July 5, 1972

?

Some hon. Members:

No.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FOREIGN TAKEOVERS REVIEW ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO CONTROL FOREIGN TAKEOVERS OF CANADIAN COMPANIES
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Those in favour will please say yea.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FOREIGN TAKEOVERS REVIEW ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO CONTROL FOREIGN TAKEOVERS OF CANADIAN COMPANIES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Yea.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FOREIGN TAKEOVERS REVIEW ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO CONTROL FOREIGN TAKEOVERS OF CANADIAN COMPANIES
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Those opposed will please say nay.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FOREIGN TAKEOVERS REVIEW ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO CONTROL FOREIGN TAKEOVERS OF CANADIAN COMPANIES
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?

Some hon. Members:

Nay.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FOREIGN TAKEOVERS REVIEW ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO CONTROL FOREIGN TAKEOVERS OF CANADIAN COMPANIES
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

In my opinion the nays have it.

And more than five members having risen:

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FOREIGN TAKEOVERS REVIEW ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO CONTROL FOREIGN TAKEOVERS OF CANADIAN COMPANIES
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Pursuant to the Standing Order, the division will be postponed.

It being 4.30 p.m., it is my duty to interrupt proceedings pursuant to the provisions of the special order passed earlier today.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   FOREIGN TAKEOVERS REVIEW ACT
Sub-subtopic:   MEASURE TO CONTROL FOREIGN TAKEOVERS OF CANADIAN COMPANIES
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ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS

?

Abram Ernest Epp

Hon. Martin P. O'Connell (Minister oi Labour) moved

that Bill C-230, to provide for the resumption of the operation of the ports of Montreal, Trois-Rivieres and Quebec, be read the second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Labour, Manpower and Immigration.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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LIB

Allan Joseph MacEachen (President of the Privy Council; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons; Liberal Party House Leader)

Liberal

Mr. MacEachen:

Mr. Speaker, I rise on a point of order. The suggestion was made earlier that this bill might be considered in committee of the whole. I have considered this proposal and am quite prepared, if it is the general wish of the House, to agree that the bill be sent to committee of the whole with the expectation that it will be dealt with without undue delay.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Is this agreed?

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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?

Some hon. Members:

Agreed.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

The motion therefore will be that the bill be read the second time and referred to committee of the whole.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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?

Abram Ernest Epp

Hon. Martin P. O'Connell (Minister oi Labour):

Mr. Speaker, it is my unhappy duty to bring before this House a bill to terminate the illegal work stoppages at the St. Lawrence ports of Montreal, Quebec City and Trois-Rivieres and to provide for the orderly resumption of operations at those ports. The government asks Parliament for this enactment because in its judgment the public and national interest require an end to this illegal situation and an end to the economic situation which is working severe hardship and damage not only on the three communites involved but on the country at large.

Acts of Parliament to terminate industrial disputes are infrequent. Indeed, it might not be going too far to say they are rare. There have been five acts over the past 30 years to bring an end to industrial disputes when the parties have failed to reach agreement in the normal process of collective bargaining. This bill, though, is exceptional for an additional reason. It does not terminate a collective bargaining dispute. It does not terminate that kind of dispute where a legal strike may be in progress. It does not terminate it in the sense that various differences between the two parties have been unable to be resolved.

Unlike previous acts of Parliament, this bill would terminate an unlawful situation, an unlawful strike which has been called after a three-year collective bargaining

July 5, 1972

agreement had been entered into in April of this year and at a time when a difference arose over the interpretation of clauses of that agreement. Subsequent to this basic source of dispute, that is to say, subsequent to the disagreement over what was the meaning of certain clauses and over what right the employer had to redeploy men in a certain fashion, there arose differences over the conditions of return to work under a contract which provided for a proper form of job security based on 37 guaranteed weeks of pay. This complex issue of return to work has become part of the difficulty in which we now find ourselves.

The debate in this House on Friday June 16 reviewed many of the basic issues in the current situation. However, I should like to place before the House now a factual account, a sequence of events which led up to this situation. On May 16 a work stoppage began. The basic issue which precipitated it was whether or not management had the right to break up longshoremen gangs prior to the introduction of the computer despatch system to be inaugurated approximately in mid-September. Management in Montreal took the initiative of breaking up work gangs and redeploying men not required to work a hatch to other work in a shed. The longshoremen's union contended management did not have this right until introduction of the computer despatch system, and the work stoppage began. I will come later to the question of the legality of the actions taken.

I immediately instructed our Montreal industrial specialist, Mr. Charles Poirier, to meet with the parties and urge that they refer this matter to arbitration as provided for in the collective agreement. Both sides declined to take that step. On May 15 I received a telegram from the MEA. If I may, I shall use the abbreviation MEA in referring to the Maritime Employers Association which is an association comprising some 51 stevedoring, shipping and other companies. The telegram requested I grant consent to prosecute the union for breach of contract. However, it was pointed out to the MEA that the appropriate remedy for the solution lay in the arbitration procedure of the collective agreement which provided that either party could initiate arbitration.

