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*" PAY INCREASE.
MAIN DEMANDS GRANTED
_ . ^
The President of the Commonwealth Arbi- tration Court, Mr. Justice Higgins, to-day de- livered his proposed award In the claim brought by the Federated Seamen's Union against the Commonwealth Steamship Owners and others. He said that about 7000 men belonged to the union, or 98 per cent, of the seamen working on the Australian coast. The six respondents were the greatest shipowners
Continuing, Mr. Justice Higgins stated, "In this dispute tbe most formidable demand made by tbe men is that with regard to the working hours of deckhands. The claimant wants me, in effect, to abolish daymen, and thus allow the present complement of men to keep three watches instead of two. But I am convinced that if I were to compel the employers to transfer the daymen to watches I should be unwarrantably Interfering with the employers' discretion as to the system on which the business Is to be managed, and. Indeed, forcing them Into a reactionary method. I am obliged, therefore, to refuse the proposa! to abolish daymen. The real objective of the deck hands Is the eight hours' day. The chango asked for relates almost solely to the hours of the six or eight deck hands who keep watches, three or four men at a time, and only to the time they are at sea. In part they already enjoy the eight-hours day, but there Is this Important fact, additional, that on the Australian coast the crew make frequent vlsltB to cities and towns where the eight-hours principle Is universal, and they work aide by side In port with wharf labour- ers, painters, and .others, who enjoy*the eight hours day. I have tried to consider the ques- tion fairly, (1) from the point of view of the seamen; (2) from the point of view of the employers; (3) from the point of view of the public.
From the first point of view tbere can be no- reasonable difference of opinion as to the change being eminently desirable. Tbe hours of duty at present are too many. The days on which a ship enters and leaves a port on I the same day are exceptionally hard. It Is no wonder that some men speak of being hardly able to «¿eep awake at the wheel. But [what can be said from the point of view 'of the employers. The respondents have re-
lieved my mind by admitting frankly that the Industry Is capable of bearing all the addi- tional expenses Involved In the claim. Tbe only point in favour of long hours, 24 hours divided between a port and a starboard watch, Is that the system costs less than a system of eight hours with three watches. The respon- dents have furnished me with valuable state- ments, showing the direct expense Involved in an eight hours day If applied to all the 81 ships, and they make out the expense Involved in an eight hours day, coupled with the pro- posed Increases of wages, to be £39,000 odd, nearly £485 per annum for each ship on an average. They treat the proposal as neces- sarily involving the employment of a full extra watch'on each ship, three or four men aB the case may be; but they have not satisfied me that such a sequenco follows. The re- spondents have not satisfied me that the pre- sent long hours aro necessary, or even that the effect of an eight hours day will be to compel the respondents to appoint an addi- tional watch of throe or four men in every case. I propose, therefore, to award that the hours at sea shall be eight for deck hands
who are on watch, as well as for deck hands j who are daymen. So that they shall not
have worse hours than the Btokebold men ' or than labourers on the Australian coast, but I propose to postpone the operation of this provision till July 1, 1912, as on some shipB It may be necessary to put up further accom- modation for some additional men, and a libe- ral allowance of time ought to be mado for making the necessary alterations and the in-
Mr. Justice Higgins, continuing, said, in re- gard to work on Sundays and holidays, that it was not probably realised by outsiders what very little release from harness tbe seaman enjoyed. He would allow an extra day's pay for work on Sundays and holidays. The claim in respect to wages Mr. Justice Higgins stated
was substantially one for £1 per month In-, crease all round. The able-bodied seamen re- j
ceivod £7 a month and keep on a vessel. Tak-i ing the "keep" as being worth 10s a week, or nearly £2 5s a month, the pay was slightly over 6s a day. This meant the meagre pit- tance of 6d an hour for an able-bodied sea- man if the present averago of more than 12 hours a day was maintained, whereas dock and ship labourers were paid "under agree- ment" 1b Id an hour at least, with higher rates for special circumstances, and double rates for holidays. It was his duty to pro- scribe tho £8 a month claimed, an increase of 8d a day, or Id per hour it the day was eight hours. Though the respondents had admitted tho capacity of the industry to pay the ad- ditional expense involved in the claim, ho did not conceive It to be his duty under the Act to make an employer pay more wages if his
profltB were high for the timo being. The Act I was not an Act for profit-sharing, but for se-1 curing peace in industries, and the best way of ' securing peace was to obtain for the man, as! far as was possible, wages and conditions of, life on a level with the current standards of the community. The work of the men in the Btokebold »'aB very trying and very severe. They got £9 a month in money. Considering the value of their "keep," they wero paid loss
than 7s 6d a day. The firemen on shore got ; 9s a day for similar work, under conditions not nearly so trying. They should recclvo £10 per month, greasers £10, coal trimmers £8, and donkcymen £11.
NO PREFERENCE TO UNIONISTS.
