May 29, 1946

PC

Gordon Graydon

Progressive Conservative

Mr. GRAYDON:

To the hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre.

Topic:   WOMEN IN ATTENDANCE IN THE GALLERIES
Subtopic:   WEARING OF HATS
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LIB

James Horace King (Speaker of the Senate)

Liberal

Mr. SPEAKER:

As the question asked by the hon. member concerns the house, I suggest

Labour Conditions

that she put her question to the Speaker, but not from the floor of the house, as it is against the rule. I shall be very glad to give it consideration.

Topic:   WOMEN IN ATTENDANCE IN THE GALLERIES
Subtopic:   WEARING OF HATS
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LABOUR CONDITIONS


seamen's STRIKE-AMENDMENT OF CANADA SHIPPING ACT On the orders of the day:


?

Mr. M. J. COLD WELL@Rosetown-Biggar

Yesterday I directed a question to the Minister of Transport in regard to the arrest of seamen who were involved in a labour dispute. Can he make a reply to-day?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Hon. LIONEL CHEVRIER (Minister of Transport):

The question the hon. member asked yesterday was whether immediate consideration would be given to the removal of an anachronism in the Canada Shipping Act, section 288 of chapter 186 of the revised statutes, 1927-, under which seamen engaged in an industrial dispute can be arrested and tried as deserters.

I have looked at section 288 of the Canada Shipping Act, and I find it deals not only with the subject matter to which the hon. member referred, but also to several other matters, such as neglecting or refusing without reasonable cause to join a ship or to proceed to sea; quitting a ship without leave after her arrival in her po'rt of delivery; wilful disobedience to any lawful command given by the master; assaulting any master or mate; combining with any other or others of the crew to disobey lawful commands; wilfully damaging the ship or embezzling or wilfully damaging any of her stores or cargo; and lastly, any act of smuggling. I have looked at the section and have given it some consideration. I am informed by the officers of my department that when a seaman is engaged by an operator he signs an agreement, one clause of which provides that he is to give at least seven days' notice of separation. Had that been done in the cases to which I presume my hon. friend is referring, I am told that that would have been a perfect defence to any charge under section 288.

Dealing directly with the question which my hon. friend put, I am informed further that the Canada Shipping Act as it now stands is taken pretty much from the shipping act of the United Kingdom. In fact there is in the United Kingdom act a section which is much the same as section 288. That section still remains in the act, notwithstanding the reference which my non. friend has made. I am informed still further that following the passing of the Statute of Westminister this parliament decided to enact the Canada Shipping Act. The bill

was initiated in the senate and I presume it had the approval of this house. That was done in 1934, not so long ago.

The matter as I see it is that no action was taken by the Department of Transport against these men and it is felt that no action is indicated at this time.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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PC

Arthur Leroy Smith

Progressive Conservative

Mr. A. L. SMITH (Calgary West):

Mr. Speaker, I should like to address a question to the Minister of Labour which he may treat as a notice if he desires. Can he make a statement on this dislocation of water transport? According to the newspapers the eight hour day has been conceded, andi we learn also that there has been some revision, and so on. Could the minister, probably to-morrow, give us a complete statement so that we may have the facts before us rather than the rumours which are current at the present time?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

I shall be very glad to do that. I thought we had this dispute pretty well under control until the unfortunate incidents of last Friday occurred in the city of Montreal. I am not attempting to apportion blame to one side or the other. I have heard both stories and until you have really taken time to consider them it is pretty hard to blame one party or the other. I shall be glad to give my hon. friend to-morrow the answer he desires.

