SO FAR AS the general position of Canadian Labor is concerned, the Order-in-Council making strikes in war industries illegal unless a majority of workers have voted in favor of a strike has produced mixed comment.
Public opinion surveys show that wartime strikes under any condition incense a vast body of people.
A. R. Mosher, president of the Canadian Congress of Labor, thinks that the measure will “increase discontent and distrust in the minds of the workers and thus hinder the war effort.” He has called for a “reconstruction of the entire labor policy of the Government.”
Tom Moore, president of the Canadian Trades and Labor Congress, says that if the ruling is interpreted with complete impartiality and justice he has no objections.
Both leaders agree that Canadian Labor’s greatest problem is to gain recognition of its rights to organize and bargain collectively.
The Government’s Wartime Labor Policy, promulgated in June, 1940, did declare that employees should be free to organize in trade unions and to negotiate collectively with employers.
In fact, the Wartime Labor Policy, on paper, appears to cover just about every point of contention. The trouble has been that its application, to industry’s problems as well as those of labor, has been weak and uncertain.
Not only labor but industry and the general public too have a right to expect that agreements made will be carried out or enforced.
More progress would be made were labor represented in the Cabinet. Its war responsibilities entitle it to such representation.
True, it is understood that many months ago Mr. King offered the labor portfolio to Tom Moore, and that Mr. Moore declined. But the
choice of Mr. McLarty has turned out to be an unfortunate one. He has lost the confidence of both sides. Recent events call for a strong effort by Mr. King to find a successor who has had practical experience with labor.
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