On May 30 the MEA announced that it had suspended the longshoremen. On June 5 I sent telegrams to both parties again urging that their differences be submitted to the procedure specified by law and asked them to advise me of their willingness to place their differences before the arbitrator named in the agreement. In a further exchange of telegrams in the next few days I continued to urge the parties to submit their dispute to arbitration. On June 19 I informed both parties that unless advised by return telegram that either party was ready to proceed to arbitration on the matter involved in violation of their collective agreement, it would be my intention to appoint an industrial inquiry commission to investigate the dispute, provided that the employers terminated the suspension of the longshoremen and provided that the longshoremen returned to work. I also indicated that I stood ready to meet the representatives of the parties in Ottawa at the earliest possible date to discuss such arrangements.

On June 20 and 21, together with my officials, I met with both parties in Ottawa to discuss the conditions which

St. Lawrence Ports Operations Bill

might be worked out for the lifting of the suspension and the return of the longshoremen to work. My position is, and has been, that there are four types of disputes dealt with in existing Canadian legislation governing the collective bargaining relationship: First, disputes as to

representation of employees by a trade union. This is the normal dispute over union recognition. It is not the kind of dispute we are facing. Second, disputes as to the interpretation, application or violation of the provisions of a collective agreement. These are grievance disputes over rights. This is the kind of dispute we are facing. Third, disputes as to unfair labour practices. Fourth, disputes over the negotiation of conditions of employment to be included in a collective agreement. These are interest disputes.

The type of dispute with which we are concerned in this situation falls into the second one mentioned-disputes concerning the interpretation, application or violation of the provisions of a collective agreement. This type of dispute must, under existing legislation, be submitted to arbitration for final settlement which is binding on all parties and on all employees. The legislation requires that every collective agreement must contain a provision for the final settlement of disputes concerning its meaning or violation. Where such a provision is lacking, the Canada Labour Relations Board may prescribe a procedure for final settlement of grievance disputes. This is a distinctly Canadian procedure, dating from 1944.

The collective agreement between the International Longshoremen's Association and the Maritime Employers Association does set out the grievance procedure in article 5. I shall not read that procedure; we covered it fairly adequately in our debate on June 16. Subsequent to my meetings with the parties in Ottawa on June 22, the MEA advised me that it had decided to initiate arbitration and formally requested Judge Alan Gold, the first arbitrator named in the agreement, to arbitrate the issues in dispute. The union, however, refused to participate in the arbitration hearings which commenced on June 27. Union officers, with counsel, made an appearance at the arbitration hearings on Wednesday, June 28, only for the purpose of arguing that the issues in dispute were not arbitrable.

The arbitrator dealt with the four issues that had been submitted to him by the MEA and concluded as follows. I would like to read one or two pages which comprise the conclusions of the arbitrator since I think it would be valuable to all hon. members to have these in front of them. I quote from page 21 of the arbitrator's decision dated June 29 in Montreal.

It reads:

Dealing now with each head of the grievance I conclude as follows:

(1) In so far as article 501 I is concerned, it is evident that there was a dispute between the parties concerning the interpretation and the application of the collective agreement. Under the circumstances, the men were obliged to continue working in accordance with the orders given by management. Their failure to do so is a breach of this clause.

(2) In so far as article 501 J is concerned, it is equally clear that once these orders were given the president and the business agents of the union had no right to hinder or stop the progress of the work nor to

25319-54*

July 5, 1972

St. Lawrence Ports Operations Bill [Translation]

-nor to prevent the companies from exercising their right to determine and direct the methods and procedures of operation.

In intervening as they did and in taking the men off the job, the union, its president and its business agents clearly breached the provisions of this clause.

(3) In so far as article 6 is concerned, it is clear that the partial and total work stoppages that resulted were in direct contravention and breach of this clause and contrary to law.

(4) Article 911, the issue at the root of the dispute, is in a sense irrelevant in view of the larger issues involved, for even if the union were right in its pretension, which I do not believe, it was wrong to act as it did. It should have had recourse to the grievance procedure, the accepted method of dispute settlement under the collective agreement and the law.

The fact is, however, that on the merits of the question the union is wrong. If there is ambiguity between article 3 of the old agreement and article 911 of the new, it is readily dispelled by the clear terms of the memorandum of April 3,1972.

Upon the proper construction of the new agreement and the memorandum, I must conclude that management's stand was correct. Whatever the practice may have been before, it is clear that under the new regime (including the transitional period awaiting the installation of the computer) the practice was to be changed.

