That may be, and I frankly admit that as far as I see it, it involves what to-day is regarded as trespass.
But the point I make is that the C.I.O. is quite distinct from the sit-down strike; the C.I.O. is a legitimate labour organization. It is true that it is not favoured in Canada by the regular American Federation of Labour organization because it is in the United States, more or less, a split-away from the American Federation of Labour. I need not tell the house that the American Federation of Labour type of organization was based on craft unionism. Each craft was organized. In the meantime, in the last twenty or thirty years, the form of structure of our industry has vastly changed and there are a certain number of people in the American Federation of Labour who believe that there ought to be corresponding changes in the type of trade unionism. Into that matter I do not intend to enter this morning, but I point out that it is a perfectly reasonable thesis and program which the C.I.O. have adopted, namely, that there should be industrial unionism rather than craft unionism.
In the United States, as everyone knows, Mr. Lewis has received a great deal of support from the American government. There is an excellent editorial along this line in yesterday's Ottawa Journal. However, the point is that the C.I.O. is not a subversive or an illegal organization.
An effort is being made to cry down all foreign organizations. May I point out that the American Federation of Labour is as
much a foreign organization as the Committee for Industrial Organization. Both are international organizations with the bulk of their membership in the United States. The American Federation of Labour has developed across the international border, and we have accepted the Trades and Labour Congress which is more or less the Canadian section of the American Federation of Labour. Most of the trades union members on this side are directly connected with the American unions. It was only a few days ago that the Minister of Justice emphasized very strongly the recent wonderful achievement in the railway trades, where a threatened strike had been settled by reasonable means. I quite agree with him, but I point out that the organizations involved are many of them American organizations- just as much "foreign" organizations as the C.I.O. I point out, as he did then, that trouble involving a disturbance of our whole transportation facilities in this country was avoided because we had strong labour organizations which were allowed to function. At the present time in Oshawa an effort is being made by the companies to prevent strong labour organizations, and if the effort succeeds almost inevitably trouble will ensue.
May I also point out that whilst some people have a good deal to say against foreign labour organizations, all over this country, particularly in the east and the far north, we have United States corporations. Capital is American, management is American, General Motors, if you like, is American. I had an experience several years ago which illustrates this. I went into a district in northern Manitoba where before I could hold a public political meeting in support of a Progressive candidate I was interviewed by the superintendent and manager of a United States corporation, himself not a naturalized Canadian, who undertook to say whether or not a public political meeting could be held in a community of 3,000 people. Surely it is an intolerable situation when an American manager undertakes to dictate the policies of citizens of Canada. That is true of many American corporation towns all up the Pacific coast, and some in northern Ontario and Quebec. We ought not to allow ourselves to be led astray by this term "American organizer." As far as the particular individual who is organizing the strike is concerned, whose name is Hugh Thompson, I am informed that he is still a British subject, an Irishman by birth, and comes to Canada, as has been done for many a year by the American Federation of Labour organizers, to carry on the work of his union in Canada. The objection of the
Labour Dispute-Oshawa Strike
company, if put into effect, would rule out all the legitimate labour organizations in this country.
I do not know whether I should make any special appeal to a Liberal government. But I would remind the Prime Minister (Mr. Mackenzie King) that the Liberal program contains this plank on the democratization of industry:
The Liberal party believes that industrial reconstruction is the problem of the future. It will seek in industrial relations as opportunity offers, to give to workers and consumers a larger share in the government of industry.
Subtopic: OSHAWA STRIKE OP AUTOMOBILE EMPLOYEES
Sub-subtopic: MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT TO DISCUSS MATTER OP PUBLIC IMPORTANCE