis, i.e., professional, administrative, administrative support, technical and operational, other forces will be created which may change the structure of the Alliance still more. Regardless of what develops, I still believe that the Alliance will continue to grow and prosper. As the Duke of Wellington said of his Cabinet when he was Prime Minister of England, « If we don't hang together we will all hang apart ». Hanging together may be distasteful to some but with few exceptions there is little alternative.
To revert for a moment to history and to close my remarks, I should state that the first groups to organize were the Railway Mail Clerks, in 1889, and the Letter Carriers in 1891. In the latter year, these two associations wrote to the Postmaster General requesting an interview to present arguments for an increase, since there had been no change in their rate of pay for 32 years. The Postmaster replied that he had no intention of wasting his time meeting with dissident groups of employees. We have came a long way since 1891. The millenium may not have arrived, but means to achieve it are in our hands.
The author makes a few general comments about the work of the CLC Commission on Constitution and Structure and about a few of the recommendations which seem to be of most importance in the face of the realities of industrial relations and collective bargaining in the 1960’s.
Au départ, nous avions comme intention de faire des recommandations applicables immédiatement en 1968 et susceptibles d'apporter un progrès substantiel.
1.—Le congrès a autorité sur la juridiction d'organisation de ses affiliés ;
2.—Les permanents syndicaux ont le devoir d'encourager l'élimination des conflits de juridiction ;
3.—Nous proposons l'élimination des syndicats à charte directe, favorisant ainsi les fusions avec les unions déjà existantes ;
4.—La représentation régionale devrait être assurée par les présidents des fédérations provinciales ;
5.—Tous les syndicats affiliés au Congrès devraient être affiliés à leurs fédérations provinciales ;
6.—Nous favorisons l'élection de deux vice-présidents généraux additionnels et de dix autres vice-présidents ;
7.—L'exécutif devrait avoir le droit de former des comités consultatifs ;
8.—Nous souhaiterions que le Congrès ait le droit de faire appel à ses affiliés pour la formulation des politiques communes ;
9.—Nous prônons l'établissement de « Trade Department » par le Congrès.
10.—Nous souhaitons que le Congrès étudie les normes d'efficacité que chaque
syndicat devrait suivre pour bien servir ses membres.
S. T. Payne
Les structures du Congrès du travail du Canada, le cas du Québec et les valeurs du syndicalisme américain sont autant de sujets que l'auteur traite dans cet article.
People who still believe that the problem of Canadian unity is strictly a political issue must have had some serious second thoughts after reading reports from the Canadian Labour Congress Convention held in Toronto this year as well as those from the Confederation of National Trade Unions convention held in Montreal in 1966.
The C.L.C. report showed that the problems of the Canadian Labour Congress or as it prefers to be called « Canada's House of Labour » bear an amazing resemblance to those of our own Federal Government.
Many of Quebec's delegates attending the C.L.C. convention, although having no intention of breaking away from that organization did insist that they should enjoy a kind of special status within the C.L.C. which would enable them to enter into an agreement with the Confederation of National Trade Unions for the purpose of regulating inter-union raiding and whereby speculative raiding would be eliminated, but at the same time the fundamental principle of freedom of association would be respected in any changes in allegiance. The C.L.C. position was that « Jurisdictional matters are the prerogative of the Canadian Labour Congress rather than Provincial Federations ». Why were they making this request ? There are many interesting answers.
Over the past few years, the C.N.T.U. has made spectacular gains in Quebec mostly among non-unionized workers such as the Civil Servants of the Provincial Government, Hospital employees and several hundred Engineers who joined the ranks of the C.N.T.U. In addition to these newly acquired members, the C.N.T.U. also welcomed into its ranks thousands of workers who transferred their allegiance from Q.F.L. affiliates. The C.B.C. and C.P.R. cases are well known because they provoked the controversal Bill C-186, still before the House, affecting national vs regional bargaining units in large public corporations. But there are many other instances that are just as important, even if they are less well known, involving transport workers in Montreal's metropolitan area, groups of the Montreal Harbor employees, etc.
Certain Q.F.L. officers have indicated that such losses were due to the fact that the structures of the Canadian Congress were too rigid, that they did not allow the Quebec Federation of Labour enough freedom of movement to compete successfully with the C.N.T.U.
When the Winnipeg convention in 1965, turned down their request for special status, which really meant more flexibility to adapt themselves to Quebec's differences, many expressed the opinion that the C.L.C. Executive would one day, regret not having taken their demands more seriously.
They were probably right, as a matter of fact, both the Federal Government and the C.L.C. are at grips with the same desire for self-assertion on the part of Quebecers with the major difference however, that Canada's Constitution is much more flexible than that of the Canadian Labour Congress and grants much more power and autonomy to the provinces than the C.L.C. does to its provincial federations. The latter, for instance, in the past were not even empowered to force C.L.C. affiliates on their territory to come into their own ranks. Many international union affiliates to the C.L.C. openly snub the Quebec Federation of Labour by refusing to join. And there is nothing the Q.F.L. could do about it.
