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
Thursday, 2 September 1920

Mr CHARLTON (Hunter) .-I move -

That the following new clause be added: - "Section No. 40 (1.) of the principal Act is amended by omitting the first paragraph and inserting in place thereof '40 (1) The Court by its award shall grant preference of employment to the members of the organization obtaining such award.' "

I know there is much difference of opinion regarding the principle involved in the proposed new clause, but it is a principle that has been debated on many previous occasions. The Act provides that only registered unions shall come under its provisions, and it is only fair, when the members of these organizations adopt constitutional methods for redress of their grievances, that they' should have preference of employment. Little can be said against that contention if it is dealt with on its merits. Members of organizations band themselves together under the law for the purpose of improving their conditions, and they have to find the money necessary to keep the organizations going. This means a considerable cost to each member, and . it is not just that men who will not join any union, but act as freelances, "blowing in" for employment wherever and whenever they choose, probably when some trouble has arisen, should have the benefit of awards given by the Court. Members of organizations should not be called upon to do the fighting and bear the cost without receiving some recognition. I do not object to every man having employment, but certainly preference ought to be given to members of unions registered under the Act. A good deal of dissatisfaction exists because of these cases. In 1917 the members of the Wharf Labourers Union of Victoria were granted a preference, but because of certain events which happened during the industrial turmoil of that period, it was taken away from them, with the result that its members have been suffering ever since. Yetthey still continue to work along constitutional lines. We ought to forget the past, and allow bygones to be bygones. If organizations which are registered are required to submit to the penalties that are imposed by this Bill, those organizations should be granted some recognition. It is unfair that they should be compelled to fight for better industrial conditions in a constitutional way, and that after having done so they should be deprived of the fruits of victory. I ask the Minister to accept theamendment, and thus do justice to those who are prepared to observe the law.

Suggest corrections