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Thursday, 5 July 1906


Mr MAUGER (Melbourne Ports) . - I desire to make a personal explanation. When the honorable member for Lang the other night was referring to the firm of Thompson and Son, of Castlemaine, as authorities on the Tariff question and the state of the engineering trade, I interjected that it pays its employes1s. a dayless than the current rates of wages. I had obtained my information from the very best source, but I was not able to give my authority. Since then, however, I have been in communication with the secretary of the United Iron Workers Union and Engineers, and I think the following statement made by him shows that I had ample ground for saying what I did, although thelie direct has been given to my remark: -

There are very few union men in Thompson's establishment, they only being allowed to work conditionally on their getting the union rate. Union men have been offered9s. a day when the ruling rate was10s., and had to refuse work. Others have been paid that amount, and had to leave. This for years past. Theypay nothing extra for overtime - union firms having to pay time and a half - they pay nothing extra for night work. City firms pay 12s. for eight hours night work, this firm geting off with 70s. or 95. per night. They have a few union "moulders"' because the "Wages Boards" compel equal payment. They have had no union boiler-makers fox years, owing to the fact that they do not pay union rates.

It can be easily understood that when a firm undercuts in this way, it can obtain work where others are not able to do so.


Mr Johnson - I shall make further inquiries to test the value of those statements.







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