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Friday, 21 June 1946

Survey of Various Industries Covered by Affiliated Unions in Reference to Members in Armed Forces.

Blacksmiths. - Sydney sub-branch - twelve members to armed forces, nine returned to date. Newcastle sub-branch - eight members to armed forces. Union expects all discharged skilled tradesmen to return to the industry.

Boilermakers. - Commonwealth figures - 540 to armed forces. Sixty-five returned to date. Majority of members who went to armed forces were skilled tradesmen; union advises that they expect a high percentage of returns tc> the industry.

Boot Trades. - Approximately 550 males, 200 females to armed forces. Three hundred and eighty males and 150 females are either still not discharged or have not . returned to the industry. Seventy-five per cent, of balance have returned to the industry. Mainly . apprentices who are finishing their time.

Building Workers. - Union advises: percentage of bricklayers to armed forces was very high; about two-thirds of these members have returned to the trade, but union advises that approximately one-third will probably not return. Carpenters and joiners: low percentage to armed forces, about two-thirds have already returned, but union expects in this ease also that approximately one-third will leave industry, possibly to 'start as independent builders. Re-absorption has been smooth.

Clerks. - Approximately 800 to armed forces. Sixty-eight returned to date. Union has knowledge of 130 members who have been discharged and who have not yet returned to industry.

Clothing Trades. - Not a large number of members to armed forces. Returns -have been fairly steady to date. All members who enlisted were skilled tradesmen and union expects a high percentage return to the industry. No noticeable displacements because of reinstatement of ex-service members.

Confectioners. - Example figures from big industries - Sweetacres: 180 enlisted. 140 returned to date. Nestle's: 350 enlisted, 200 returned to date. White's: 140 enlisted, 80 returned to date. Union advises that position is that in chocolate industry two women to every man are required; confectionery, three women to every man. Shortage of female labour is intense, and unless this can be obtained, no guarantee that ex-servicemen will be completely re-absorbed or will continue to be employed in the industry. Industry is steadily losing female labour.

Electrical Trades. - Members to armed forces, 727. Union has been notified of return of 218 to date. Majority of 727 were skilled tradesmen and union expects all of these (discharged) skilled workers to return to their trade.

Engineering. - Amalgamated Engineering Union - no figures available. Australasian Society of Engineers - only figure available is 250 skilled tradesmen taken from railway workshops and mainly used for training purposes in the armed forces. The union advises that the 'majority of skilled tradesmen will return to their trade.

Enginedrivers and Firemen. - Members to armed forces at the 24th April, 1940, 233; 156 returned. Reinstatement has been smooth, with no displacements. Union advises that majority of 233 were skilled tradesmen and expects all discharged skilled tradesmen to return to the industry.

Food Preservers. - Permanent members to armed forces, 335. Returned to date, 170. Of these returned -men 40 have since left the industry. Work in this industry is mainly seasonal, from 1st December to 30th April, and it is during this period that most casual labour is engaged.

Furnishing Trades. - Approximately 1,500 to armed forces. Forty per cent, returned to date. Union estimates that quite a number will not return to the trade at present, but will probably drift back later on.

Cas Employees. - No definite figures available, but union advises that 90 per cent, of discharged members so far have returned to the industry. Because of good conditions obtaining in the industry the union feels that practically all its members who joined the armed forces will return.

Hotel, Club and Restaurant. - Members to armed forces, 420: 190 have returned to date. No noticeable displacement, and new ex-service members are coining in steadily and seem to be settling down. A small number of both new members and returned members have become unsettled and left. Union expects a 50 per cent, to 00 per cent, return, and advises that the majority of the balance would have acquired some skill or training in other industries and trades while in the forces.

Ironworkers. - No figures available. Union advises that a large number of members went into the armed forces and not being skilled tradesmen, they may drift to other trades and industries when discharged.

Hairdressers. - Members to armed forces 4.00 to 500: 90 per cent, of discharged members are back in the trade and all working.

Hospital Employees. - No figures available, but union advises that a large number of members joined the armed forces. Members already discharged seem to be returning to the industry in fairly large proportion.

Glass Workers. - Approximately 300 members to armed forces (eight killed). Members are returning steadily to the industry and seem to be settling down reasonably well. No noticeable increase in membership because of new ex-service members. Union expects a high percentage of members discharged to return to the industry.

Leather Trades. - Approximately 123 not returned us yet to the industry. Sixty members have returned. Majority of members to armed forces were skilled workers so union advises that they are expecting a high percentage of returns. Tanners: No records, but union advises that there have been no displacements because of reinstatement of exservicemen.

Milk and Ice Carters.- Joined the armed forces, 480; 273 received call-up notices (750 total) ; 101 of first lot returned to date; 47 of second lot returned to date. Court evidence before De Ba.un J. on 25th April, 1940, was that two out of every three returned men to date have been unable to settle in the industry mid lasted' at the job only up to a fortnight. Approximately 50 new ex-service members.