I have been in conversation with the owners and representatives of the union both yesterday and to-day. It may be only my judgment and opinion, but I think the differences between them are quite small. When the conference was arranged for Tuesday I thought we could probably settle this dispute without having any unfortunate incidents such as have occurred within the past two or three days.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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LIB

Lionel Chevrier (Minister of Transport)

Liberal

Mr. CHEVRIER:

May I follow up what the Minister of Labour has said by -making some reference to the ships of the Department of Transport?-because I think there has been some misunderstanding with reference to these ships. In answer to a question put some days ago by the leader of the opposition (Mr. Bracken) I said that in the Department of Transport we had the eight hour day in effect, and that while we did not pay time and a half for overtime we do allow time off for any work of an overtime nature that is done. A large number of ships are operated by the Department of Transport. Until recently the men on five of these ships were on strike, or were reported not to have returned to their ships. I am informed that that was due to an error and that there was no intention on the part of the men to abandon their ships. The department has agreed that in the place of the ar-

Labour Conditions

rangement obtaining hitherto, whereby members of the crews of vessels operated by the department were given time off to compensate for any hours worked in excess of eight per day, we will operate henceforth on a straight eight hour day. It is understood1 that this arrangement will obtain pending a further discussion with a committee representing the crews on matters affecting the substitution of overtime rates of pay for the present time-off arrangement and a revision of the present wage schedules which has already been referred to, and which is now the subject of a survey by the Department of Labour under the provisions of the government's fair wage policy.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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CCF

Angus MacInnis

Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (C.C.F.)

Mr. ANGUS MacINNIS (Vancouver East):

May I ask the Minister of Transport to clarify the answer he gave to the question asked yesterday by the hon. member for Rosetown-Biggar (Mr. Coldwell)? In the case of an industrial dispute would the notice of strike action be sufficient for the men concerned under section 246 of the Canada Shipping Act?

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. MITCHELL:

Mr. Speaker, I think I had better answer that question. In the first place let us be frank and honest about this dispute. There was no notice whatever given of the strike. The men just pulled the plug. The hon. member for Vancouver East understands that language; it is an expression used in the labour movement. I am not laying any blame on the labour organization or on the employers, because one must endeavour to be impartial, but if I had been leading the men I think I would have warned them that the seven days' notice was necessary.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
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BEVERAGE DISPENSERS IN ALBERTA

SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. C. E. JOHNSTON (Bow River):

Mr. Speaker, I am reported at page 1939 of Hansard of May 28 as having asked the Minister of Labour this question: .

What action has the government or the national war labour board taken to avert the impending strike on May 31 of the beverage dispensers of Alberta?

May 31 should read May 30; and as to-morrow is May 30, the date set for the strike, will the minister make a statement indicating what the government or the national war labour board is doing to avert the strike, which will be on to-morrow unless something is done?

Topic:   BEVERAGE DISPENSERS IN ALBERTA
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LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, I had conversations with the national organizer of the union concerned, and my information is that he has

advised the membership in Alberta not to strike on the 30th. Another submission will be made to the regional board in the province.

Topic:   BEVERAGE DISPENSERS IN ALBERTA
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SC

Charles Edward Johnston

Social Credit

Mr. JOHNSTON:

The regional board has already given its decision, and I understand that the national war labour board is withholding its decision on the appeal.

Topic:   BEVERAGE DISPENSERS IN ALBERTA
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LUMBER INDUSTRY-STRIKE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA-FOOD CONTAINERS

LIB

Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):

Hon. members will desire to know the results of the earnest appeal for the resumption of work at once to all those concerned in the dispute in British Columbia which has interrupted the production of wooden food containers.

It will be recalled that the Acting Prime Minister made a statement on Monday last as set out on page 1876 of Hansard.

Negotiations on behalf of the owners have been conducted by Mr. J. H. Ruddock, industrial relations officer, Interior British Columbia Lumber and Box Manufacturers Association. His reply is as follows:

Hon. J. L. Ilsley,

Acting Prime Minister

Reference your communication Stuart regarding fruit containers, desire inform you that members Interior Box Manufacturers Association who normally produce all containers used by interior British Columbia growers are now and at all times have been willing continue production necessary containers notwithstanding fact that strike was called on fifteenth instant while provincially appointed conciliator was con; firming efforts effect settlement.

