Au Québec, dans la grande industrie, l'anglais est la langue du patronat, le français la langue du travailleur. Etant la langue de l'administration et de la gestion, l'anglais est aussi la langue officielle et souvent la seule langue officielle, tandis que le français, qui est la langue de la majorité n'a souvent qu'un statut de langue seconde, d'une langue de traduction, sans reconnaissance officielle.
Bilinguism and Biculturalism in the Big Industry
Considering the sociological and economic situation of the French Canadian we must unfortunately admit as prophetical the description Lord Durham made of the people of Quebec in 1839.
But this prediction had one flaw : it could not foresee the American control of industry which took place thereafter. I do not intend to compare the advantages and disadvantages of the presence of English and American funds in our economic life. However I shall present a few cases I was witness of as a negotiator in the pulp and paper industry.
THE PULP AND PAPER INDUSTRY
In the most important industry of our province, unilingual French workers will never be in the management no matter what his professionnal competence. Managing (above superintendant) is reserved to bilingual individual.
English is for managers and French for labor. This situation makes communications difficult and is far from leading to harmonious labor relations.
There is a very serious problem of language in industry. A few companies have been considering this fact since a few years. Is it enough ? Is it too late ? It is not too late but it is not enough. The more French will be neglected the more the French culture will disappear.
Let us be optimistic since many factors lead us to believe in the growing of French language in industry. In order that such an aim may be achieved, all good intentions must become concrete actions.