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Friday, 26 June 1914

Dismissal of Men. trouble threatened.

KALGOORLIE, Thursday.- Further trouble is threatened on the trans-Australian railway line. On Thursday six prominent unionists, including the vice-president of the General Workers' Union, were dismissed by the acting supervising engineer. Representatives of the union interviewed the engineer to-day, and urged him to re-instate the men. The engineer admitted thathe had no complaint regarding the men's work, but he regarded them as agitators, and alleged they were harassing other men who had voted in favour of returning to work. The union representatives considered the result of the interview unsatisfactory, and referred the matter to the industrial committee of the Australian Labour Federation. Tonight the committee recommended that a massmeeting of unionists be held on Sunday to protest against the victimisation of the men dismissed. Federal members have been requested to interview the Minister for Home Affairs, as it is feared that if the matter is not promptly settled there will be a recurrence of serious industrial trouble.

I ask the Minister if he has any information at all from the Labour Federation, and whether, in reply to the telegram I am about to read, he will take immediate action to prevent a recurrence of industrial trouble? The telegram is addressed to me by Mr. Green, secretary of the Trades Hall, Kalgoorlie, and reads as follows -

Smith, railway engineer, sacked vicepresident three other prominent unionists. Interviewed myself with Lockard this morning; but Smith says agitators, and must leave job. Admits good workmen. Action bitterly resented men. Sec Mahon and Minister.

Senator Blakey - Is the Mr. Green referred to an ex-member of the Legislative Assembly of Western Australia?

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