January 29, 1958

SC
CCF

Alexander Malcolm Nicholson

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

Mr. Nicholson:

Well, I am sure some of his colleagues who have children and wish to prepare them to make the greatest contribution for the greatest good, will not wish to share the views of the hon. member for Okanagan Boundary who took exception this afternoon to this legislation which will result in all the people of Canada sharing to a greater extent than in the past these large fortunes being passed on to succeeding generations.

Resolution reported and concurred in.

Industrial Relations

Mr. Fleming thereupon moved for leave to introduce Bill No. 248, respecting the taxation of estates.

Motion agreed to and bill read the first time.

Topic:   REVISION, CONSOLIDATION, ETC.
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INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS


The house resumed, from Thursday, December 19, consideration of the motion of Mr. Starr for the second reading of Bill No. 16, to provide for annual vacations with pay for employees in public works, undertakings and businesses.


CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles

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

Mr. Stanley Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Speaker, I believe that when this bill was last before the house on December 19 it was my privilege to adjourn the debate on the motion for second reading.

It is not my intention to speak at any length because there is really just one point that remains at issue so far as this bill is concerned. On the assumption that second reading of this bill may be reached tonight, and a decision taken on it, I propose to say something which will be a relief to the mind of the Minister of Public Works. It has been a source of some concern to him for a number of months that there have been two bills on the order paper having to do with vacations with pay; and I trust that the minister agrees with me as to the ruling given by Mr. Speaker that until a decision has been taken on one of these bills it is in order for both of them to be debated. However, I will give him the assurance that if a decision is taken tonight on the government bill I will not try on a subsequent occasion at this session to call my bill. It would then be out of order.

As I say, I wish to deal only with one point-the main point of difference between government Bill No. 16 and my Bill No. 2. Incidentally, my bill was before the house on previous occasions and the last time it came to a vote it had the support of the Minister of Public Works (Mr. Green) and ten other members of the present cabinet. Of course, at that time they were sitting on the opposition side of the house.

I point out to them that what they voted for on that occasion was a bill the purpose of which was to provide two weeks' annual holidays with pay to employees who come under federal labour jurisdiction after one year's employment. The bill that is now before us in the name of the Minister of Labour (Mr. Starr) is a desirable piece of legislation. It is time we had legislation of this kind on the statute books of Canada and it will have our support. We regret, however,

that, having gone this far, the government has short changed the workers of this country who come under federal labour jurisdiction by providing that the two weeks' annual holidays with pay stipulated in this legislation are to be enjoyed only after two years' continuous employment. I recognize that there is a provision that in the case of those who have had only one year's continuous employment one week's holiday with pay is provided. We think, however, that the provision suggested in my bill, which is in line with the request made by the Canadian Congress of Labour when it appeared before the government of Canada on October 21, 1957, is one to which the Minister of Labour should still give consideration.

This question has been debated, of course, off and on during the session and I believe that the nub of the matter came out in an exchange that took place between my good friend the hon. member for Brandon-Souris (Mr. Dinsdale) and me when this question arose: Is an annual holiday with pay a

matter of right or is it a reward? It was my contention that holidays with pay should be a matter of right. My hon. friends on the other side were agreeing that we should have annual holidays with pay. After all, they must take that position because the government is advocating that principle in this bill. However, they made the point that two weeks should not be accorded to employees until they have demonstrated two years of loyalty to a particular employer. In answer to my question my friend the hon. member for Brandon-Souris said that it was both, it was partly a matter of right and partly a matter of reward. We feel that two weeks' holiday with pay should be just as much a matter of right to a person who has put in a year's work with an employer, if that is his first year's work, as it is if it is a year later on in the employ of that particular employer. We feel that the concept that what an employer does for his employee is a reward for faithful service is the old master-servant concept. That has gone by the board and what we should be dealing with today is the question as to what belongs to employees as a matter of right.

It is on that basis that we, in giving our support to the minister's bill, urge him to consider even yet making the amendments that would be necessary-and they are extremely simple-to change this bill so that two weeks' annual holidays with pay would be enjoyed by workers under federal labour jurisdiction after one year's service. We find it difficult to understand, now that the government has gone this far, has been prepared to recognize the validity of the

principle and provide legislation in this field so that annual holidays with pay should be granted by the law of the land and that it has gone far enough to recognize that what is desirable is a holiday of two weeks in a year with pay, why it has seen fit to provide that an employee does not receive two weeks' holidays with pay in a year until he has been two full years in the employ of an employer.

We urge that when we get into committee on this bill and come to the appropriate clauses the minister give favourable consideration to the necessary amendments to change the bill in this one particular. We are happy to support the bill. We are glad to see this kind of legislation coming forward. We think there should be more like it. We think there should be a bill to provide for statutory holidays with pay, and one to provide for minimum wages and we hope there will be bills to provide for the other aspects of a proper and adequate national labour code.