THE C.L.C, THE Q.F.L. AND THE PROVINCE OF QUEBEC
Nevertheless, the difficulties of C.L.C. affiliates in Quebec are by no means due to that single cause and cannot be ascribed to Quebec nationalism or C.L.C. centralizing views.
There are definitely larger issues involved. One must realize that the C.L.C.'s position appears rather precarious as this huge Canadian body sits astride two horses. There are the so called « international unions » on the one hand, or the Canadian subsidiaries of American unions, and Canadian national unions on the other. The plain fact is that the C.L.C. impressive as it may appear with the great number of its affiliates, has very little authority over the vast majority of them. The real control and power still rests with head offices in Pittsburg, Detroit or Washington, D.C., and the C.L.C. officers in Ottawa are constantly by-passed by orders which the unions receive from their American headquarters.
Such a fact accounts for certain "Big Labour" practices which severely curtail labour democracy at the local level. What attracts workers to national unions is primarily the advantage they have of making their own decisions and controlling their own affairs, at the local level while the very remoteness of headquarters in American unions leaves them with the feeling that they are being manoeuvred by people who know nothing about them or their economic, social and political problems. In that perspective, one might predict that Quebecers will not always be alone in their restlessness. In a not too distant future, they might very well share that feeling with thousands of other Canadian workers in other provinces.
It is no secret either that the Q.F.L. wants all international unions to establish Canadian districts, directed by Canadians and appointed by the Canadian member-ship and that union trusteeship when and where necessary should be administered by Canadian leaders.
As we all know, Canada is presently engaged in a rather painful debate about its future and at the center of this debate is the Province of Quebec, the largest of the provinces. In recent years all political parties have come out, fired up in varying degrees, to lead two revolutions. The first, strikes at the whole concept of Canadian government structure.
The second revolution inside Quebec itself, and involving more intimately organized labour is directed at lifting Quebec's lagging economy and putting the control of it in the hands of Canadians. Inspired by the successful achievements of Europe's economic planning apparatus, the means of improving provincial economy involves in the minds of our political planners a greater degree of control and intervention in our economy and a plan for the economic organization of the province with a view to the most complete utilization of its natural and human resources. It is not my intention to attribute labour militancy to the economic philosophies or statements of politicians but, perhaps for the first time in our Country's history, not only organized labour, but all levels of our social strata in Quebec are manifesting expectations that this country owes them a good living and respect for human dignity and not only just a living. Therefore, a good living can mean not only job security but higher income and respect for human values, and when this appears slow in coming even in the midst of a buoyant economy, the result is that we have considerable labour unrest.
Plausible as the political and economic philosophies of our politicians may seem and although supported by very impressive evidence as to their justification, public opinion in other provinces has not yet caught up with all the implications of this economic, social and political revolution. Its question is, how long will the present situation last and who is going to do something about it ? In addition there is that repeated question coming from some English speaking Canadians which so irritates French Canada, « What does organized labour in Quebec really want ? » If love of one's country involves knowing what the country was, what it is, and what it may become and then working towards the resulting ideal, then lack of understanding, little knowledge of labour history in Quebec, satisfaction with the status quo, sheer distance, all combined must be the reason that makes certain English speaking Canadians ask this one question which so annoys the average French Canadian.
While Quebec may want certain things from English Canada, it wants also a great deal more that it is getting from its own government. Many spokesmen from Quebec will probably answer that they want equality and will speak of constitutional reform, special status and so on, but organized labour in Quebec maintains that what is needed are changes in Quebec's own internal structure and apparatus and lay the blame for Quebec's problem where it rightly belongs, directly upon Quebec's past governments which until 1960 were reactionary and kept Quebecers out of the mainstream of modem development. Organized labour in Quebec recognizes too well that constitutional reform, special status, etc., will not educate a single child in face the modem industrial world, it will not relieve the working family of the burdens imposed by the money lenders, it will not improve housing, increase social security or lessen the burden of unemployment. It remembers how past governments utilized nationalist and autonomist protestations to devert emphasis from the need for profound and costly internal domestic reform which was within the power of any Quebec government to achieve without need to blame others for their own failure. The power was there, but it was not used.
This does not however absolve the C.L.C. from blame, and changes in attitudes are as important as the emergencies of the spirit and quest of dynamic reform itself. These changes in the C.L.C. like the reforming spirit of the C.N.T.U. must continue. The democratic union structure we seek is a spirit within individuals, giving all its members a sense of being vital elements in the Canadian society, and not economic vassals of American dominated labour unions, because as far as organized labour in Quebec is concerned, the economic, social, cultural and political welfare of Quebec workers has only been an abstraction except when it happened to coincide with the interests of American membership and leadership.
