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LABOUR PROBLEMS.

FURNITURE TIRADE COMPLAINTS,-

STATEMENT BY; PE* ? *...__,.. ' __AbouiC"' " .ft,';'

(By ielegrapl..—Press, As-oeiation.J

WELLINGTON,; this day. ■A deputation from the,Furnitarfe porkers'' Union had a rather animated discussion with the, Hon. A. W. Hogg, Ivlinister for Labour. >~ ■>'*■} ■'" ft ft/ft' Mr. WilfOp, _Vf.P., explained that btlicers of the Labour Department .took up the positidn that certain 0 -provisions'*of the. Furniture Workers' award were in conflict with, the Factories Act,* and must therefore be inoperative., '- The union, however, held that the-'avfard was valid and must be maintained.

Complaint was made by the deputation that the D. I. C. discharged non-unionists during slackness of'WOrk, abd afterwards put some men on again While unionists were out of work, and that the Department had declined to ask the court for ail interpretation of the award ;as to whether the men had been di-bharged.

Complaint was also made that some country employers had been paying fortnightly instead of weekly. The union thought a conviction for breach of award should be obtained. The chief inspector (Mr. Lomas),.however, had stated that his instruction's were not to ask for less than a £10 fine, and as that would be too he could' do nothing beyond cautioning employers, .

The Minister, in reply, said he did not think there was much in the complaints. He did not want to see small manufacturers and others unduly ' hampered In their efforts. In regard to the case of the non-unionist who was sent away for a few days, owing to slackness of work, and then re-employed, he fancied that any humane employer ha,vi_ig a man working for him would be doing a great wrong if he ,did not take him back when able to do so.

The deputation told the Minister that if his ruling was right, there Would soon be no more unionists.

The Minister said it was dangerous to rush to extremes. He deprecated attacks on the factory inspectors, who were doing their duty. He strongly urged the men to work in harmony with their employers. The Department was doing its best to help the unions, and he did not think thoy should seize every drive employers before the court. Capital and Labour should work side by side. The object of the Department was to protect both sides.

As the outcome of tbe interview, the Minister promised to obtain the opinion, of the Solicitor-General on the following questions: First, how long does a nonunionist have to be out of employment before he is deemed to be dismissed? "second, if a non-unionist is dismissed, can h-3 employer reinstate 'him instead of a unionist, when there is a preference clause?" • *

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LABOUR PROBLEMS. Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 64, 16 March 1909

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