July 6, 1972

LIB

Martin Patrick O'Connell (Minister of Labour)

Liberal

Mr. O'Connell:

Mr. Chairman, the answer to the hon. member for Timiskaming is no, we did not have that particular question of vacation pay in mind when drafting clause 8. We did not know of any particular difference of opinion that existed on this question at the time we drafted it. To the best of my knowledge, vacation pay was satisfactorily resolved in the mediation process. I do not know whether it has slipped out of that position now, but it would be only right that I point out that it is the kind of issue which is arbitrable. In the normal course it could indeed come into the arbitration proceedings. This protection in clause 8 was required in order that we will not be caught again in the impasse that locked us out of the action when neither party would initiate that arbitration proceeding.

Clause 8 agreed to.

Clause 9 agreed to.

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

Gérald Laniel (Deputy Chair of Committees of the Whole)

Liberal

The Assistant Deputy Chairman:

I understand that clause 5 was stood. The committee will now revert to consideration of clause 5.

On clause 5-Persons bound by collective agreement.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   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. Chairman, clause 5 was stood, and I think we owe it to the hon. member for Dartmouth-Halifax East to provide an answer. If my memory serves me correctly, I was asked whether clause 5 would apply to any other union which may be working on the docks and would we, in anything we are doing here, affect the rights of other unions in these three ports. The answer is no. A clear understanding of this measure is that it will apply only to those unions mentioned in the collective agreement, that is to say, the three locals of the International Longshoremen's Union, No. 375 in Montreal and the two in Trois-Rivieres and Quebec City respectively, but not any others: they are untouched by this measure.

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

J. Michael Forrestall

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Forrestall:

Do I understand the minister to give me the assurance that other unions such as those governing checkers, freight handlers, and so on, who may be working under certification and within the terms of agreement between the Maritime Employers Association and the ILA

St. Lawrence Ports Operations Bill

will not be affected by the legislation we are about to pass in committee?

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   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:

I am not in a position to say whether they have an agreement with the MEA. Indeed, they would have an agreement because it is the bargaining agent for these companies. But they are in no sense under the umbrella of this measure. They have their own agreement, although there may be matters in common. Their agreements exist in separate compartments and we do not trespass into them with this measure.

Clause 5 agreed to.

Clause 1 agreed to.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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Title agreed to. Bill reported.


?

Mr. O'Connell moved@

the third reading of the bill.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   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. Georges Valade (Saint-Marie):

Mr. Speaker, before the adoption of the motion for third reading of this bill, I would like to say a few words.

As I was telling the House only yesterday, we are certainly very reluctant to have to pass this bill which, we hope, will bring about peace, stability and prosperity to the St. Lawrence ports and will permit longshoremen involved in this conflict to earn their living.

Mr. Speaker, while this bill was before the Committee of the Whole, I was surprised at the motion introduced by the NDP. We voted on this motion which was defeated. I voted with the majority and I feel I must explain why I voted against this amendment.

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Subtopic:   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. The hon. member knows that we cannot re-open the debate concerning a question already put to the House.

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Subtopic:   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 accept your remarks.

Before this bill is read the third time, I must say that the discussions we had today do not question the ability and the qualifications of the arbitrators who will be asked to decide upon the present litigations in connection with the situation prevailing now in the Quebec ports.

A while ago, Mr. Speaker, some remarks have been made during the debate on this bill to the effect that the government had delayed its decision in order to find another solution to that conflict.

I must remind the House that not so long ago-and I am surprised it took the government so much time to introduce a bill-when the country was almost paralyzed by striking air traffic controllers, barely 24 hours after work stopped the Minister of Transport (Mr. Jamieson) said something to the effect that if the strike was not settled within a matter of hours, the government would consider introducing special legislation.

We passed a bill on second reading today; that proves the need for the government to act, in view of the seriousness of the problem. Were the strike to continue much longer, its effects on the ports would be disastrous.

25319-57a

July 6, 1972

St. Lawrence Ports Operations Bill

An hon. member-I believe it was the hon. member tor Trinity (Mr. Hellyer)-asked about the harm done to the ports. He also asked the minister if his department had made a study of some kind to know the real extent of the harm caused by the work stoppage.