In the result, I find that at all times material article 911 was in effect and the construction put upon its terms by management was in conformity with the agreement between the parties and that the orders given to the workers as a result were lawful and should have been obeyed.

Mr. Mulroney-

I should like to say here that Mr. Mulroney is counsel for the Maritime Employers Association.

-has indicated that although he is entitled to ask for damages against the union he does not do so before me but instead reserves his right for the future. In the result, I find it unnecessary to decide whether or not the grievance, as drafted, is wide enough to encompass such a demand.

Counsel has also asked me to suspend Mr. Jean-Marc St-Onge, president of the union, and Messrs. Claude Guay, Theodore Beau-din and Jean-Baptiste Tremblay, business agents, from any activity on the Port of Montreal for a period of at least five years and to order that their names be struck for life from the registers of the job security fund. While the conduct of these gentlemen undoubtedly merits the severest sanctions, I do not believe that within the narrow compass of the grievance as filed with me I have the authority to apply them. These were not issues of which they had notice and which they might have met had such notice been given to them.

For the foregoing reasons the grievance herein is hereby maintained

-a toutes fins que de droit,-

and I hereby find and declare:

(1) That the union and its members have violated the provisions of article 5011 of the collective agreement;

(2) That the union, its president, Mr. Jean-Marc St-Onge and its business agents, Messrs. Claude Guay, Theodore Beaudin and Jean-Baptiste Tremblay, have violated article 501 J of the said agreement;

(3) That the strike by the union and its members is illegal, constituting work stoppages in violation of article 6 of the agreement and contrary to law;

(4) That the construction placed by management upon article 911 of the agreement was correct and that the orders given in conse-

quence were lawful and should have been obeyed by the employees concerned.

Montreal, June 29, 1972

Alan B. Gold, Arbitrator.

Following the release of the arbitrator's report, the ILA held a meeting and decided that they would not accept the arbitrator's award.

As I indicated earlier, I could not offer the parties mediation services until the provisions of the law and the provisions of the collective agreement in respect of arbitration had been utilized. However, once the arbitrator had made his report, the situation was such that I could proffer mediation on the issues impeding, the lifting of suspensions and the return to work.

On Friday, June 30, I directed the Deputy Minister, Mr. Bernard Wilson, and the Assistant Deputy Minister, Industrial Relations, Mr. W. P. Kelly, to proceed to Montreal with a view to arranging meetings between the MEA and the ILA and, if possible, to mediate conditions that would enable the ports to be re-opened.

The key issues involved in a return to work appeared to be the lifting of the suspension of the employees by the employers, agreement by the union and employees to accept the arbitrator's awards and return to work, the calling back to work of the employees as and when work became available, and the most important item which had to do with the job security provisions of the collective agreement. My officials conducted intensive mediation over the holiday weekend for some four days and when it was evident that the parties could not reach agreement, they submitted a detailed proposal recommending the conditions which should prevail to bring about lifting of the suspensions and a return to work. The recommendations were to be submitted to union meetings on July 4, yesterday, and the MEA was to consider the proposal the same day.

I have heard officially from the parties to the dispute in telegrams which I have here with me. I should indicate to the House that late last evening I received a telegram from the Maritime Employers Association which I will read in whole. It reads as follows:

The Maritime Employers Association accepts the proposal outlined in your return to work arrangement dated July 3, 1972 for the ports of Montreal, Quebec and Trois-Rivieres.

A. E. Masters President M.E.A.

I received official notice, although informal notice was available earlier, early this afternoon from Mr. Norman Quigley, international vice-president of the longshoremen's union and president of the local at Trois-Rivieres, and in his wire he speaks for the two locals situated at Trois-Rivieres and Quebec City. I will read his telegram. It, too, is short.

Dear Sir,

Memberships of local 1846 and 1739 have accepted proposals made by government representatives with one condition that any legal procedures will not be taken against any officers or members and union of above mentioned local.

July 5, 1972

The reference to legal procedures is to legal procedures initiated by various employers with respect to the illegal work stoppage. I have received a wire today from Mr. St. Onge, president of local 375 of Montreal. Perhaps I should read that in full, but it is rather lengthy.

Mr. Minister, following the recommendations made by your deputy minister on July 3, the International Longshoremen's Association, local 375, held a special general meeting of its membership in Montreal on July 4. While accepting the principle of returning to work as soon as possible, the members of the association have unanimously decided to reject the recommendation concerning the suspension of the job security plan until October 15, 1972 , a date which was deemed totally unacceptable. The members have set as a condition for returning to work that the job guarantee be restored approximately one week after the activities are resumed in the port of Montreal and that management give up the idea of any legal proceedings and action against the union and its officers. The officers of the association are available to meet you at any time in order to reach a satisfactory agreement whereby work can be resumed as soon as possible.