Liquor Trades. - Approximately 375 to armed forces; 300 returned to date; union expects a small percentage of the 375 members not to return to the industry. Reports that ex-members are settling back into the trade, but that of 130 new ex-service members quite a few have been unable to settle and have left the trade after a short while. Quite a number of displacements have taken place and union reports that these displaced members are finding it difficult to find other openings in tha trade.

Meat Employees. - No figures available but a very good percentage are returning to the industry - in fact the union reports that at' the present time more than the industry can cope with.

Mill Employees. - No figures available, but union reports that members are returning to the industry n.nd there has been some displacement among older (as regards age) members when ex-servicemen claim reinstatement rights. Apparently these older members were taken on as war emergency labour and were not permanent workers in the industry.

Municipal Employees. - About 30 per cent, of members to armed forces. To date 95 per cent, of these have returned to the industry. This figure covers all sections - City Council, County Council, Shire and Country Councils. Reabsorption has been smooth and no displacements to any extent have occurred. New entrants to the industry are in the main ex-service personnel .

Painters and Decorators. - Union records show approximately 400 members to armed forces, but advise that quite a number more than this are likely .to have joined up. All workers are skilled tradesmen and mostly casual (job to job) workers. ' One hundred members have notified union of return to dato. Union advises that a high percentage of discharged members is expected to return to the trade.

Miscellaneous Workers. - Members to armed forces approximately 750. Members returned to date 100. New ex-service members of the union, 300. Displacements have been nil and the union expects a high percentage of members discharged to return to the industry. With regard to returned members settling down union advises that after a period of three months or so they seem to settle down fairly well.

Plasterers. - Between 400 and 500 members to armed forces. All skilled workers. Up to date a fairly high percentage of the discharged members have returned to the trade. Union estimates that a probable 100 members will leave the trade. No noticeable ' displacement has taken place. Union has between 50 and 00 new ex-service members.

Plumbers. - Approximately 205 members to armed forces. Forty-three discharged members back -in the trade so far. Union advises that majority of enlisted men were skilled tradesmen and expects that there will be 100 per rent, return to the trade when discharged.

Printing Industry. - Approximately 1,400 . members to armed forces. Approximately 50 per (rent., returned to industry to date. Majority to armed forces were skilled tradesmen and union expects a. 90 per cent, at least return of discharged members. Re-absorption has been smooth with no noticeable displacement!!. About twenty new ex-service members (some Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme trainees).

Postal Workers. - 4,200 members to armed forces from Postmaster-General's Department (337 line staff). Two thousand six hundred and fifty returned to date. Union expects a high percentage of discharged members to return to the industry.

Printing Trades. - Approximately 700 members to armed forces. Three hundred returned to date. All members who joined up were skilled workers. Twenty to 30 new ex-service members. These new members are men who were working at the trade in the forces.

Road Transport Workers. - Members to armed forces approximately 3,000 (a high percentage of these were classified as being skilled transport workers). .Returned to date, 1,000 approximately. New ex-servicemen members. 350. Displacements have reached approximately 500. Returned men who have become unsettled and left the industry, approximately 100. Union expects a fairly high percentage of discharged members to rejoin- the industry and eventually settle down.

Rubber Workers. - No figures available, but union advises that industry was protected and a rather small percentage of members went to armed forces. Fair percentage of discharged members are returning to the industry but quite a number of these are npt settling down again and are leaving the industry. No noticeable displacement because of reinstatement, in fact the trade requires rubber workers. Some semi-skilled workers among number to armed forces, but union expects majority of skilled workers to return to the industry.

Australian Railways Union. - Union advises that approximately 2,000 members left railways to join the armed forces, prior to the railways being declared protected, 1942. Of this number approximately 500 members have already returned to the service, and it is expected by the union that 50 per cent. of those enlisted members will be resuming with the Railway Department. It is estimated that 10 per cent. of those members who have returned have become unsettled and left the service. About 2,000 new ex-service personnel, covering all sections of the service and not necessarily members of the Australian Railways Union have entered the service, and it is estimated that approximately 1,000 of these have become unsettled and left within a short period.

School Teachers. - To armed forces 1,500 members, 1,000 returned to date. Federation advises that only a very small percentage, possibly 5 per cent. will not return to the profession. Sydney Teachers College - 176 trainees have resumed interrupted training. Armidale Teachers College - 97 have resumed interrupted training. New trainees from forces - in training 94. Scholarships awarded, but members not yet discharged - 75. Members of forces selected by the department for training but not yet discharged - 41.

Sheet Metal. - No figures, but union advises that a large number of members went to armed forces. Small return so far. Large percentage of semi-skilled workers in the number of members to the forces. Union expects all skilled workers to return to the industry.

