The Eugene A. Forsey Prize
Bruno-Pierre Guillette. « “Le Jour du Seigneur vendu à l’encan”: regard sur la Commission d’enquête sur l’observance du dimanche dans les industries de pâtes et papiers du Québec (1964-1966), » Mémoire de maîtrise, 2012, Université du Québec à Montréal.
Bruno-Pierre Guillette’s Masters thesis, ” ‘Le Jour du Seigneur vendu à l’encan’: regard sur la Commission d’enquête sur l’observance du dimanche dans les industries de pâtes et papiers du Québec (1964-1966),” shines the spotlight on class and cultural relations in Quebec during the Quiet Revolution through a focused study of conflicts among capital, the state, labour, and the Roman Catholic Church on the issue of work on “the Lord’s Day.” Combing through the records of a government-appointed commission on Sunday observance in the pulp and paper industry, as well as newspapers and other documents produced by the main actors, Guillette offers a nuanced appraisal of the conflicts of vision and interest among the various players and an assessment of why the forces supporting a status quo of continuous shifts across seven days prevailed. In so doing, he demonstrates that pulp and paper workers of the 1960s, along with other working-class groups, had developed their own views of the balance between productivity and leisure, views that challenged the worldview of capital and Church alike. Though the Church and the workers both demanded that workers have Sunday off, the workers’ representatives largely ignored Church notions that the purpose of a day off was to allow workers to attend to their religious duties; rather the purpose of a day of industrial shutdown was to unite both families and communities and give them a chance to determine their preferred leisures without interference by either companies or the clergy. This thesis illustrates effectively the historical importance of working-class demands for days off not solely for refueling themselves and spending time with family but also for days off in common with all other workers for socializing communally and implicitly demonstrating class solidarity.