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Wednesday, 31 July 1946

The following answers to questions were circulated: -

Re-establishment : Preference to ex-Servicemen; Dismissal of exServicemen.

Mr Scully - Yesterday, the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Harrison) asked, a question with reference to the alleged dismissal of ex-servicemen from the Commonwealth Food Control stores, St. Peters.

I wish to inform the House that there have been no dismissals of ex-servicemen at the Commonwealth Food Control stores at St. Peters, and it is the policy of Commonwealth Food Control, in conformity with the Re-establishment and Employment Act, to give preference to ex-servicemen. It is a fact that a strike took place because two ex-servicemen were not unionists and had refused to join the appropriate union. The matter was referred to the State Industrial Commission, as the men were working under a State award. A compulsory conference was called, but as the' ex-servicemen were still not prepared to join the union, it was decided, without any loss to themwhatever, to give them other work .with Commonwealth Food Control. By doing this, the important work of despatching food overseas was continued and is still being continued. The Re turned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen's Imperial League of Australia, through its representative, has been in consultation with Commonwealth Food Control, and it is understood that the league will approach the exservicemen with a suggestion that they join the union. This is common- practice, as ex-servicemen themselves generally recognize that their fellows should become members of the union appropriate to their calling. I point out that practically all of the men who are employed at the stores, with the exception of two or three who are elderly, are ex-servicemen who have equal rights with the two men concerned under the .Re-establishment and Employment Act.


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