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Nelson Labor Conference Address - LABOR LAWS SHOULD BE REMEDIAL

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Nelson Labor Conference Address - LABOR LAWS SHOULD BE REMEDIAL
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  CONFERE -. Lobor lows should hSJtS,m,:*|gj ,{"1#.?Y,'#l,Lx 'H:'##?iilit"5'3is; ,, ll,iifr,?3- 'ii.";l1",1'#;[ mll;:*ilr*J,,,m;. ffi$ifr?1":",?"1$,g'i['1. o,.,ili#i?f,}H:'H[ r"uo, di;*[;i ,i'tiiJl' 'iii;lti Fiii*tn'' iiil'q: rppea companv's ,,ra aunu fhe lahor relations and conditions of-empioyment to ttti goyu*menitO reuiis.e ' T'1*:f-1 Le speqal meolalor nolovmdnt to the soverntoJniib reulise g intrudingin ffi;il;;; i;ff ?;i"ii",fi.-miru. t,,t\q' l"-::'1":1" areas whcrc , porir€r to alter the collective d;';id-th" labor relations and con-ditions of.emplov-ment l9;tl"..C-"^Y:L1Ti"tJt""lf':i:tli, """"il""u"Jfi't*ri*[ ir tn fureementfu #il}i*k$irl,i[{ill: '*;;i:#*[:T*#i#fi ,gki,:g'Niqt],qi$: t#,ffi:]]*rfr,'i ,ffinHJ,[.r-1$"$i{$j* #,Tili#t;$*hlffi ffift*lt*ffi$i :#:ffiq#*' ffi[{ftflqp* ** r*'friry*i,t'm** ffif#iffi *;Tl ff-i$:fJ::', : :ffi htah,ffi "5;i6i ffi5ffi rrT$j*r ffixft#Hil {ffi l Il ul. sEJ. amendments is "qui; ;;: t}rrai idd in mind -makes .it yhi^le a cdlective agrelement is A soecia,'i. mediating offictr said he supported the right of 4 ,iiliii.;'"-r,.- rrld, and, possible for an emplov* *lr, in force. cai "d[""q;;;;"i;r inio " worker to jiin arnther riion mraracmrca,.more"onciliaiori' t;;;r'fild unjiistiy tp ue Amendmentstothecodedetail ,,.^,*^ or'rho lehpst of the hisiob.Theunionhasnoriehttiorepresertsa "more conciliatory has been fired--unlusttv m oe *"il3g::":'J;:"il;;; di;p,ri; at'ihe behest of the his job.Theunionhasnsrchtto aopioach.,, given qryn"n.ai'i,in ior. lost ' arbitration -procedures d."ll,q iliffi. .;i i;b";iil; merhod expelt a worker for joining j$t t'*t'"t*#:,"ilff"u; [r5,$,xf.l',,i;il*i]].tt eT't"1":,itftF,F:?p,ffi ilH::;1,'.#T,i;;;iiirffii *6nu'i'nio;;;;rid *:-o [,lH:,":ffiJ,}Hrufid?;i? l;';;i;;-,-*ii ui. Matkin. term, said ]irr. Matkin. nre, of the couts ,na u,,.,poJ'iil? ir**rrli, the. Iabor relations deparhnent has also established I the labor relations Uo".O:'io]d fo".a'"*orta pnly force guidelines on establishing resoonsible for al acljudica"fiil ;;;;.r;il to ."in"t t. S" i:li:1, y^rights af er mergers of i*[ii*. t "t flou, irom the employee' colpanles' i;ffi;;d-j;-i" iria: ite t"tor tvti. tt'tatt<in also said safetv is relations board no* '"frt berh"pq the .most impoitant a prime conctirn tb the depart- iurisdiction over all f"li?] aur"lop'ni*nt in tthe amend- ment-and a worker who is fired fi}H;;& " di;p;;;. 'i;i* ' ;;;t.,' i"ia *," 4uplty for refusins to do a job he feels iscertification of ne* urion tb'iis *i*lrb., it that labor relaiions unsafe will be reinstated by the  o strftes and lockouts. i"* sito"ftin't be reviewed by the tabor relations board if a *#""d;;w- iriniitii irr.i --Frocpdur.es should bq uv the union'implications of the new "r*if: i.grfrt a Uy an aamihistrative Mr' King said he. felt the ments. t&.{, l,:-::id: n9 "l:ltil ::::,1:}::i,,^.t:::Hf *ri:": &f;", to the labor depart ii"i&iriliiil"l.uon,-not the scuritvforworkerswhoreruement,s philosophy, saia ' ur. c6urs. - -----' r -to do - danqerous jobs could Matkin is that cottlciive Access to cgurts to btrtain become a Sargaining tool for asreementrs are the pr.i...La injunctions.to.ci:ase pict<etingis unions. "We'expect responsible, ;";fi;'J'; ;;i'ir; i;;;- tt'i.i,y' Iimited isuallv - to mature use of the amendment"' iii*"il,n""i,t il;i;iA.- picr<etiig trat involves criminal tB said'He said collective bargaining "tG' t"""ao"a' Mr' Kinc underscored the p;;"d;";*",. ,oiu fr;H #:;fir*"{.'fr"o'.rf'311H :;,i111T""X i-ilii Jil.,'l: lvailable to everybody in B'C' board wlll near '" fiaa.a'qr. fioni'li* union reoresmtatives in ttP audience. Asked about Picketing NEW DIRECTOR IVAMED I sffii"t,h;,"iaiti.i*p'opui rr.itartw0DrfllfiD l^T1/  ili.': "lix il t ,,*i I-lri r - i*i+ti li't,\1, , ,\ .^, : ..1.   ,iin t .'i,r\i Labor Minisler Bill King addressed about I00 labor deparlmer:l workers and union represenlalives in the lirst day of a two-day deparlment ol labor conference Thursday. Deputy Minisler James M. Un, lefl, summarired ltle departmenl's am mendmenls lo the labor code lhal we-re.pas{63f spring. wilh lhe help of their legal advisor, right, lhe minislers laler fielded,slions lrom lhe audience. '^-'l oholo 'ffi1'*I  \'D) ADDRESS OF MR. .IA {ES G. ,IATKII{DEPUTY ,IINISTER OF I,ABOUR PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  {lr. President, Delegates, Guests: I wish it gave nre as much extreme pleasure in respond.