UNLOADING OF VESSELS.
BREACH OF AWARD. UNION S.S. CO. FINED. Before Mr. C. C. Kettle, in the Magistrate's Court yesterday. Mr. Hood, Inspector of Awards, claimed a £10 10s. penalty against the L'nion Steamship Company for engaging John Robins aud nineteen other labourers at the vessel's side instead of at the ■waiting shed in Queen's wharf, tht latter being the definite place determined on between the employers and the secretary of the Union.
Mr. McGregor, who defended, said that the s.s. W'aitemata arrived in Auckland on Saturday, October 10th, with cargo which had been overcarried from Napier ci.d ('isborne. Other vessels were leaving for Napier and Gisborne that day, and this part of the cargo was unloaded at a wharf other than the one determined in tlie agreement. The case was one in which special circumstances justified this action. After the cargo for ('isborne and Napier had been di-charged at No. 2 jetty, Quay-street, the vessel went to her proper berth at Hobsonstreet, no further cargo being discharged till Monday morning. The men who had worked at the vessel on the Saturday went on again on the Monday with others. The alleged breach lay in the fact that the additional men were not engaged at the waterside workers' wait-iuv-room, as stipulated in the agreement.
The secretary of the Waterside Workers' Union, James Collett, gave evidence. All the men engaged on the Monday, he said, should have been regarded as "subsequent labour,'' as more than half an hour had elapsed .since the vessel commenced unloading on Saturday and the time they were engaged. The witness added that it was usual for men to finish a job they had started co. The men employed on Saturday would naturally go on again on Monday. Cross-examined by Mr. McGregor: The foreman called out the names afrcfh every morning. He called first the names of tiiosc who had been working the day before. He might call, for instance "Collett, McGregor, Kettle." (Laughter.) Mr. McGregor: But if one of the men had been working badly, would he be called again ?
Witness: Then the foreman would probably say, '"McGregor, you're only worth threepence an hour. (More laughter.) A. J. Branagan, the defendant Company's wharf foreman, said he thought the case -was a special one. He said he engaged what he considered a fresh lot oi men for unhading on the Monday.
The Magistrate held that a technical breach had been committed, and imposed a penalty of os. and costs.
Nominal conditions for breach were recorded against eight of the labourers, and it was intimated that proceedings had been instituted against others.
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