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MEN BACK FROM WAR CONCERN IN WELLINGTON P.A. WELLINGTON, this day The statement of the New Zealand Master Grocers' Federation secretary, Mr. R. M. Barker, on the gro-. eery trade plan submitted by the federation and discussed at a conference of Departmental representatives, Mr. Barker and an Auckland chain grocery stores representative, was replied to to-day by an official of, the Wellington Chain Stores' Association.

He said the Minister of Rehabilitation had asked in November, 1944, that his organisation be consulted when rehabilitation was considered. Notwithstanding it was not invited to attend the meetings of the committee subsequently set up, nor were its views ascertained. That committee consisted of four Government servants, Mr. Barker, a trade union secretary and a representative of one chain store organisation in Auckland. His organisation had no sympathy with high goodwill payments. Its members had been repeatedly approached by grocers anxious to sell on this basis, but it never charged or paid the goodwill amounts Mr. Barker had cited. It opposed the proposals so far made known as seriously prejudicing its own staff who had served overseas. Hundreds would come back to be rehabilitated as seniors or shop managers after having gone away as juniors, untrained or part-trained. Grocers had a responsibility to take these men back as seniors. His organisation would take its men back and give proper training to those needing it, at the finish of which they would be equipped to become managers or start on their own. Men who went away as juniors would ndt yet be sufficiently equipped to run their own stores. The only result of such a course would be to free the Master Grocers' Federation of the responsibility of re-employ-ing them and to pass it on to the Rehabilitation Department. For the federation to ask that others, including returned servicemen, be not allowed to open shops where in its opinion sufficient were established was, in effect, a request for protection of the established grocer at the expense of others, including returned men. Mr. Barker was anxious to place returned servicemen in their own businesses, and at the same time was approaching the Price Tribunal on behalf of the master grocers for permission to increase prices on the ground that the industry was not receiving a sufficient margin.

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Bibliographic details

GROCERY TRADE, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945

Word Count

GROCERY TRADE Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 171, 21 July 1945

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