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Tuesday, 28 June 1904

Mr GLYNN (Angas) - The insertion of the words " or any person affected by the award" after the word "members" in the last line but one will make the clause- perfect. As it stands, it refers to members of unions only, so far as the declaration that an organization must not act unfairly or unjustly is concerned. An organization might, however, act unfairly to a party quite as much interested as the employer, or to a still more interested party, an employe who was not a member of a union. The clause now protects members of unions only, who are really able to protect themselves by means of their votes. It is of more interest to non-preference men than to preference men. The idea of the Government is to prevent the oppression of any one bound by the award.

Mr Watson - If preference is given, none but members of unions will be concerned, and others, therefore, cannot be injured.

Mr GLYNN - They might be injured in the preparation of lists. After awards under the New Zealand and New South Wales Acts, the lists are prepared, not by the Courts, but by the organizations, and it would be easy to compile lists which would do great injustice to men not connected with an organization.

Amendment, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. LONSDALE(New England).- I wish to point out that the clause will prevent large numbers of men from obtaining work to which they are entitled, and which they would get if preference were not given to others. The Minister of External Affairs told the Committee the other evening that there are 3,000 members in the Wharf Labourers' Union, and work for only 1,500. Therefore, new members joining the union ' would not be able to get employment. They would have to pay their entrance fee and the annual subscription, and then, finding that they could not get work, would have to seek elsewhere for it. If they wished to join the United Labourers' Society they would have to pay another set of fees, and even then could not be sure of getting work, because there might be a dearth of employment in connexion with that branch of labour, too. Thus in every direction there will be barriers preventing poor men from getting employment. If we are going to give advantages to any section of the community, if we are going to establish an aristocracy of labour, allowing all outside it to starve and die, let us say so plainly. That is the practical effect of the clause.' If, by our legislation, men are compelled to enter, unions before applying for employment, the work available for the members of the union should be divided equally amongst them. No one member of a union should succeed in obtaining employment at the expense of another, and whenever there was not sufficient work for every member of a union, what there was should be rotated. The Court should have the power to direct that all the members of a union should share whatever work was available. I believe that the principle to .which many men subscribe at the present time is that all should have work according to their needs.

Mr Hughes - According to their deeds.

Mr LONSDALE - I. think that men should get work according to their deeds; but the Government seem to think that they should get work according to their needs. Men should depend upon their qualities and deserts. The Government, however, propose to prevent men from asking for employment unless thev are members of unions. If they are honest in seeking to give employment to all, they should give the Court power to direct that when there is not suffi'cient work to fully employ every member of a union, it shall be rotated, so that each may get his share.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 49 -

Every member of the Court, and every person authorized in writing by the Court, or President, or Registrar, may at any time enter any building, mine, mine working, ship, vessel, place, or premises of any kind, wherein or in respect of which any industry is carried on, or any work is being or has been done, or commenced, or any matter or thing is taking or has taken place in relation to which any industrial dispute is pending, or any award has been made, or any offence against this Act is suspected, and may inspect anil view any work, material, machinery, appliance, appliances, or article therein.

Amendments (by Mr. Watson) agreed to -

That the words " Every member of the Court," line 1, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " The President."

That the words " Court or," line 2, be left out.

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