- i.ng to the introd.uction. I think you have planned your conven- tion very well--Irm afraid you've planned. it so well that my speech now is going to be unplanned. I think the onLy line in that speech that I dare read now is the beginning where I was going to say that the Labour Code is not perfect. I think there is often in life and times of affairs nisunderstanding about the neaning of things. ft is certainly, in my view, part of the problem with the response that Irm hearing this morning to the Labour Code. It reminds me a little of the story told of the Texan who was a tourist visiting our good province and who came up to Kelowna. He was speaking to a farmer and they got into the usual argument about who had the biggest farm. fhe Texan said to the Kelownan, "We11, you knowryou all, I get up in the morning on my farm and I get in my truck; I start driving from one end of my farm, drive all day long, and come nightfall I havenrt even come to the end of my farm.' *Is that right?r' exclaimed the Kelownan, "Irve got a truck just like thatl" Therets a famous saying by Sir Francis Bacon, one ofthe learned scholars of England, who said that one of the seven wise rnen of Greece $ras wclnt to say that laws were like cobwebs where the smalL flies vrere caught and the great break through. This rressage from early history about the cobweb-like effect of legislation was certainly true of the Trade Unions Act, the l€diation Conrnission Act, and the Labour Relations Act in this province of British Columbia. And Irm willing to admit that there may even be sore great flies who are going through the cobweb of the Labour Code of British Columbia, but I would liketo try to spend the next very few nrinutes explaining a litt1ebit about the legislation to show what was an effort, and truly perhaps an imperfect effort since it was done by some fairly imperfect peopLe, that some of the cobwebs in the labour legis- lation have been improved. Before I do that, I want to go back to a couple of things that I would have said to you had I not spent the Last hour with you. In labour relations, and I think youtre the ones who know this better than I do as a lawyer, and an academic lawyer to boot, it is my very firm opinion that legislation iscertainly not the key or the be-aIl of labour relations--itrs simply a part, and I would. be so boLd as to suggest that itisntt even the major part of industrial relations in the province today. There are a lot of other things going on. Contld. ....., I :4) -6 /44'=  I'{r. James G. Matkin - Contrd.Iile focus our attention on the legislation as something that is a good whipping boy for us to vent our stean and our emotion on. Do you know, the reaL problems of today are very much more serious than the Legislation. Anyone who is thinking at all about the nature of our province must know that the majorproblem today is inflation. And what are tre doing about that kind of problem? I{eLlr yoo know one of the things, and I understand the press is here, but I think this is an even-handed statement. I should say that I anr here because the Honourable WilLiarn King could not be here, but I am a Deputy Flinister, not an alternate Ministeri I'm not a political appointment; Irn not speaking on behalf of the NDP governnent, but I would like to say this. I think there has been in the publie eye much misunderstanding about inflation. Let ne just give you one statistic to indicate an area of concern for Labour--a place that Labour should be speaking out, and this Point of view should get across to the public because it certainLy isn't well. understood today. These statistics that I'm going to give you come from the NationaL Associ.ation of Housing, not from a Labour organization, not from a labour-interested organization, but from an organization primarily concerned with enpS.oyer interestsr and here are the facts. In the year L954 the cost of housing rePresented by the on-site laboui was 328 of the total cost of a house, in 1974 the cost, of housing represented by the on-site labour is17t. There has