Canadian Labor Laws and the Treaty

By Bryce M. Stewart | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
A WORK-DAY OF EIGHT HOURS1

"The adoption of an eight hours day or a forty-eight hours week as the standard to be aimed at where it has not already been attained." (Treaty of Peace: Article 427, 4.)

The following modifications are permitted in industrial undertakings: (1) exclusion of supervisory or confidential employees; (2) where the customary hours are less than eight on one or more days of the week, nine hours or less may be worked on the remaining days; (3) workers on shifts may be employed in excess of eight hours in any one day or forty-eight in any one week provided that their average number of hours in a period of three weeks or less does not exceed eight per day and forty-eight per week; (4) in continuous processes carried on by shifts the working hours may be increased to fifty-six in the week on the average; (5) the eight-hour limit may be exceeded in case of accident or urgent work to be done to machinery or plant or in case of "force majeure" ( 1919 convention). In inland navigation and the fishing industry the member nations may enact legislation limiting hours in the direction of the international standard with necessary modifications to meet peculiar climatic and industrial conditions ( 1920 recommendations). Employees in bakeries shall not be required to work between 11 p. m. and 5 a. m. but this period in certain cases may be changed, with the consent of both parties, to 10 p. m. and 4 a. m. ( 1925 convention).

ACCORDING to the Report of the Royal Commission on Industrial Relations the eight-hour day has already been adopted in many industries in Canada. 2 It has been secured under industrial agreements by a large proportion of the

____________________
1
Hours of women workers are generally regulated by the laws with respect to hours of children and young persons, and accordingly they are treated in Chapter IX.
2
Report of commission appointed under order-in-council (P. C. 670) to enquire into industrial relations in Canada. Printed as a supplement to the Labour Gazette, vol. xix, at p. 860.

-231-

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