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BIG DROP 7JV OUTPUT Fewer Workers And Lower Efficiency N.Z.P.A. Special Correspondent Rec. 1 p.m. SYDNEY, this day. Alarm is being expressed by business leaders and Federal Opposition members at the drop in production of Australian workers. Prominent businessmen state that industry's serious manpower shortage is caused not only by the tying up of men and women in the fighting Services and in Government Departments and works organisations, but by the uneconomic uss of labour and the drop in the productivity of individual workers.

In many industries it is estimated that productivity has declined from 33 1-3 per cent to 50 per cent per worker engaged, plus the loss through staff shortages. If one of the particular industries affected worked in pre-war years on the basis of 1000 employees and now operated with only 500, the loss in production would be the 50 per cent because of manpower losses, plus a further 33 1-3 to 50 per cent loss because of the decreased efficiency of the remaining 500.

Three Major Factors

Critics claim that in far too many fields there has been a notable falling-off in production because of widespread desertion of the old, independent principle of "a fair day's work for a fair day's pay." Three major factors felt to be responsible for the outlook, which must have a grave effect on the present and post-war economy, are: (1) The incursion during the war of large Government organisations into fields which before had been left to private enterprise; (2) the cost-plus system; and (3) the inability of employers under wartime regulations to get rid of unsatisfactory labour. It is claimed that the need for a reasonable outpiit—accepted as a matter of course by men working for private enterprise—is not recognised when the employer is the Government. Almost inevitably there is a tendency for individual production not to move up towards the level of that of the moj-e efficient and conscientious operatives, but down to that of the most inefficient and slack workers.

Water Board's Costs The Sydney Water Board intends asking the Federal Government for the right to dismiss any ex-service-man who "does not attempt to pull his weight." The board adopted a report that the only effective way of securing a steady increase in efficiency would be to maintain the right to dismiss men who were net attempting to pull their weight. After the war the Water Board expects to be one of Sydney's biggest emplovers of labour, employing about 12,500 men. The. president of the board, Mr. T. H. Upton, said that the construction costs of the £9,000,000 Captain Cock graving dock were four timfes more than normal because the workers were paid twice pre-war rates and averaged only half pre-war production. —; Tax Reduction Urged v In the House of Representatives this week Mr. Holt (Lib., Victoria), in urging the Prime Minister, Mr. Chifley, to announce an immediate reduction in taxation, said it would act as a "shot in the arm" to the Australian economy. He claimed that Australia was suffering from a serious decline in effort, which could be cured only by giving employers more encouragement and by lifting taxation burdens from the workers.

The productive section of the community, he added, was called on to carry a dead weight of 600,000 persons in the Services and more than half a million employed by Government or semi-Government bodies. Despite these tremendous burdens the community had been able to finance the loan programme and pay the heaviest rates of taxation levied in any part of the world.

Earlier in the war, said Mr. Holt, the people were able to pay the higher taxes, but they were nearing the end of their reserves. If the Government's full employment and social security plans were to be effective, production must be increased.

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Bibliographic details

PRODUCTION SLIDE ALARMS AUSTRALIA, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 177, 28 July 1945

Word Count

PRODUCTION SLIDE ALARMS AUSTRALIA Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 177, 28 July 1945

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