been an almost 508 decline in the labour cost as a figure of the inflationary price of a home. Now, f think itrs important, if goverrunent and the public are going to respond to .the problems of inflation, that they understand where the problems really lie, and they stopwtripping the wrong boy. I think that it's incumbent upon labour io speak out on behalf of the extent to which, and justify the extent to which, they are the costs. I find that the other side of the picture, the whipping of labour, is very weLL articulated in the nedia and very well articulated by management organizations. But I do know, coming into the Department last year' one of the things that surprised me was that although we have statistics on everything--we have statistics on strikesr sr€ have statistics on wage settLements, we have statistics on fringe.benefits--but in the Department of Labour we have no statistics on Labour costs, and Irm suspicious to think that that's because labour costs do not represent the kind of dramatic inflationary push that the public think they do. I have also heard some itatistics afout the extent to which labour wages have decLined over the last 40 years as a Percentage of the gross nationa} Product' - 7 contrd' ""r'  t{lr. Jares G. Matkin Cont rd. Now, those are hard, col-d facts, nothing enotional about it, but that side of the infLationary picture is not being portrayeil. I think it r.lou}d de-enphasize some of the almost irysteria that is in the public press ald public mind about wage s6ttlements--hysteria that we've seen in terms of sone of the things that haire been going on in the grain handlers' dispute wher6 catch-up kinds of settLements are flogged as beingtrerendousl-y inflationary. That is one point I wished to make. The other point I would like to make is that we are, in the Department oflabour, moving in other areas. We have biought ii--frm very pleased about this.appointment--Ron IUeedie from-ttre Caladian f,-abbur Congress, who is now working with us to direct a labour education program ema,nating from the Departnrent. t$e haye set up a ne , servile in the DePartment caLled Special Services eranin, for the purpose of providing information tolabour and managernent on matlers of interest and concern to them.trle are estabrisiing an effecti've, new employment' programs branch which this sumrpr distriUuted $30 miLlion in the province of British columbia, finding jobs for 131000 young peopl,e, and which is nol,r looking to the problem 'of winter unemplolrment. sor,I hope rre don'trin our pgblic meetings and in our discussions iogethlr and our disagreements togelherr. corpLetgly miss sight of ine fact that when we talk about legislation tttisis only a part of the picture, that this is a much bigger problemwe are- involved in, an-d tegisl-ation is not the final answer. Itrs not the final answer because in the collective bargaining system the real essence of that system is that the parties them- seLveS resolve their orrn problems. Now, fair enough, that legislation must provide a framework so that the parties can reiolve those protlems with fairness and justice It has always been my opinion that if you would ask the trade union movenrent r',rhat is the criterion that it uses to judge legislation, there is no greater criterion than that ofiaiiness-or justice. I donrt think the trade union movenent is asking foi legislation that is pro-Iabour any mgre than they deserve iegislation that is pro-management, but I do think theyhave the right to ask, and altc as vigo::ously and as adanantly as they canl-and I thinl< they are very effective at that--forlegislition that is fair, beLause after all we do have, in eslence, two adversary parties and the goverlrment has to try to see that there is a balance" Now, you may not agree with the balance of the Labour Cod,e, and f una6rstanE you don't, but I think if there is one criticism I would make in terms of your resolutions, which I donrt think is my pl-ace to debate but I canrt helP but make this comrent having :irsi heard them, it is that I would hope Perhaps- you might ",r"i"ia that judgement for a while. I think if there's '""V "=iticisrn- it is that pSrhaps you are being too hasty in con- aeirning the picketing and-la* Lnd-the right to use picketing for organizational purPoses . Contld. ...... 8
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