April 17, 1946 (20th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Humphrey Mitchell (Minister of Labour)



I have already done that. The operators are meeting on April 24 and I understand that a submission is to be made to the men's organization. It can be fairly stated that I have had some experience in labour negotiations, not only as chairman of boards of concilation but also as a negotiator for trade unions. I have never yet felt that anything is lost by negotiation. Sometimes when settlement of a dispute seems hopeless and a strike is inevitable the interested parties meet and in many instances an agreement is arrived at and work goes on unimpeded notwithstanding the difficult situation that existed.
May I give a word of advice to both sides? We have set up machinery for the settlement of disputes of this kind, and anybody who has a good case should never be afraid to come before an impartial tribunal. The machinery of the labour relations board-and I speak now from memory-has dealt with about 3,200 disputes. In only eight cases has there been a strike. I believe that is a fair average, and compared with other countries it gives an indication of the soundness of the legislation that this parliament has adopted for the settlement of disputes of this kind. I hope that good sense will be shown by both sides; that they will obey the law and use the machinery that most other organizations have used since the establishment of the code in this country.

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