Accueil » 31-4 ( 1976) » Le programme canadien de lutte à l’inflation

Le programme canadien de lutte à l’inflation

Claude Castonguay

Résumé

Dans le cadre du programme canadien de contrôle des prix et des salaires, l'auteur cherche à savoir si nos modes traditionnels de relations de travail peuvent continuer de solutionner les conflits à des coûts qui demeurent acceptables sur le plan social.

Abstract

The Canadian Anti-Inflation Board

It is mainly at the plant level and at the bargaining table that the distribution of the economic pie is made and where equilibrium between efficiency and security is seeked. In Canada, at least for the time being, all concerned parties still have a confiictual approach to the problem of income distribution. It is questionnable whether such an approach can last when one considers the multiplicity of problems.

The Canadian wage and price control program may be defined as a mean to try to modify programs of remuneration and collective agreements whether freely bargained or not and as a program which is part of a more global effort aiming at limiting the demands on our economy.

Anti-inflationnary measures used in this program are cuts in government ex-penditures, limits on the growth of civil service, fiscal and monetary measures aiming at keeping the rate of growth of total demand and of production compatible with the decreasing rate of inflation, and structural policies for particular problems such as energy, housing and food, and also aiming at better working conditions.

This A IB program is not anti-labour since its application is largely volontary and since it aims at preventing a loss of income in real terms.

It is only after the signing of an agreement that the AIB gets into play in an effort to revise such an agreement to see whether guidelines have been respected or not. These guidelines are, 1) the wage of a working person may increase at the same rate as the anticipated growth of the cost of living. 2) Workers income may increase slightly more rapidly than the anticipated growth of the cost of living. This objective is reached by adding the national productivity coefficient of 2%. 3) Because of past inflation and because of past wage policies workers in need of catching up may do so under this program.

An examination of past experience shows that the program works and that Canadians are ready to do their share in order to attain specific objectives. This attitude however can only be temporary as the program of wage and price control cannot be an antidote to the causes of inflation. More permanent solutions need to be found.

As part of these permanent solutions it seems to me that the adversary system philosophy of our labour relations system needs to be reexamined. A climate of mutual respect must be restablished between labour and management.