Hon. HUMPHREY MITCHELL (Minister of Labour):
Mr. Speaker, I should like to make an announcement in connection with the negotiations which hon. members will recall have been going on between their employees and the three major meat packing companies of Canada.
Hon. members will recall action was taken in this connection by appointing Mr. Justice Richards a commissioner to assist the parties to come together and discuss their problems. The government also took the unusual action of appointing a controller of the meat packing plants and deputy controllers for various cities where plants are located, and, at the same time, by order in council, required that the plants continue in operation.
No time was lost by the commissioner, Mr. Justice Richards, in getting the parties together, and negotiations have been going on in Winnipeg during the last few days. I might add that representatives of the producers, that is farmers, have sat in during the negotiations.
I am very happy to say that the parties themselves reached a mutually satisfactory agreement at 1.30 a.m. to-day. I am sure hon. members will be glad to hear that negotiations have been satisfactorily concluded. I have not received details of the agreement and of course those affecting wages will have to be finally approved by the appropriate wage boards.
I understand from telephone messages that the main features of the agreement are that the weekly hours are to be reduced from 48 to 45 per week, and that pay will be given for the six legal holidays during the year. Furthermore, it has been agreed upon that a joint 47696-111J
application will be made at once to the appropriate wage boards for an increase of approximately 4j cents per hour.
I feel that we have reason to be well satisfied in regard to the successful outcome of the negotiations, and I also feel hon. members will endorse my expression of appreciation to Mr. Justice Richards and those who have been representing the union and the management of the packing plants, and also those who were good enough to come to the conference as representatives of the farmers.
Subtopic: THREATENED PACKING HOUSE STRIKE-ANNOUNCEMENT AS TO AGREEMENT BETWEEN PARTIES