Gregg, Hon. Milton F.
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Some features of labour relations in Canada yesterday and today. The year in which the speaker became Minister of Labour; the year which marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Department of Labour; also the year of the railway strike--a labour stoppage of nine days which resulted in heavy financial loss to everybody concerned. Labour and the "labour problem" 50 years ago; what people meant by those terms then. A pathological approach to the study of labour relations, with the stress of low wages, long hours, child labour, illiteracy and bad working conditions. When a dispute arose, "Labour" was the problem, not the conditions which created it. The difficulty for us today to appreciate the working conditions of 50 years ago, with some illustrations. Developments and improvements over the last 50 years. Increases in trade union membership. The 1944 Order-in-Council making it compulsory for an employer to recognize and negotiate with a union which had been certified as representing the majority of his employees. The advancement in management attitude towards unionism. The increasing concern by corporations about behaving in such a way as to deserve good public relations, especially with their own employees. Looking towards the welfare of all the men and women who work together to make a business a success and profits possible. A similar trend among unions. The "maturing" of labour unions and what is meant by that term. Labour, management and government co-operation for the benefit of the entire economy. The ability of the representatives of various sections in our community to gather for constructive discussion, with labour-management relations as an important example of this. The functions for which the Minister of Labour is responsible; six main activities which have developed over the years, with changing techniques to meet new conditions. The National Advisory Council on Manpower urging a push forward of programmes to train workers in required skills, and also to explore ways and means of facilitating the movement of workers into areas where there are vacant jobs. The Labour Department sponsoring the establishment of labour-management production committees. The function of such committees. Future production increases and on what they will depend. Labour moving far to meet its share of responsibility, for example ejecting such Communists as were holding high office within its ranks after the close of World War II. Labour's stake in Canada. A firmer faith in Canada today in the democratic process as a means of seeking the solution of the problems of Canada and of the Free World.