When these other measures are brought in we hope there will not be any short changing of the Canadian workers as there is in this bill but that the government will do its best to meet what we believe are the reasonable demands placed before it in the memorandum presented to the government by the Canadian Labour Congress on October 21, 1957, and the requests that have been laid before it by other responsible labour bodies.

We shall be glad to support the bill but we hope the minister in committee will accept amendments to provide that the two weeks' annual holidays with pay shall commence after one year's service in line with a vote on that very proposal which the Conservatives registered in this house in 1956.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

I must inform the house that if the Minister of Labour speaks now he will close the debate.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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PC

Michael Starr (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Michael Starr (Minister of Labour):

Mr. Speaker, may I first of all thank the hon. members who have taken part in the discussion on second reading and for the comments that have been made in respect to the principle of this bill. Several of the hon. members who spoke on this bill expressed disappointment that it does not provide for two weeks' annual holidays with pay after one year's service. I wish to point out, however, that when the bill comes into effect the great majority of employees will be entitled to two weeks' vacation within the year following because the bill takes into consideration previous continuous employment. In other words, this bill is retroactive for two years.

The government gave this matter very serious consideration and the result is this

Industrial Relations

decision. Consequently, although I appreciate the suggestion that an amendment be considered at the committee stage, I must say at once that our decision was reached after extremely serious consideration and the result is as set out in the bill, one week's vacation after the first year and two weeks' vacation after the second year, retroactive for a period of two years.

Moreover, hon. members of this house must be aware that the prevailing holiday provision in the collective agreements covering the majority of employees in the federal and provincial field is two weeks' vacation with pay after three years' employment. Therefore, this bill provides a vacation standard which is substantially ahead of prevailing vacation standards established by collective bargaining. Hon. members in this house who advocate that we should impose a vacation provision giving entitlement to two weeks' paid vacation after one year are proposing in effect that we should impose a minimum vacation plan which in substance would be equivalent to the most advanced holiday plans now provided under collective bargaining agreements in Canadian industry. I do not consider that it would be wise or responsible legislation to impose such a provision as a minimum vacation standard at this time. This government has given the question serious consideration and we feel that in the proposal of this bill and in its submission to this house the government has taken a step that goes a long way in the provision of sound labour legislation.

We hope that in the future we shall have the opportunity to bring forth legislation such as that proposed and suggested a few moments ago by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre.

The hon. member for Kootenay East (Mr. Byrne) commented on the fact that the province of British Columbia legislation extends to everyone. I want to point out that the province of British Columbia legislation and that of the other provinces with regard to vacations with pay all provide for certain exemptions.

The hon. member for Skeena (Mr. Howard) and the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre also commented on the fact that certain members of the present government, on a previous occasion when they were in the opposition, voted in favour of a bill containing a better provision than does the present one, namely the bill that was submitted this year, as it was in the past, by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, providing for two weeks' vacation after the first year of employment. My only comment is that at that time the vote was on the principle of vacations with pay, that it was

Industrial Relations

on the principle that the members of this cabinet and the members of our party at that time voted, and that the particulars of the bill were not then being considered because the vote was then taken on second reading.

Some criticism has been made of the bill providing for exemptions. I must say that, as was said before, all the provincial statutes on this subject provide for exemptions, the majority of which do so by orders in council or on the order of a board or commission.

Other points were brought forward by other members who have participated in this short debate. I wish to thank them again very much for their suggestions, Mr. Chairman. My last remarks will be to this effect. We hope that this bill will receive favourable consideration by all members of this house because we feel that it is a step in the right direction in the field of labour legislation.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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LIB

Daniel (Dan) McIvor

Liberal

Mr. Mclvor:

Mr. Speaker, may I ask the minister a question? Does this bill apply to both sexes, men and women, equally?

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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PC

Michael Starr (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Starr:

That is right.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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PC

Daniel Roland Michener (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Speaker:

Is it the pleasure of the house to adopt the motion?

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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Motion agreed to, bill read the second time and the house went into committee thereon, Mr. Rea in the chair. On Clause 1-Short Title.


CCF

Thomas Speakman Barnett

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

Mr. Barnett:

I do not intend to make any extended remarks on clause 1 of this bill, Mr. Chairman. However, in view of the rather disjointed way in which the subject matter of it has been under discussion during this session, with the two bills being under discussion at various times over a long period of weeks, perhaps I might state at the outset that on previous occasions, either on the bill introduced by the Minister of Labour or the bill introduced by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, I have made clear my own view that the provision of two weeks' vacation-after one year of service would have been a much more desirable provision for us to have. I certainly agree with the position which was just taken by my colleague the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre, namely that in approaching the discussion of this whole matter we should view the need for an annual vacation as something which belongs to people as a matter of right rather than as a matter of a handout on the part of an employer.

I was attempting to follow closely the remarks made by the minister in closing the debate at the second reading stage, and there was one statement which he made, if I heard him correctly, which has me rather puzzled.

