Maoriland Worker, Rōrahi 6, Putanga 210, 17 Huitanguru 1915, Page 5
By.AI. LARACY. About 40 shearers, the majority of' whom are booked up for March sheds j in Queensland, left by the Manuka on j Friday last. j A'arious were the tales told as to j experiences during tho season, and | while some of the men had had a good I run, others were out of pocket by the trip to Maoriland. I More than ono of them informed mc | that they had not put-through 2,000 j sheep, which means £20, less cost I of tools. | AVhen one remembers that theso men ! travel from Queensland to this country it has to be admitted that the trip has not been a remunerative one. However, it is a pleasant change; after an arduous time on the shearing j floors in tho sweltering heat of Central Queensland. Some of these men are, starting early next month in runs with 20.000 per man, whereas in New Zealand a run of 5,000 is considered to bo a good one. Shod hands aro much better paid in ■ Australia than in N.Z., and then again the shearing lasts much longer. In New Zealand, with favourable weather for shearing, very few sheds will last three weeks, which for a shed hand means £4 2s. 6d., and very often it has cost moro than that to get to tTie shed. A number of employers do now pay fair wages to their shed hands, and this season as high as £2 10s. petweek was paid in some instances. AVhen one comes to consider the short duration o; tho job and the expense of getting to it, there is nothing much in the game even at £2 10s. per week. j Tho shed hands demands have been before tho Conciliation Council, but as j no settlement was arrived at the case was referred to the Arbitration Court just prior to tho decision of that tri-j bunal to refrain from making fresh awards while the war crisis was on. This met with heneral approval at tho time and the workers generally were satisfied to work on under existing conditions. Until such time as prices of commodities started to jump up all went well, but with tho cost of living as itis to-day, the- Court would not be exceeding its duty if it decided to review all awards and bring wages into-keeping with increased cost of living. Tho Primo Minister boasts about the prosperous state of the country, and no ono will doubt the prosperity considering tbo price of wool and other products raised right here. ! At tho samo time wo contend that in n, country that is prosperous it is unfair to allow tho cost of living to increase while wages remain stationary as is the cas eat tho present, time. Received on account of Mrs. Spencer, Temuka: — Per C. Buckmaster 5 0 0 Per A. Frazcr 1 12 0 R. Parko 0 14 0 Godley Peaks 2 0 0 — AVilden 3 0 0 -— Hossack 1 12 0 £7 6 0 All thoso holding cash for above fund aro requested to forward same to office. The 29th Annual Convention of the A.AV.U. is now sitting in Macdonnell House, Sydney. Tho President, Mr. AY. G. Spence, M.H.R., in his address advocated ono big union for Australia, and pointed out that at the present timo there wero 710 unions in Australia with a membership of 497,925. In advocating ono big union, Mr. Spenco is undoubtedly upon the right track and will have the hoarty support of the majority of A.W.U. members. ' Letters in this office addressed as follows: J. Ward, W. Stafford, B. Noonan, M. McLaughlin, Bert Ives, C. Murphy, R. Connell.