Après avoir brièvement rappelé l'histoire des rapports entre la CTCC et les autres groupements syndicaux, l'auteur expose la position de celle-ci en face du CTC. Il montre l'évolution qui s'est produite ainsi que les obstacles qui devront être surmontés avant que soit réalisée l'unification des forces syndicales canadiennes.
The CCCL occupies a peculiar place in unionism in our country. It is an institution which has succeeded in the course of its 37 years of existence to become, in the panorama of the Province of Quebec, a component essential to its character. Its representation power exceeds largely its membership and its symbolic value proves nowadays that nobody in the whole country may feel indifferent about its existence as well as its attitudes.
In 1921, when the Canadian labour movement was far from being unified, the CTLC charged the CCCL with dividing the labour forces. This reproach went on against the CCCL until the forming of the CCL in 1940. Furthermore, the CCCL justified its existence in accusing the CTLC of socialistic tendencies and in reproaching it to be under a foreign domination. There has always been a rivalry between the CCCL and the CTLC so much that cooperation between both movements has never been great. It is still felt today. Relations between the CCCL and the CCL have been better. In many instances attempts at closer cooperation have been made but without no great success since the CCCL took refuge behind what it then considered as being principles.
While the CTLC and the CCL intended to merge, two important problems hold the attention of the CCCL: structural reforms with a view to giving more cohesion to the movement; the enlarging of "confessionality" in order to do away with an obstacle impeding larger expansion.
Whereas the CCCL has been kept aloof from the talks witch succeeded in the merging of the CTLC and the CCL, at the 1955 Convention, the CCCL adopted a resolution in which it showed itself favourable to the principle of labour unity as a fundamental condition to the promotion of the workers in the country and the whole world. It considered that there are many ways of realizing this unity and declared that "it is ready to undergo the study of the methods deemed best to attain this aim whilst saveguarding the spirit of independence of the Canadian labour movement and the respect for the characteristics of each group." A Committee has been nominated for this purpose.
Immediately after the Toronto merging Convention, serious negotiations were entered into between this Committee and the future directors of the CLC. All agreed upon the possibility of an affiliation of the CCCL to the CLC according to conditions warranting the integrity of the Catholic movement. A draft resolution was even written to be proposed at the Convention which would have permitted the CCCL to benefit from the same advantages as the constituting groups. But to avoid all discussion, this proposal was not made as such before the Convention. This resulted in a disappointment in the groups which favoured the affiliation of the CCCL with the CLC. However, a formal invitation was made to the CCCL to join the CLC.
The Committee of the CCCL has formulated a mode of adhesion to the CLC. According to this mode, the CCCL would be endowed with the statute of a national union, would affiliate in whole with the CLC together with all the groups which belong to it, would modify its name and see that nothing in its constitutions waive the non-discrimination principles as to creed and breed, in conformity with the declaration of principles it has adopted many years ago. Neither its local syndicates, nor its federations would have to merge with rival groups. As the whole of these conditions are not in opposition to the constitution of the CLC, in the opinion of the president of this group, the CCCL at its September 1956 Convention has adopted the principle of an affiliation with the CLC under these terms. Some difficulties must be overcome before a final settlement can be reached.
For the part of the CCCL, a deep evolution has been made during the last ten years or so in the field of ideas and union activity. However, there remains to operate an internal reform of structure capable of giving the movement more cohesion and strength.
On the part of the CLC, nothing would prevent the affiliation of the CCCL and impede upon its integrity. Objections are raised by unions belonging to the CLC. They must agree on the affiliation of the CCCL. Moreover, some among them will have to do away with the old idea of one unit unionism and hold sincerely to the letter and spirit of the constitution of the CLC which makes it possible, within the same jurisdiction, to have rival unions. There also remains that constitutions of local unions do not readily allow changes of affiliation as this is the case with syndicates affiliated to the CCCL.
The future of Canadian labour unity lies in the hands of the CLC unions of this Province formerly members of the CTLC.
If Canadian labour unity were to be realized, the Canadian workers would give the whole country a concrete example of the possibility of setting up a federalism respectful of the true aspirations of our People.
They could thus on the international level pave the way to cooperation between tie International Confederation of Free Trade Unions and the International Confederation of Christian Unions.
Veuillez télécharger l’article en PDF pour le lire.
DION, GÉRARD, Licencié en théologie, licencié en philosophie, M.Sc.Soc, directeur-adjoint du Département des relations industrielles; professeur à l'Université Laval; membre de la Commission Sacerdotale d'Etudes Sociales.