In order to analyse in part why the policies of American Unions operating in Quebec have not responded to the social, economic and political reforms so urgently in demand, it is necessary to observe the way in which American Unions have responded to and reflected the pressures resulting from the basic values of their own American Society.
The concept of American « business unionism » devoted to the self-interest of individual unions and their leaders rather than for national social reconstruction has important consequences in encouraging their leaders to view themselves as bound by the same standards as profit oriented businessmen rather than as leaders of a reformist social movement. Normally, the leaders of social movements are expected to have a « calling » to feel moved by a moral ethic toward serving certain major social values.
Much in the attitudes and the behaviour of American Unions operating in Canada can be explained by the American cultural emphasis on the norm of personal « achievement » or getting ahead financially. Although it may seem paradoxical, the strength of this « achievement » norm is closely related to another value « equality of status » regardless of the background qualities of the individual. American culture applies the norms of a completely competitive society to everyone, which places a high premium on economic affluence and social ascent. These jungle qualities of certain American controlled Unions operating in Quebec in full collaboration with American controlled Companies reflect a mode of union ethics which are unacceptable and contrary to the aspirations of Quebecers. Much of the unique character of American controlled Unions as contrasted to that of truly controlled and administered Canadian Unions may be seen as a result of, or as a consequence of, American culture, « achievement », « equality » at any price.
SOCIAL VALUES AND AMERICAN UNIONISM
Any effort to account for the ways in which American controlled unions sometimes conduct themselves in Canada and how American unionism differs in its outlook as regards to Canada's economic, social and political aspirations must deal with this concept of « business unionism » which seems to be the dominant ideology of the American labour movement, and which may be closely related also to pressures created by racial discrimination, violence, and other basic values which are an outgrowth of the American political system.
Congressional investigations and journalistic exposes in recent years dealing with the behavior of certain American labour leaders have made manifest that these leaders received higher salaries, were more wont to engage in practices which violate conventional morality and showed a lesser regard for the mechanisms of democratic procedure than the leaders of the truly Canadian or European Trade Union movement. These leaders did not regard their office as a sacred trust or way of life. Their high incomes represented their adoption to the norm of getting ahead.
No doubt in the early days of American unionism, union leaders did adhere to an ideology which did prescribe certain standards of ethical behavior, of income and style of life, but as they shifted from social or socialist unionism to « business unionism », they also changed their values and standards of comparisons.
To the extent that union office has changed from a « calling » to a « career », their social ideology has declined to that same extent. Their leaders have also lost all restrictions about comporting themselves with businessmen or widening the gap between their salaries and those of their members.
The requirements attached to high union office in the United States, of « achievement » and « equality » with big businessman, may also account for the fact that certain American union leaders have formally institutionalized dictatorial mechanisms which prevent the possibility of their being defeated for re-election. Although many Canadian union leaders have achieved a great deal by moving up from the shop to union office, this shift has nowhere meant as much in terms of money and consequent style of life as in the United States. This may mean that they are under considerable pressure to find means to protect their source of status. Thus the greater the gap between that of union leadership and that from which the leader came and to which he might return on defeat, the greater the pressure to eliminate democratic rights within their union.
The greater authority and power centered in the lands of American International presidents as compared with Canadian leaders as well as the American union emphasis on the « cult of personality » are undoubtedly related to some of the same value patterns which foster explicit dictatorial practices in American unionism.
POLITICAL REFORM AND AMERICAN UNIONISM
It may be noted that this aspect of American Unionism may be viewed also as an outgrowth of the American political system. The United States system adopted two distinct institutions, the presidential and the federal systems. The principle elections in the United States at the national, state and local levels are for one man, the president, governor or mayor. Government is largely viewed as the government of the man who holds the key executive office. His cabinet is responsible to him, not his party, nor to parliamentary colleagues. Hence, there is an emphasis on « personality » and a relative de-emphasis of party or principles. These factors, which have become norms in the political sphere, undoubtedly affect the way in which many other institutions operate, including the American Labour Movement.
We have great economic, social and political problems in Canada. The contribution of a united labour movement respecting unity with diversity, to their solution could be considerable if the conditions of this collaboration could be achieved. But the C.L.C. must first transform itself. It must obtain not only jurisdictional independence from the American Labour Movement, but also financial, administrative and structural independence. It could thus reorganize itself according to the requirements of the Canadian reality.
Canada's economic position in relation to its growth and development, its competitive position in foreign trade, the extent of foreign control, unemployment, and nuclear control have been the subject of constant concern and attention of all truly Canadian Trade Unions, in its struggle to shape our economic, social and cultural policy compatible with its national needs, aspirations, and sovereignty as a nation.
