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Monday, 11 June 1928


Mr LATHAM (Kooyong) (AttorneyGeneral) . - Since this provision was included in the original act, section 9, under which penalties may be imposed upon employers who dismiss men because they are members of a union, has been very much strengthened; and since the Government has, at the request of the trade unions, removed sub-section 3 of the section which provided that no proceedings for an offence under it could be instituted without the leave of the Chief Judge or Registrar, there is no particular reason for retaining section 61.


Mr Brennan - Do I understand that it will not now be necessary to obtain the consent of the Chief Judge to take proceedings ?


Mr LATHAM - That is so under section 9. The Government is of the opinion that just as the joining of a union should be voluntary, so also resigning from it should be voluntary.


Mr Anstey - Why is it not voluntary at present?


Mr LATHAM - Because of the provisions of section 61.


Mr Anstey - Is the Attorney-General able to name the persons who have to pay perpetual fees to more than one trade union ?


Mr LATHAM - I could do so, but for obvious reasons I shall not. I have letters from several persons to the effect that they suffer from this disability. It is not a matter of the secretary of a union allowing a man to resign; he cannot legally do so while his union has any matter before the court. An organization may be quite willing to allow a man to resign, for the secretaries of organizations naturally desire members of the union to be engaged in the industry in which its union is formed, but he cannot do so, under the circumstances stated, with this section in the act.







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