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Tuesday, 31 August 1920

Mr CHARLTON (Hunter) .- I move -

That the following new clause he added: - "18. Clause48 of the principal Act is amended by inserting after the word ' order ' the words ' and the term " party " includes secretary or any officer of an organization.' "

Section 48 provides that the Court may, on the application of any party to an award, make an order in the nature of a mandamus, or an injunction, to compel compliance with the award, or to restrain its breach. Industrial organizations complain that they have no power to deal with the breach or evasion of an award, and they desire the section amended so that the secretary, or other authorized person, may be able totake action on behalf of the organisation. Breaches of awards take place, and there is ho one to draw attention to them. If the amendment be agreed to, the secretary, or some other officer appointed for the purpose, will be able to take action on every breach of an award.

Mr Groom - The organization, as a party to an award, can make application.

Mr CHARLTON - Does that apply to the secretary, or any other officer?

Mr Groom - An officer must prove that he made application on behalf of the organization.

Mr CHARLTON - He would require to be instructed by the organization. Apparently, greater power is desired, for one secretarywrites to me that the amendment is very necessary for the protection of the workers, and will be a great help to the unions. I am at a disadvantage in not knowing the actual difficulties which the organizations have experienced in the past in connexion with breaches of awards. I am informed that the amendment would be a benefit to the unions, and the workers generally, because it would facilitate the laying of information against defaulting employers. I do not think the amendment would cause any danger, because the secretary or officer could not take action on his own volition; he would have to apply to the Court, and the Judge would decide whether proceedings should be taken against the party complained of.

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