John Leroy SKOBERG

SKOBERG, John Leroy

Personal Data

Party
New Democratic Party
Constituency
Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan)
Birth Date
February 2, 1926
Deceased Date
August 12, 2012
Website
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Skoberg
PARLINFO
http://www.parl.gc.ca/parlinfo/Files/Parliamentarian.aspx?Item=c3dee5fe-7684-4bc1-9f50-3f66f0bf8721&Language=E&Section=ALL
Profession
locomotive engineer

Parliamentary Career

June 25, 1968 - September 1, 1972
NDP
  Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan)

Most Recent Speeches (Page 2 of 190)


September 1, 1972

Mr. Skoberg:

The minister might be able to tell us now why grain handling and related operations are covered by

the bill before us. I realize he referred briefly to this matter yesterday. But is he aware that difficulties have arisen on the coast because management is refusing to live up to the old agreement, or to follow the agreement procedures? It might shorten discussion of the subject, indeed, there might not be need for any discussion of these items, if the minister would deal with points which are of concern to everyone in this chamber.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WEST COAST PORTS OPERATIONS BILL
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September 1, 1972

Mr. Skoberg:

Mr. Chairman, the answer given by the Minister of Labour a while ago still does not solve some of the problems that I can see coming up. I should like to ask him directly whether or not the grain handlers now affected have any contract whatsoever, and can the grain elevator companies do as they desire with the people who are employed by them. In other words, will the minister introduce any provision that the old agreement shall be in effect until the new agreement is signed?

The second question which I should like to put is whether or not the elevator companies at one time accepted the recommendation of the conciliation board report which the union people accepted by a 63 per cent vote, and did those companies then go back on their word and offer five cents less an hour?

Third, I wonder whether or not the elevator companies are holding up to ransom the government of Canada by asking for an increase of half a cent a bushel which would mean about $2 million a year increase in their incomes, and are they using this means of political interference to obtain that half a cent a bushel?

These are the questions to which we want.an answer from the minister because we have seen reports going out that the elevator companies were at one time quite prepared to do something, but if they accepted at one time the report of the conciliation board and then went back on their word, we should be informed of this. It is high time that we found out whether or not this is correct.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WEST COAST PORTS OPERATIONS BILL
Full View Permalink

September 1, 1972

Mr. Skoberg:

Mr. Chairman, I have just one last question. I see I am not getting through to the minister. Perhaps I am not making myself clear. I would be the last one to take away the right of these individuals to exercise

their economic power in a democratic society. At the same time, I do not think it is right that we should pass legislation which is there to be used in a so-called crisis, particularly when a so-called crisis can only come about when they do use their economic power to go on strike. At that time the government will proclaim this part of the measure. What I am asking is whether, in fact, the grain elevator companies in Vancouver can do what they want with their employees. Is there anything binding them to a recognition of the rights of the individual workers at that port? If there is not then we are doing a disservice to the workers all across Canada.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WEST COAST PORTS OPERATIONS BILL
Full View Permalink

September 1, 1972

Mr. Skoberg:

Mr. Chairman, in view of the type of discussion that went on last night and this morning, perhaps I should explain a little more what this amendment is all about. I wish to ask the minister to clarify the actions which the government has taken and also what action the Canadian Grains Council has taken with regard to settling some of these long-term disputes at the ports between management and labour.

It was interesting to listen to the labour spokesman for the official opposition, the hon. member for Hamilton West, dealing with the strike which exists in British Columbia today. Surely, this committee is concerned with the long-term effects of all strike. Surely we can make suggestions and amendments to take care of the long time, situation that exists. All this amendment does is set a deadline as to when this government should take action

West Coast Ports Operations Bill

or initiate an inquiry. This type of action should be supported by every member of this House in order to clarify some of the problems that exist.

I wish to refer to three areas where the longshoremen have come up with separate agreements and separate contracts to look after situations on the west coast. I refer to the Burlington Northern, the National Harbours Board and Roberts Bank. They are working in Roberts Bank today. If grain were taken out of the general cargo classification, there is no question but that grain would be moving through that terminal.

There are many areas of dispute about which management, particularly the elevator operators at the port of Vancouver, have no concern. If the hon. member for Crowfoot is going to make an accusation about who wanted to unload the cargo, I suggest that he do a little more homework. The people from the hiring and despatch hall are not the ones who say what cargo will be loaded and from where. It is disgraceful for a member of this House to attack unions without looking at the entire picture.

A grain group was set up by the minister in charge of the Canadian Wheat Board. Surely, this group should have looked at the overall problem. It is the responsibility of the Minister of Labour or the minister in charge of the wheat board to tell this House whether they are, in fact, looking at a long-term solution. The minister of Labour is not listening. Maybe I had better wait a minute. Can the minister inform this House whether the whole area of taking grain out of general cargoes, as was the case when other commodities were taken out of master agreements, has been considered in the light of the discussions we had last evening and this morning?

All the amendment does is ask the government to initiate an inquiry. It does not direct how the inquiry should be undertaken. We cannot expect the people engaged in this industry to worry about public sentiment and so on. They have to know where they stand. We cannot be expected to pass legislation which compels people to return to work when there is more than one side to the picture. The press invariably gives attention to the union and not the employer or the government. The government may have an answer as to why an inquiry should not be instituted and why grain should not be taken out of general cargo. I would appreciate some response from the minister. Perhaps the government has already done this. If so, I will withdraw my motion.

I cannot understand why anyone in this House would not support an amendment such as this. I was amazed to hear the hon. member for Crowfoot say today that he cannot support the amendment when last night he said he would support it. It seems strange that we cannot resolve some of the differences that have been in question for years and years with no foreseeable solution.

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WEST COAST PORTS OPERATIONS BILL
Full View Permalink

September 1, 1972

Mr. Skoberg:

On a point of order, Mr. Chairman-

Topic:   GOVERNMENT ORDERS
Subtopic:   WEST COAST PORTS OPERATIONS BILL
Full View Permalink