Those were the responses, Mr. Speaker. Work in fact is not being resumed at the ports and in the circumstances I have to assume that the proposals of mediation have not been successful in bringing about a termination of the dispute and that the proposals have in fact been rejected. May I now come to the principles in this bill.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

Would the minister permit a question? Was part of the agreement that the court action that was contemplated was left in abeyance? Was this part of the recommendation?

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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LIB

Martin Patrick O'Connell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. O'Connell:

No, Mr. Speaker; the question of court action was no part of the proposals put forward by the mediators. If the House would like me to read the proposals, I will do so. It might take me a moment to locate them.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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NDP

William Arnold Peters

New Democratic Party

Mr. Peters:

The question I was really asking is this: Is this a new factor in the negotiations that your deputy minister had undertaken? Has this been added since, or was it part of the negotiations in which he had been involved and in the proposition that he put forward to the parties on June 3?

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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LIB

Martin Patrick O'Connell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. O'Connell:

Mr. Speaker, I will check into that to be absolutely precise, but my preliminary answer is that the question of legal action did not enter into the main negotiations, that the proposals had been worked out prior to that issue arising, that Mr. St. Onge raised it at the last moment as he was leaving. But I will check into these factors. I would like to report again, to be absolutely precise on this point.

The bill before us, if enacted by Parliament, expresses the will of this Parliament that the ports be reopened. It expresses the national interest, that the public interest lies in the opening of these ports. The object of the bill, as hon. members will see, is to achieve the resumption of long-shoring and related operations in the three ports of Montreal, Quebec City and Trois-Rivieres. In the bill we notice the requirement that each employer must resume long-shoring and related operations in the ports of Montreal, Quebec City and Trois-Rivieres immediately after the bill comes into force. That is set forth in clause 3. Second, each union officer must give notice to the members of the union that any strike declaration, authorization or direction previously given is invalid. That is in clause 4. Each

St. Lawrence Ports Operations Bill

union officer must comply with any order or request for the dispatch of longshoremen. Again that is in clause 4.

Every longshoreman coming under the collective agreement must, when so required, return to the duties of his employment. That is laid out in clause 5. Again, according to clause 5 union officials shall not impede or prevent, or attempt to impede or prevent the longshoremen from returning to work. Clause 6 provides that a further strike or lockout is prohibited under the terms of the collective agreement. This clause in substance repeats a section of the Canada Labour Code, section 128, except that it also forbids a union officer from declaring or otherwise authorizing a strike which is not provided for in the legislation already in force.

Clause 7 relates to the job security plan, which is a major impediment to returning to work. Clause 7 suspends the provisions relating to the job security plan in the collective agreement until such date as an arbitrator may specify for the resumption of operation of the plan. Under clause 7(2) an arbitrator may fix the date on which the plan will come into effect and may make such modifications to the plan as are required to give effect to it. That is an important part of the bill in front of us, Mr. Speaker. I trust all hon. members are aware of the job security plan. It is that very particular plan in this collective agreement which provides 37 guaranteed weeks of pay to the longshoremen whether in fact they are working or not. The difficulty would immediately be apparent to hon. members that if men report for work but there is no work to be done, the employer is not in a position to live up to the guarantee written into the agreement.

Again, clause 7 suspends those provisions until an arbitrator, considering all of the factors, specifies a date for the operation of the plan, and necessarily in that event the original plan becomes modified and he is given the power under this bill to make such modifications to the plan as are required to give effect to it on the date selected.

Clause 8 provides that the minister may in the future refer a matter in dispute to arbitration if the parties do not do so within a reasonable time. The final clause provides for the coming into force of the bill on the day following its being assented to, and that it expires with the collective agreement on December 31, 1974, unless earlier by proclamation.

I think those are the main facts of the situation, Mr. Speaker. The main reason for coming to Parliament at this time is to ask it to do what it is asked very infrequently to do in the federal jurisdiction but must be asked to do when facilities of such national importance as these three St. Lawrence docks have been closed going into the eighth week in circumstances which give us no assurance that they will be reopened in the near future, and when the public interest has been clearly engaged to the extent that it has. I would, therefore, ask Parliament to support the government in this bill.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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PC

Georges-J. Valade

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Valade:

Mr. Speaker, I just want to ask a question of the minister, if you will allow it.

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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IND

Lucien Lamoureux (Speaker of the House of Commons)

Independent

Mr. Speaker:

Order, please.

July 5, 1972

St. Lawrence Ports Operations Bill [ Translation]

Order, please. The hon. member tor Sainte-Marie wishes to ask a question to the minister. He can do so provided the minister is agreeable. I think that the hon. member for Notre-Dame-de-Grace (Mr. Allmand) also wants to direct a question to the minister.

Will the minister entertain questions at this time before he resumes his seat?

Topic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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July 5, 1972