The fact is, that the booming economies of the world are those which by drastic measures have adapted themselves to new conditions and new needs. This gives them a solid basis for growth. What is most distressing about the Canadian Labour scene is that no new approach is being made, in this direction. Canada's « House of Labour » still works to old patterns.
In short the labour movement in Canada must reconsider its structures and its general orientation. It is only at this condition that it will retain the confidence of its membership and the respect of the Canadian population. The time has gone for the American-type « business » trade-unionism. The labour movement must not only defend the worker as a wage earner, but also as a Canadian citizen and a human being. The old bread and butter unionism must be completed by policies of cooperation in order to create for Canada a true economic democracy which will be distinguished by efficiency, freedom and public responsibility.
Earl F. Beach
Jurisprudence du travail
La caractéristique fondamentale du régime de relations de travail dans la Fonction publique québécoise c'est qu'il relève du Droit commun du travail tel que complété ou modifié par la loi de la Fonction publique de 1965. Le fonctionnaire est donc en principe un salarié et Sa Majesté un employeur au sens du Code du travail sauf dérogation explicite1. Or ces dispositions dérogatoires sont suffisamment cohérentes, croyons-nous, pour que l'on puisse parler d’un statut particulier, fait de particularités fondées sur des exigences propres au service public. Ces particularités sont relatives au droit d'association, à l’accréditation, à la structure et au contenu des unités de négociation, à la délimitation de la matière négociable et l’exercice du droit de grève. A l’aide de la jurisprudence nous tenterons d'analyser ici la particularité relative aux unités de négociation.
Selon une jurisprudence récente, le tribunal civil peut faire droit à de « simples réclamations de salaire », salaire dont le taux se trouve établi par une convention collective. Seuls des motifs tenant à la nature particulière de ces réclamations peuvent justifier une telle dérogation à la compétence exclusive de l'arbitre des griefs de connaître de « toute mésentente relative à l'interprétation ou à l'application d’une convention collective. »
Recensions / Book Reviews
Le mouvement ouvrier aux États-Unis 1867-1967, par Daniel Guérin, FM/Petite collection, Paris, 1968, 176 pages.
Conditions ouvrières et intégration sociale, par J. Maire Rainville, Éditions Ouvrières, Paris, 1967, 230 pp.
L’emploi à temps partiel, Sixième rapport concernant l’emploi des groupes spéciaux, par Jean Hallaire, publié par la Direction de la Main-d’Oeuvre et des Affaires sociales de l’O.C.D.E., Paris, 1968, 118 pp.
La mobilité des travailleurs urbains, par Laurence C. Hunter et Graham L. Reid, O.C.D.E., Paris, 1968, 239 pp.
Réflexions d’un citoyen sur l’avenir du Québec – sur quelques aspects de l’expérience suédoise, par Jean-Paul Lefebvre, Cahiers Cité Libre, Éditions du Jour, Ottawa, 1968, 120 pages.
On the Theory of Socialist Planning, by J.G. Zielinski, Oxford University Press, Ibadan, 1968, 170 pp.
Leadership and Motivation : Essays of Douglas McGregor, by W. Bennis, General Publishing Co. Ltd., Ontario, March 1968, 286 pages.
La médecine du travail, médecine humaine, par Dr Pierre Delaunay, Éditions du Centurion, Paris, 1968, 138 pages.
Executive Compensation in Large Industrial Corporation, by Wilbur G. Lewellen, National Bureau of Economic Research, Columbia University Press, New York, 1968, 371 pages.
The Industrial Composition of Income and Product, by John W. Kendrick, editor, National Bureau of Economic Research, Columbia University Press, New York, 1968, 494 pages.
Employee Compensation under the Income Tax, by C. Harry Kahn, National Bureau of Economic Research Inc., New York, 1968, 142 pp.
Managing Intergroup Conflict in Industry, by Robert R. Blake, Herbert A. Shepard et Jane S. Mouton, Gulf Publishing Co., Houston, Texas, 1964, 210 pages.
White-and-Blue-Collars in a Mill Shutdown, by Felcian F. Foltman, New York State School for Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University, 1968, 132 pages.
Personnel : The Human Problems of Managements, Second Edition, by George Strauss and Leonard R. Sayles, Prentice-Hall Inc., New Jersey, 1967, 756 pages.
L’année sociale 1967, par Guy Spitaels et Simone Lambert, Études d’économie sociale, Éditions de l’Institut de Sociologie, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1968, 350 pages.
The Unions, Structure, Development and Management by Marten Estey, Hartcourt, Brace & World Inc., New York, 1967, 125 pages.
Tous droits réservés © Département des relations industrielles de l'Université Laval, 1968