Mr. Speaker, obviously that work stoppage has done great harm, from the point of view of the economic future of the port of Montreal as well as to the life of the people involved in this conflict. I believe this bill was warranted and will serve the purpose it has in view, namely to settle the conflict. I think it is appropriate to say that as the representative of a constituency that is especially affected by this strike as it is in the geographical ambit of the port of Montreal and because I know many of the people caught in this conflict and I am in contact with them all the time, I must say that most of the longshoremen I have seen and who came to me for advice were really anxious to go back to work.

The special legislation will not be considered as a punitive measure but as one to bring order, to straighten out things in the ports, to enable the longshoremen to go back to work, to earn a livelihood for their family and provide for a better economic future for the three ports concerned, especially that of Montreal.

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

David Lewis

New Democratic Party

Mr. David Lewis (York South):

Mr. Speaker, had you had been present during the discussion in committee of the whole you would have heard me do all I could to persuade the minister to amend one of the clauses of the bill. Despite the fact that I was unsuccessful, it still remains necessary for this Parliament and for every Member of Parliament, in my opinion, to support the bill so that the expression conveyed to both sides to the dispute in the three ports concerned is a unanimous expression of the will not only of this Parliament but of the people of Canada.

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

Some hon. Members:

Hear, hear!

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NDP

David Lewis

New Democratic Party

Mr. Lewis:

I regret, as I know the minister does, that the two parties to the dispute, the union as well as management, acted in a way which made it necessary for Parliament to take this action. It would have been much better for Canada and much better for the welfare of the people concerned in the ports, as well as much better for the welfare oflabour relations in Canada, if the union and management had lived within the collective agreement they had signed and set an example of the kind of industrial relations a modern civilized society ought to have.

It is a great pity they continued on their obstinate course for eight weeks, causing a great deal of harm to themselves, to the employers on one side, the members of the union on the other and to the communities concerned. As the minister rightly said earlier-I am not quoting him, but I got the sense of what he said-this caused a great deal of harm to the notion of industrial relations and collective bargaining and the value, strength and application of collective agreements.

It is, therefore, not with a light heart that we support this bill. I am sure I also speak for all members of this House. I am certain I heard the minister say that is the way he feels about it. It is not with a light heart that we

support this bill, but because in our view, and I hope in the view of every member of this Parliament, the impasse created by the obstinacy of the two parties at these three ports has to be broken for the benefit of the country as well as for the benefit of labour relations. This bill is the only agency which can break that impasse and therefore it was inevitable and necessary even though the need for the action is regrettable.

I think the time has come to vote on third reading stage. I hope we are able to pass this bill tonight so that it can go to the Senate-I am getting tired of saying "the other place" and be dealt with so it can come into force as soon as possible and work may resume at the three ports, I hope not later than next Monday, even though it may have to begin in a small way.

Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I shall not take any more of the time of the House except to repeat that I am sorry this action was made necessary by the behaviour of the parties. I hope with all my heart-I repeat the appeal I made yesterday-that the management and the members of the union will obey this law without cavil, without hesitation and without creating an even more difficult situation than the one with which Parliament is now faced. I am sure they will, as Canadians, and I know that if that happens Parliament will have done the right thing in adopting this bill.

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

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Hon. Marcel Lambert (Edmonton West):

Mr. Speaker, I have not participated in the debate so far but I want to make a few remarks now. I note that the hon. member who sits behind me thinks that so long as someone from his party has spoken, anybody else should shut up. That is their attitude. They have had their say and everybody else should be quiet. However, I will say that I deplore the fact that this Parliament has had to engage in another example of scrambling "ad hockery", because that is what this bill is.

When we were considering Bill C-183 I made several speeches to emphasize what I consider to be one of the greatest gaps in the Canada Labour Code, and I reemphasize to the government that the biggest gap is that there is no provision to take care of the public interest. As the hon. member for York South (Mr. Lewis) said, the public interest in this case overrode the interest of management and of collective bargaining.

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

An hon. Member:

Sit down.

