A Brief Presented to the Commission of Inquiry on Redundancies and Lay-Offs

Publisher:  Confederation of Canadian Unions, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1978
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX848

A brief regarding management's power to lay off employees with little warning.

The Confederation of Canadian Unions believes that unemployment is the real problem, while redundancies and lay-offs are just one manifestation of that problem. The authors of the above brief state that what is needed is a code of ethics dealing with these problems. In this regard, they note there is little or no concept in our society of a worker attaining "property rights" to his job, that a job is a person's most important single asset, that an employer has an obligation to the individual and to the community to provide employment or to provide alternatives.

Regarding advance notice, the CCU feels that an employer should be obligated, once it is contemplating a lay-off, to inform the union of these plans. This obligation should be in addition to notice periods which should be increased to a minimum of three months.

The CCU maintains that a more just and socially beneficial means of combating unemployment is by gradually reducing the work time of workers in this country while maintaining their income level. Also, governments should encourage sabbatical leaves for workers. The conventional wisdom of our society, that the right to lay-off employees and shut down plants is purely a management prerogative, must change.

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