Interior Box Manufacturers strongly recommend that instructions be given union to resume work immediately in Interior 'Box plant and related logging and saw milling operations on basis effective at time of strike and subject only to condition that any settlement of present differences finally arrived at in relation to interior log lumber and box production in interior British Columbia shall then apply. If this is not done immediately, in interest not of lumber or box industry but of agricultural community, there is no doubt that severe box shortage will be created. Interior log lumber and box production is entirely different type of operation from that conducted on coast in relation to which latter negotiations now proceeding before Mr. Justice Sloan. Final settlement in relation to interior operations must depend on separate negotiations in relation thereto' and must be on basis mutually satisfactory to box manufacturers and fruit industry in relation to additional costs involved in final settlement. Industry have negotiated in good faith for over eighteen months and, despite arrival on at least two occasions on basis agreement satisfactory to local bargaining committees, union headquarters here on both occasions withheld approval these agreements arrived at in good faith. Furthermore present strike in largest box producing plant in interior British Columbia called in face of valid agreement which that plant has with Canadian Congress of Labour and which agreement has never been terminated either by C.C.L. or I.W.A.

Supply-Agriculture

Under all circumstances in fairness to all concerned and particularly to avoid heavy loss to growers we again urge instructions be given for unconditional resumption operations leaving result to legal processes of conciliation and arbitration.

This is the reply received from Mr. Harold Pritchett, president of the International Woodworkers of America:

Ketel International Woodworkers of America have no fight with farmers and are in full sympathy with their desire to obtain wood containers necessary to harvest crop. Employers in woodworking industry fully responsible for delay in sincere efforts during nine weeks of negotiations. Woodworking employers have refused to sign an agreement since nineteen forty-four thereby averting present crisis. We are prepared to do everything humanly possible to bring about a just settlement. Urge your government take immediate steps to force lumber operators who stand in the way of crop harvesting to accept union proposals on wages and hours, namely, twenty-five cents and forty hours-

They are asking for an increase of twenty-five cents an hour and for a forty-hour week: -and abide by award of arbitrator Sloan on union security. Final settlement on wages and hours reached between union and employers could then apply.

Mr. R. V. Stuart, President of Stuart Research Service Limited, who has been acting on behalf of employers on the Pacific coast, has the following to say:

Your telegram requesting resumption of operations in mills and camps supplying materials for food containers. Strike is entirely illegal and operators felt I.W.A. should have ordered men back to work as a preliminary to Sloan hearings. Nevertheless we whole-heartedly agree that needed lumber production should be made immediately available to food producers. Employers concerned will willingly agree to immediate resumption of operations at these plants on basis that workers will be paid at rates finally incorporated in contract now under negotiation.

Hon. members will appreciate from the replies that there are two organizations of employers involved: one consisting of the

manufacturers in the interior and the other of the lumber producers on the coast. The wooden containers are produced in the interior. .

Mr. Pritchett, on behalf of the union, says that the men will return to work if a twenty-five cents per hour increase is granted and if hours of work are reduced to forty per week subject to a later final settlement. Mr. Ruddock, on the other hand, suggests that the employees return to work at the rates of pay which prevailed at the time the strike took place and that negotiations be continued and settlement of rates be mutually agreed upon as a result of negotiations.

The replies received will be transmitted to the parties and to our conciliation officer at

Vancouver, and discussions will be continued with the objective of bringing about immediate resumption of work in the mills which normally are engaged in the production of wooden containers, I am hoping that the good sense and judgment of both parties will bring them to an acceptance of the viewpoint that work should be resumed on the understanding that any wage adjustment finally agreed upon will be made retroactive.

Hon. members will be aware that Honourable Chief Justice Sloan is acting as commissioner and conciliator in connection with the coast lumber dispute and is conducting conferences daily with the parties. At the moment these negotiations are with the group of employers having to do with the coast lumber production, and as soon as this phase of the dispute is disposed of it is the intention that he shall deal with the interior lumber situation. The two problems are so interwoven it is not feasible or practical to have two commissioners sitting at the same time. However, as I have already stated negotiations through the conciliation staff of the province are under way in connection with the interior situation.

The house in committee of supply, Mr. Macdonald (Brantford City) in the chair.

Topic:   LUMBER INDUSTRY-STRIKE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA-FOOD CONTAINERS
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DEPARTMENT OP MINES AND RESOURCES


1S2. Departmental administration, $173,255. Item stands.


DEPARTMENT OP PUBLIC WORKS

May 29, 1946