July 25, 1942 (19th Parliament, 3rd Session)

LIB

Clarence Decatur Howe (Minister of Transport; Minister of Munitions and Supply)

Liberal

Hon. C. D. HOWE (Minister of Munitions and Supply):

As my hon. friend has said, just this moment I received a copy of the wire. With regard to the situation at Oshawa I may say that some six weeks ago the Minister of Labour (Mr. Mitchell) and I met a delegation from the United Automobile Workers and discussed the situation with them. It was claimed then that the plant was only partly operated and that the men

were working short hours. We looked into the situation and found, as obviously must be the case when a peace-time operation is shut off, that a period is required for retooling in order to put the production lines to other uses. That retooling has been going on for some time. I told the delegation that I expected the tooling to be completed in July. This is still July. The retooling operation may be a little late; at this time it is difficult to get tools and procurement of tools is becoming increasingly difficult as the tempo steps up in the United States. I presume tooling is still going on, but I may add that the number of employees at Oshawa at that time was, and I think now is, vastly greater than it was at any time during the course of ordinary operations. I think it was then at its peak for all time, and I believe it is still at about the same level.
In the matter of short hours, we questioned the men who composed the delegation. They were all working overtime, not working their eight hours but actually working nine hours, so that I do not think the complaint with regard to short hours is very serious.

Topic:   LABOUR CONDITIONS
Subtopic:   GENERAL MOTORS OSHAWA PLANT-PARTIAL OPERATION AND SHORT HOURS OF LABOUR
Full View