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Tuesday, 17 May 1960

Mr JAMES (HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct a question, without notice, to the Minister for Labour and National Service. Is the Minister aware that great unrest has been caused on the northern coal-fields in New South Wales by the failure of the coal-mine owners to observe the principle of seniority in retrenchments from the mines? Will he ensure that, where employment is terminated, the basis will be: Last to come, first to go? Is the Minister aware that almost 50 per cent, of the employees of the Stockrington No. 2 colliery have received a week's notice terminating their employment? Is he aware, also, that practically all of the men affected own homes near where they work and will require local work unless they are to suffer heavy financial loss by moving to another district? Has the Minister or the Government any plans for the absorption of the dismissed men into alternative employment, or are these miners to be thrown on the scrap-heap as a result of mechanization while the mine-owners are rewarded with greater profits?

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