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Friday, 4 December 1914

Senator McDOUGALL (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has "the attention of the Minister of Defence been drawn to the following paragraph in the Melbourne Argus of this date -


Carpenters make Complaint.

Serious trouble is brewing in connexion with the carpenters who are engaged in fitting up the troopships at Williamstown, and to decide on action a mass meeting will be held at Williamstown to-day. The chief grievance is that the employment is so arranged that many, of the hands are made to work overtime while others are put off. No fewer than 200 men were told on Wednesday niqht that they would not be again required. The majority of the dismissed employes were married men, and it is stated that they represented capable carpenters. The whole of the men employed by tho Naval Department in connexion with the troopships are unionists, and the bulk of them are members of the Amalgamated Carpenters Union. They assert that the work is so arranged that in one instance during the week no fewer than 41 carpenters were compelled to endeavour to work in a space 40 feet square. On Tuesday last the men comprising the night shift were asked to continue on without sleep during the whole of the next day. They further assert that preference is given to incompetent hands, and that the position of one foreman carpenter has been given to a butcher, who was allowod to sign on as a carpenter.

Will the Minister find out for me whether the statement is correct, and whether the word " carpenter " has such a wide definition that a butcher can be engaged ?

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