The Quebec Federation of Labour (QFL), led by the fiery Louis Laberge, has the Quebec government considering legislation that would break new ground in the relationship between Quebec’s unions and companies. The QFL is asking for a government loan of $15 million to establish an investment fund, which will be supported by voluntary deductions from the paycheques of QFL members. Laberge predicts that the fund, managed by the QFL, will grow to $200 million over three years. The money will be used to provide risk capital to Quebec companies, and Laberge foresees the creation of 45,000 new jobs through this investment.
This plan has been compared with the share transfer scheme proposed in Sweden, in which a part of the company’s pre-tax profits plus a percentage of employees’ wages are used to buy company shares. This plan has the potential of drastically altering the make-up of corporations over time. It seems likely that contributors to the fund would eventually seek some representation on the boards of companies in which the fund invests.