January 11, 1911

LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

My hon. friend is diverging from the Bill which is before the committee.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

Does my hon. friend realize when he is speaking of building wharfs in country districts that all the labour as a rule is drawn from the city districts?

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

No, that is not the case.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

I beg your pardon; it is the case.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

That is not the case in my own experience. When wharfs are built in the country the labour is drawn from the country districts. The work on the

wharf goes on in the long days of the summer, and unless the men get to work pretty early in the morning and work pretty late hours in the evening they are idle. In many cases they have no opportunity of being with their families.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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CON

George Henry Bradbury

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BRADBURY.

Away from the cities; away from their families.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

That is one reason why it may not be desirable to legislate with respect to work upon wharfs at the present time at all events, or until we have had some experience in the working of the Bill. Then, with regard to contracts for dredging;

I gave the matter consideration when the Bill was originally introduced, and I have in my mind places where at the present time men upon government dredges work nine hours per day. Upon the contract dredges they work in many cases eleven hours a day. The dredge goes out upon Monday morning after it has taken in its coal and water and does not return to the town near its work until Saturday night. If the hours of the men upon the dredge were limited to eight per day the result would be that early in the morning, and in the evening also, the men would have nothing to do, and they could not be with their families, there would not be the same argument with respect to them as to men engaged on public buildings, and therefore I think it would not be desirable at present to make this Bill applicable to men engaged upon either government dredges or contract dredges. If my hon. friends were to take up other public works they will see that there will be some distinction, perhaps not a wide distinction, but some distinction drawn between work of that character and work upon public buildings. At all events, it does seem to me that it is far better for the labouring people to have this Bill, amended as it is, than to have no Bill at all. I can see how there might be very serious objection on the part of many people to such a broad measure as that first introduced. If this Bill passes it will apply to many of the most important works in which the government is engaged, and with respect to these the government will have adopted the eight-hour principle. That will be a great point gained, and later on if this wins public approval the principle of the measure can be extended to other government works.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

William Cameron Edwards

Liberal

Mr. EDWARDS.

Will you extend it to dredging later on?

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PUGSLEY.

That will be a fair matter for consideration later on. The hon. gentleman from Toronto is of course aware that this parliament would possibly not have the power to interfere as between private contractors and the men they employ, but at all events we are moving in a safe direction now because

we are limiting it solely to public works. It seems to me we are favouring the adoption of a most important principle which will prove of great benefit to the labouring people of Canada. In all probability it will meet with public approval, and it will not be many years before the eight hour principle will be adopted throughout the Dominion not' only with regard to government contracts but to private contracts as well.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

The hon. the leader of the opposition has devoted a good deal of time to showing the difference between the Bill as introduced and the present Bill, but I fear that unwittingly he hardly did full justice to the new Bill. He pointed out that the original Bill stipulated that no labourer or mechanic or workman on these public works should be required ' or permitted ' to work on them more than eight hours a day, and the hon. gentleman said that the dropping of the words ' or permitted ' would leave it open to a contractor to have his men work ten or fifteen hours a day as conditions might require. If the new Bill did anything of the kind it would be open to criticism, but the hon. gentleman will see that there is a provision that if additional hours are worked the additional hours shall be classified as overtime and paid for at the rate of not less than time and a quarter.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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CON

Robert Laird Borden (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. BORDEN (Halifax).

I read it that-

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

I am prepared to admit that, but he did not emphasize that difference when he was pointing out the difference as between the. two clauses. He spoke only of a man working 10 hours or 15 hours but did not say that in that connection it would have to be at the option of the man himself and that if he did work overtime he would get extra pay for the additional hours of work.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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CON

Francis Ramsey Lalor

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LALOR.

Is that all the Bill means, that the man gets quarter time extra?

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

The Bill in this particular follows the custom which labour organizations themselves have adopted. As possibly some members know a good many of these unions have contracts with contractors in which an eight-hour day is fixed. Where such a day has been established there is usually a provision that if longer time is worked it shall be paid for as overtime at an extra rate. Nowhere in the constitution of any trades union that I know of in this country are the words ' or permitted ' used. The unions say that the men shall not be required to work overtime but they make a stipulation whereby if a man works over eight hours he gets payment for overtime. They do not go so far as to say he shall not be permitted to work over eight hours.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
LIB

William Pugsley (Minister of Public Works)

Liberal

Mr. PTJGSLEY.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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CON

Edward Arthur Lancaster

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. LANCASTER.

This Bill said that when first introduced.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

Exactly and that feature has been omitted evidently because it was not thought wise to go further in endeavouring to regulate a contract between the government and those who were working for it than working men themselves had sought to go in the arrangements they had made as trade unions with their employers. In other words what the hon. member (Mr. Verville) has attempted to do in this clause is to follow the principles which the trades unions themselves have laid down and to endeavour to bring about in regard to government work a condition similar to what some of the larger unions have already succeeded in bringing about in regard to the establishment of this eight hours a day and of payment for overtime at an extra rate when more than that time is worked.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
CON

Angus Claude Macdonell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONELL (Toronto).

Is the minister aware that overtime is generally paid for at the rate of time and a half and not at time and a quarter.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
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LIB

George Gerald King

Liberal

Mr. KING.

Yes, I am fully aware of that fact and the probability is that the trades unions themselves will see to it that whenever they can enforce it they will get time and a half or sometimes time and three-quarters.

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink
CON

Angus Claude Macdonell

Conservative (1867-1942)

Mr. MACDONELL (Toronto).

Why not put it in the Bill?

Topic:   NOTICE OF QUESTIONS TO BE INTRODUCED BY MR. MACLEAN (YORK).
Subtopic:   HOURS OF LABOUR ON PUBLIC WORKS.
Permalink

January 11, 1911