[Mr. Starr.l

I should like him, if he would, to clarify a little bit just what he had to say in this connection. Am I correct in understanding it was his suggestion that if this bill were to provide for two weeks' vacation after one year of service, it would be providing by law something which would exceed in its provisions what is contained in the collective bargaining agreements now in effect across the country? That is what I thought I heard the minister say and I was very much surprised to hear it. If I misunderstood the minister, I should be glad if he would clarify that statement for me now before I go any further.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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PC

Michael Starr (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Siarr:

Mr. Chairman, when I made mention of the fact that it would exceed what is provided under the collective bargaining agreements, I meant the bargaining agreements that are prevalent amongst federal employees or persons who are in the employ of federal undertakings. I did not refer to those in private industry.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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CCF

Thomas Speakman Barnett

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

Mr. Barnett:

I thought that was a point on which I should be clear because I would not want to launch an argument against the minister on something where we disagreed as to the facts. As has already been pointed out several times during the discussion of this subject, the provision that those of us in the C.C.F. group have been arguing for is something which is enjoyed by law in the province from which I come and in one or two other provinces of the country. I know that a good many of our collective agreements contain provisions which are better than the minimum requirements set out in the law.

I simply want to say that I am genuinely glad to see this bill being introduced from the government side of the house. I think it is some recognition of the fact that the time has come when this principle of the need of people for holidays should receive recognition in the statutes of the country. To the extent that this principle is written into law, to that extent at least it is a recognition that these things come by right.

I may have some further questions to ask as we get into detailed discussion of the clauses of the bill. However, I wanted to make my position clear while we had the subject matter under discussion again, and also to clarify for my own satisfaction just what the minister had in mind in his earlier statement on second reading.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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Clause agreed to. Clause 2 agreed to. On Clause 3-Application of act.


PC

Michael Starr (Minister of Labour)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Starr:

At this point, Mr. Chairman, I should like to put forward an amendment to clause 3 of this bill. Many collective agreements have provision for the granting of annual vacations with pay which have operated satisfactorily for a number of years. While the vacations with pay provision in the agreements may conflict in some particulars with the provisions that have been proposed in this legislation, the sum total of the vacations with pay provisions in the collective agreements may be considered by the parties to the agreement to be more satifactory for their purposes than the vacations with pay provisions provided in the legislation.

I think there should be some provision in the bill to meet this type of situation. I do not consider that the legislation should impose a completely rigid pattern for vacation arrangements. It should leave a reasonable scope for some variation in the vacation with pay provisions agreed upon in collective bargaining as long as the provisions are satisfactory to the parties and adequate in relation to the minimum standards of frequency and duration of holidays set forth in this legislation. However, these arrangements should still be subject to the approval of the minister responsible for the administration of the legislation. Accordingly I put forward for approval an amendment to clause 3 of the bill by adding a subclause 2 thereto in these words:

This act does not apply to employment under a collective agreement entered into after the coming into force of this act and containing provisions, approved by the minister, for the granting of an annual vacation with pay.

I ask my colleague the Minister of National Health and Welfare to so move.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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PC

Jay Waldo Monteith (Minister of National Health and Welfare)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Monleilh:

I move:

That clause 3 of bill 16 be amended as follows:

1. Insert "(1)" after "3", and

2. Add the following subclause-

"(2). This act does not apply to employment under a collective agreement entered into after the coming into force of this act and containing provisions, approved by the minister, for the granting of an annual vacation with pay."

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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CCF

Stanley Howard Knowles

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

Mr. Knowles (Winnipeg North Centre):

Mr. Chairman, I am very happy to give endorsa-tion to this amendment. Indeed, I am happy to congratulate the minister on having his colleague propose it. Perhaps I might be pardoned for drawing attention to the fact that in the bill which will now not get a chance of coming before us again at this session there was a clause, the purpose of which was to make sure that nothing in that bill would affect any provisions for vacations with pay enjoyed by any employees where any provisions were more favourable than those

Industrial Relations

provided in that bill. I am glad to note that, although the Minister of Labour is not prepared to accept one of the really important provisions of my bill, he has picked out this provision and written it into the bill now before the house. That gives me hope that further progress may yet be made.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
Permalink
CCF

Thomas Speakman Barnett

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

Mr. Barnett:

Mr. Chairman, I hope the amendment the minister has proposed, and which the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre has seen and I have not, does what he thinks it does. That was the question I was about to ask. I was quite aware of the phrasing chosen by the hon. member for Winnipeg North Centre in his bill but I was not sure, either from the reading of the amendment as I heard it or the statement made by the minister, that that was the purpose the minister had in mind in introducing this amendment. If it is, I hope he will say so in so many words. I noted that the explanatory statement he gave us was a carefully generalized one and I was going to suggest that if he would give one or two explicit examples of the situation he has in mind to be covered by the amendment the understanding of the committee as to what he is driving at would be improved.

Topic:   INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Subtopic:   PROVISION OF ANNUAL VACATIONS WITH PAY FOR EMPLOYEES IN FEDERAL WORKS
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January 29, 1958