THE SWEATING COMMISSION.
Though some o£ our contemporaries have professed to regard the Sweating Commission as a body of gentlemen engaged in a sort of pie-hie' at the colony's expense, and have derided ,the whole business, we think that every fair-mindied 'reader of their report, a precis of .which' has been published, will admit that there was a necessity for such an enquiry as has been held, and that the results'are likely "tcTp'rove beneficial to a large body of workers. True, the Commission, by a majority, [states - that"' the "system" known "in' j London as " sweating " does riot exist in New Zealand, but on the other hand the minority dissent from.this finding, and declare that it is in operation, though only to a limited extent. But all the members are' agreed, as the result of their investigations, that there are evils, many and great, arising from defective and, in 1-' efficient legislation, and- they . offer^ a number of valuable suggestions, which will doubtless result in the framing of a measure calculated to repress-'or minimise the evils pointed .out., Following is a summary of the recommenda-' tions made :—" Any new or amended Factory Act should include among others the following provisions:—All factories, workrooms, and places where work for hire is executed, irrespective of the number jof workers employed, .shall be registered, and the Inspector shall satisfy himself as to the sanitary and other arrangements, necessary for the. health, and morals of'workers, and without, His sanction no factory shall be.registered. A.certamintimber of cubic ,'feet, as determined by expert evidence, shall be allowed for each worker. The Government shall provide Inspectors of Factories under the Acts, with a form of table to be forwarded with their annual < reports, showing the number of adult's, ^nd, young persons employed in each factory or workshop, distinguishing tne:sexes< the number of cubic feet of §pace for each person, as also the j sanitary 1 arrangements in connection j with all establishments under their supervision. Pehalties\sliould be imposed jin cases of worki£k>fais being kept 6pen-for working during meal'hour*.( No boy or girl shall ■be allowed to work in any factory under the age! of fourteen years. He or she must deposit with the local Inspector,! where possible, a certificate of birth, and also a certificate that he or she has passed the fourth standard. The Inspector then shall give him or her a certificate statiqg that he or she has complied' with the above requirements. No young person between the age of fourteen, L and eighteen- 1 shall be allowed toi work in any factory for more than forty-eight hours in any week, and not at all , between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. ' The In'- 1 spectbr shall have the right to i enter, any factory at any reasonable time, and any obstruction to him shalL be punishable by fine. If any operative be found in a workroom or factory outside the specified hours, though.not actively "engaged in'^ork, it shall be reckoned as a .breach of the lawl Inspectors , shair.be appointed under the Act, and shall furnish half-yearly reports'to the j Colonial Secretary who, after collating these, sliall prepare an annual report, to be presented to' Parliament. : Inspectors may be accompanied';by:; a constable or other police officer,- who shall have the' right of admission 1 with" him to any shop or wprkrdom or'factory. Newspapers and/ printing i e^tablishmerits ' shall, be brought iunder the operation of this Act. The factory '.inspectors' under; 'this Act shall also b"e sanitary' insjiec^ors.! Every'; manufacturer of goods for sale shall be ' Required to procure a registered trademark, and all goods made by him sliall be stamped with this trade-mark. The same regulation in regard to'sanitary arrangements shall apply to all shops' and other rooms where women,and men work for hire. Provision sho.uld; be made in any Bill to be broughtbefore Parliament to prevent, if possible, the suffering caused to''femaleassistants in shops by long .Continued .standings as shown, in theiPunedih and -Christchureh* evidence.; This! Commission expressed its entire sympathy, with the movement to. secure early .closing, but having in view the diversity' of "opinion on the part of its promoters, it is unable to recommend a'jAy' direct method by which this agreeable 1 olpjeci^is to be attained. Wfe recom- c mend that steps be taken to .'establish at an early date Boards of 'Conciliation and Arbitration based onjtheequfc tab'leness 'of' labor anpl dapitaL That a system of indenture by which'-* employers should be bound to teach, their, <apprentices^their trade, and by'which" apprentices should remain with their , employ eyiong enough to learn at, would Vemedy'the evils complained ;of. 'i'F6r the purpose of obtaining reli4ble data as to social and other conditions of .indu^try x r throughout the colony, the Government are requested to j taire -steps as/soon-as possible, if or, the establishments of a bureau of statistics in this colony. That the Government be asked to introduce with the least rpos': sible delay a new Factory Bill,' embodying the above recommendations.'", The' Commissioners have not forgotten the case of sub-contractors, who have a grievance in that they havje no lien upon the building or work" upon which they are engaged—whereas in, America the law protects them in this direction; They accordingly recommend thi£ phase of the question also to: the, consideration of Parliament. Altogether we look upon the report a£ a 'most valuable <one, and as likely jto prove the point of departure for very necessary and desirable reforms, f.
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THE SWEATING COMMISSION., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2432, 17 May 1890
THE SWEATING COMMISSION. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2432, 17 May 1890
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