Canadian Transport Sourcebook

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Canadian Transport Sourcebook > All works> 52 Questions on the Nationalization of Canadian Railways > Chapter 15


How Does the Employee Stand Under Public Ownership?

In pay probably high.

In discipline probably easy.

In matters of promotion, badly, unless he play the toady.

In case of wage dispute—handicapped. He has now no disinterested third party, no regulating authority to which he can appeal. He is the servant of the highest authority, one capable of imprisoning him, dismissing him, or declaring him a rebel and an outlaw.

In the course of the Post Office "strike" the following was part of a despatch appearing in the Toronto papers Monday morning, July 29th:

"Hon. Mr. Doherty, Minister of Justice and acting Prime Minister, wired to the secretaries of Boards of Trade (in part) as follows: 'The reasons for objection on the part of the Government to appoint a conciliation board are that it is obviously impossible for the Government to hand over its functions to any outside body. One of the executive functions of the Government is to carry on the public service in accordance with the decisions of Parliament.'"

The Government is no longer a disinterested regulating authority! Whether it concedes or declines to yield a point in discussion with its direct employees depends—not on the actual justice of the case but upon the political effect, direct and indirect, to be expected from its judgment.

How Does Government Ownership Affect the Shipper?

It deprives him of a disinterested court of appeal such as now exists in the Dominion Railway Commission.

The Commission becomes, under public ownership, a sister department of the railway against whom redress might be desired.

The shipper's servant—the railway—holds at the same time supreme power over him.

Adjustment to railway service will be made with a view to political effect, not the fair interests of all classes and all sections of the country.

How Would Government Ownership Affect Regions Seeking Railway Extension or Betterment?

The district with many votes on the Government side would tend to obtain everything it asked,—whether justified by business conditions or not.

The districts without political power would help foot the bill.

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