Shop Assistants. - Approximately 1,500 to armed forces. About 25 per cent. returned to trade so far. No indication as to what percentage will return eventually. Some displacements because of re-instatement of exservicemen.

Storemen and Packers. - No figures available, but union advises that re-absorption has been smooth and no displacements have occurred because of reinstatement claims.

Sugar Workers. - To armed forces, 195. Twenty-five returned to date. These members have settled back into their old jobs. Seventy new ex-service members have settled down into this industry, but a considerable number of new ex-service members have taken jobs in' the industry and have been unable to settle down and have left. Union expects a very low percentage of members who went into the forces to return to the industry.

Textile Workers. - A very small number of members affected either by joining the armed forces or re-entering the industry.

Timber Workers. - Approximately 1,000 members to armed forces. Up to date 90 per cent, of skilled workers out of this 1,000 have returned to the trade. Nine hundred new members enrolled since 1st January, but no indication as to what percentage of this figure represents ex-servicemen.

Tramway and Omnibus: Transport Department's figures. - Members to armed forces, 2:340. Returned to date (30th April, 1946)., 1,434; 1,376 resumed work. Analysis of figure 1,376: 779 conductors. 84 drivers, 240 clerks, 112 labourers, 55 cleaners, 56 fitter-mechanics, 16 apprentices, 5engineers, 21 painters. Department advises that estimated 98 per cent. will return to industry. Still to be discharged - 227 clerks, 2 engineers, 152 drivers and conductors, 358 mechanics.

Vehicle Builders. - To armed forces, 247 members. One hundred and twenty returned to date. Twelve new ex-service members. Majority of members to armed forces were skilled tradesmen. Union advises that they expect these men to return when discharged 100 per cent. to the trade.

Water and Sewerage Board workers. - Approximate number of members to armed forces 1,300. New ex-service men engaged 500 of which only 200 still remain, the others not settling down. Of the 1,300 members who went into the armed forces 75 per cent. have returned to date and the union expects that the majority of these will settle down. Displacements have been confined to temporary clerks, married women and over-age members.

Waterside Workers. - Approximately 800 to armed forces. To date 100 have returned. Union expects a 90 per cent. to 95 per cent. return of members discharged to the industry.

Australian Workers Union. - Commonwealth figures, approximately 30,000 to armed forces. New South Wales figures approximately 7,000 to armed forces. Approximately 4,000 returned to date. Quite a considerable number of new ex-service members are joining up. Generally the ex-service workers are settling down, especially in the factory section. Any noticeable trouble in regard to the exservicemen becoming unsettled has been in the construction section (that is pick and shovel work in the main). There has been practically no displacements.

Wool and Basil Workers. - No figures avail ablebut union advises that re-absorption has been smooth and no displacements have occurred. Members are coming back to the industry steadily and union expects a fairly high percentage return.

Undertakers Assistants and Cemetery Employees. - To armed forces,69 members. (18 skilled workers - coffin makers) ; 42 to date returned to industry and union has knowledge of six being discharged and leaving the industry. Union expects a fair percentage of enlisted members to eventually return to the industry.

It is useless to argue that the Government is not doing everything possible for ex-service personnel. The latest available figures show that up to the 26th April, 1946, the number of ex-servicemen and women selected forfull-time training under the Commonwealth reconstruction training schemewas 29,532, comprising 26,806 males and 2,726 females. For part-time training, the number accepted was 60,134, comprising 53,732 males and 6,402 females, making a grand total of 89,666. The number actually in fulltime training on the 26th April was 13;300, and in part-time training 40,585. Despite many drawbacks and disabilities, the Government's employment and reestablishment plans are well under way. A certain amount of dislocation has been inseparable from the quick release of such large numbers of members of the armed forces, but the Government has not fallen down on its job.

The Government has been severely criticized also for its handling ofthe housing problem. In 1935 or 1936, if a person had asked the NewSouth Wales or the Commonwealth Government for a house, he would have been told not to be silly. These governments did not build bouses at thai time, and any one seeking a home had to build one privately, pay an exorbitant rent to a landlord, or live in a shack in " Happy Valley ". To-day, so good is the housing record of this Administration that people desiring homes no longer go to estate agents, but ask how the various government housing schemes are progressing. In a small section of my electorate alone more houses have been built and occupied under the Commonwealth and State Governments' housing scheme than were constructed -during all the years that the present Opposition parties were in 'office in this Parliament. This Government has also made provision for rebates of rent, a concession unheard of when housing was handled solely by private estate agents. The housing problem to-day is due in the main to the fact that private builders and financiers who constructed homes in prewar days as an investment were more concerned with getting a high return for their money than with the welfare of the people.

Mr.Turnbull. - How many houses have been built in the honorable member's electorate during the last few years? Not one has been built in my electorate.







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