Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 31 August 1920

Mr PROWSE (Swan) .- I support the amendment. This will apply more particularly to shearing and canecutting and other seasonal industries. In Western Australia the custom has been from time immemorial for the squatters to sign on men at centres like Perth and Geraldton. The arrangement suits both sides, because the men desire to know the station to which they are going, and the squatters desire to know the complement of shearers. The object of the amendment is not trickery, but to insure that one of Australia's greatest industries shall be allowed to progress without undue molestation and interference. The embargo on the signing on of the shearers disturbs the regular courseof business in the industry.

Mr Charlton - Does not the honorable member see what will be the effect of it? Three-fourths of the shearers arereceiving higher wages than are prescribed in the award; other men are working for lower rates, and this amendment will legalize their action.

Mr PROWSE - I am perfectly agreeable to support an alteration of the amendment in order to insure that the signing on shall be subject, not only to the award ruling at the time of signing, but to any variation thereof before the shearing terminates.

Mr Charlton - Three-fourths of the shearers are receiving rates that are not provided in an award, but are the subject of an agreement with the pastoralists.

Mr PROWSE - Why should not men be allowed to sign on with an employer if he agrees to keep within the four corners of an award, and the housing condition's under the Act, and to abide by any variation that occurs during the course of the contract?

Mr Charlton - The Court has never had a chance to amend the award in the shearing industry, but the new rates have been agreed to by three-fourths of the pastoralists.

Mr PROWSE - I understand that shearing in many parts of the Commonwealth has been held up simply because a new award has not been given, and the usual custom of signing on under the existing award has not been permitted. Some protection should be provided in those States in which the custom of signing on has been followed for so many years.

Suggest corrections