New Democratic Party
Mr. Reid Scolt (Danforih):
Mr. Speaker, the matter which I wish to raise at this time arises out of a question put to the Minister of Industry (Mr. Drury) on orders of the day regarding the United States auto pact and, in particular, the alleged loss of millions of dollars that is taking place as a result of the proposed cancellation of certain orders of metal stamping companies engaged in the industry.
We raised with the minister today the very genuine fears being expressed by United Auto Workers and their legitimate requests for a tripartite meeting amongst the unions, the minister and the industry involved. As has been the case throughout the history of this agreement, this request has been arrogantly brushed aside by the minister. In my judgment this corresponds with his attitude since the inception of the pact.
When this matter first came before us, we could not get any information. We finally had to write to the United States to get sufficient information. We were unable to get proper answers from the minister. We were unable to have the matter go to a committee where it could be studied. We were merely told that in their almighty judgment they knew what was right.
The minister will recall that we tried to have adjustment assistance for dislocation. Dislocation was denied; but it subsequently took place and a sort of piecemeal plan was introduced. We now have another problem arising out of this agreement, which has been shrouded in mystery since its inception, and that is the dislocation which has resulted to these metal stamping companies.
Once again the trade unions involved are having difficulties which arise out of decisions made by this government in its negotiations between the United States and the manufacturing companies. We think that the rights of the workers ought to be taken into consideration.
I plead with the minister, as I did before, to stop his arrogant treatment of this agreement in this house, his brushing aside of any suggestions put forward by the opposition, his brushing aside of the requests made by the workers involved. They have a big stake in this agreement. They want to partake of it. They want consultation. They do not want to be told that what the government has decided is in their best interests. This has been the history of this agreement throughout.
The minister said this morning that he did not think a tripartite meeting would be useful. I should like to know why. When would one be useful? Why has this very legitimate request of the trade union involved been denied?