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

Marcel Joseph Aimé Lambert

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Lambert (Edmonton West):

The individuals over there who sit like crows on a fence and shout "Sit down" should make a contribution other than sitting in their place. But they do not. All they do is delay this matter further, because we will have our say.

As I said, the biggest difficulty that faces the country insofar as labour relations are concerned is that there is nothing here that permits the government to act when the greater public interest is being pushed aside or suppressed. We had the example of Parliament sitting right up to the eve of Christmas because of the strike of airline mechanics. The same sort of thing occurred when electronics workers in the public service were holding to ransom the greater public interest.

July 6, 1972

Some people ask, "Are you going to impose compulsory arbitration?" What is this but compulsory arbitration? This is forcing people back to work. Parliament, after it is pushed and prodded, takes action far too late. Millions of dollars are lost to the dockers and to their employers and the economic future of the port of Montreal is placed in great jeopardy.

I was amazed at the temperance of my colleague, the hon. member for Hamilton West (Mr. Alexander), in his criticism of the government. He was very moderate in his criticism of the minister. He should have climbed over there with spurs to deal with the government which, quite frankly, has been very lax and very slow in dealing with this matter. I support my colleague, the hon. member for Sainte-Marie (Mr. Valade), who suggested that what should apply in a strike of this kind is a mandatory secret ballot. I understand that the secret ballot was used in two of the ports, certainly in the port of Quebec, and there was less trouble there. There is certainly far less trouble when there is a secret ballot, and in matters of this kind it is mandatory that it be a supervised ballot: the public interest demands that.

This bill does not impose any penalties for non-compliance. Someone asked why these should be necessary because penalties are already provided in the Criminal Code. We saw in this morning's press that some penalties have been imposed with regard to this dispute. But how were they applied? They were applied under a very contentious provision in the law, namely, contempt of court. I know that organized labour does not like the provision of contempt of court, but we are relying on that and I think it is a very shaky base. The Criminal Code also deals with the individual. It seems to me that in this legislation, or in the labour code, penalties should be defined far more clearly in respect of union organizations or employers of organized labour so that if in the public interest action must be taken, it is spelled out and everybody knows what it is.

It seems to me that this debate has been an exercise of two days which should not have taken place. I am not assessing blame to one side or the other: I suppose that both sides are to blame. But I do complain because Parliament has had to engage in what I call a scramble of "ad hockery". This may happen more frequently during this year. That is not the way to deal with this type of labour dispute. I am hopeful that everybody will have some sense now and that they will repair as quickly as possible the grave economic damage that has occurred to a section of the country.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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SC

Henry P. Latulippe

Social Credit

Mr. Henry Latulippe (Compton):

Mr. Speaker, I would feel guilty if I did not say a few words concerning the bill now before us. We did not participate in the debate in the Committee of the whole, presented any argument nor discussed the amendments which were moved, because we considered that this government was entirely right.

Mr. Speaker, as many other people, we want a prosperous, live and progressive economy. We have also felt that the unions had carried things too far, and when this happens, somebody must call them to order. It therefore rested with the government to restore order. The situation

Family Income Security Plan

prevailing in the ports has caused heavy damages to the Canadian economy but they are rather difficult to assess.

We appreciate what the government has done in that connection. It was high time it intervened to settle that conflict which should not have lasted so long. It should have been settled well before today. In my opinion, the government has given all possible freedom to enable the two parties to come to an understanding before intervening. And as I said a while ago, when things have gone too far, someone must restore order and intervene. It was the duty of the government to assume its responsibilities.

I should like to express all my admiration for the Minister who has so ably stated the whole case, defended this bill and taken his responsibilities. This is why we did not participate in this debate, but are 100 per cent behind the government in this case.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   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 it the pleasure of the House to adopt the said motion?

Motion agreed to and bill read the third time and passed.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   ST. LAWRENCE PORTS OPERATIONS BILL MEASURE TO PROVIDE FOR RESUMPTION OF LONGSHORING AND RELATED OPERATIONS
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FAMILY INCOME SECURITY PLAN

MEASURES TO PROVIDE BENEFITS IN RESPECT OF CHILDREN

July 6, 1972