Dealing with the clnlm of preference to unionists, Mr. Justice Higgins said there was no evidence really to support it. Ho continued: "It Is urged that without unions there- could be no Industrial agreements or awards, no means of settling disputes; and that is very true. It is also urged that the unionist bears the ex- penso and worry of arbitration, and of nego- tiations, and that the non-unloniM bears na expense, and often enables the employer to beat down tho unionists, and yet gets tho benefit of any advance in »ages that tho unionist gains; and there is much truth in this also. But it does not follow that an order for preference is a fit remedy. I desire to confine my remarks to the case actually before mc, but to my mind a claimant ought to mako out a vory strong case before the Court should fetter the discretion of his employers. The order should bo shown clearly necessary In order to secure fair conditions for tha men. Much depends on the meaning of 'other things being equal.* Does this refer merely to sobriety and skill, or does it include the per
sonal dislikes and likes of the emcploycr or his manager? If the latter, the order would seem to be useless for tho protection of tho unionists. I propose to say that the Court docs not see fit to grant any order for pre- ference to members of the organisations at this stage; but the refusal is without preju- dice to any application that may be hereafter mado on other materials.
The proposed award is as follows:
HOURS OF lABOUR.
1. Subject to the provisions of article 2 (a) the hours of labour In port for seamen shall not be more than eight in a day; (b) tn. hours of labour in port for seamen shall be between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., except that in days of departure from a port the master may set watches at any ttmo for stokehold men; I (c) the hours of labour at sea tor stokehold" men shall not bo more than eight In a day; < (d) after June 30, 1912, the hour» of labour| for deck hands shall not be more than eight. In a day; (e) on days of arrival at or de-
parture from a port any watches or times | of duty at sea arc to be reckoned ss hourn In port; (f) but In cases whor« a ship ar< I rives at a port and departs therefrom on' tho same day the ship may at the option of the master bo treated as at sea all day.
2. A seaman shall, outside his hours of la- bour and without payment for overtime, as- sist when required In tho mooring or the un- mooring of the ship, and attend when required any boat drill or fire drill, and do any work that Is required of him for th« safety of the ship. ,
SUNDAYS AND HOUDAY8.
3. On Sundays and holidays in port the seamen shall, unless for overtlm» payment, be
freo from labour except the washing of decks I or the decorating of the ship between 7 and 8 a ni When a ship departs from any of the
main ports -on a Sunday or holiday each sea-| .ran ahall be entitled to an extra days pay., 4 If any of the following holidays be «pent, wholly at sea each aeaman eball be entitled to a day off ashore at his home port within j oat mtrnth- thereaft«*-. or to as. «rztr» dar».
B?-.-írT\..'I¡-8 b$UtP "*? Christmas Day.
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6. It the ship is engaged on an excursion or for special work on a Sunday and holiday day's pay"""1 Bha" be.«-»»«» to an extr_
6. For all labour over the* hours of labour TAe.am.an._BhaU. be entitled to overtime pay -Í.J__*.!. îhe Tii*. of l* M Per nour » n" »e engaged In working cargo, and Is 3d per.hour ir engaged at other work; but when under any order of the Department of Trade and customs an extra payment Is prescribed for the work done on Sundays or any holidays the overtime payment under this award shall be
Perhour, 0r such other sum as will repre aent the excess of the overtime rate above prescribed over the extra rate ,to be paid under the order. 7. For all labour in work- ing cargo, even within the hours of labour, the overtime rate shall be paid. 8. in com- puting the hours In which a donkeyman has been working the time occupied hy him In getting up steam shall be counted.
RATES OF PAY.
9. Minimum rateB of pay for seamen shall [be as follows:-Boatswain, «9 per month; A.B., employed as lamptrimmer, £9 per month A.B., £8 per month; ordinary seamen, If l8 years or over £6 -per month, if under l8 £6 per month; donkeyman, £11 per month; greaser, £10 per month; fireman, £10 per month; trimmer, £7 per month.
PAYMENT OF WAGES.
10. Wages shall be due monthly on the first day of every calendar month. The wages, other than money for overtime, shall be pay- able as to any amount not exceeding three fourths on the written order of the seaman, countersigned by the master, to the wife or a near relative of the seaman, and subject thereto, to the seaman on or before arrival at one of the main ports. Money for over- time shall be payable to the seaman at the
11. The master may discharge any seaman at his home port if he give htm not less than 24 hours' notice on a day other than Satur- day, and It the notice be not less than 24 hours before the ship leaves the horne port. Any member of the crew may end his engagement at his home port it 'he give such notice as aforesaid. If the ship be laid up in any port other than his home port any seaman may be discharged on 24 hours' notice, but in that case the seaman shall be provided by the employer with a free passage to his home port, with wages up to the time at which In due course he should arrive thereat. (12) If any seaman become Intoxicated or disorderly the master may dismiss him Instantly If In port; If at sea, log bim, and dismiss him on
arrival at the first port.
[ SEAMEN'S QUARTERS.
13. The shipowners shall cause the quarters of the seamen lo be cleaned every day, and, without prejudice to the generality of this direction, shall commit the duty of cleaning each set of quar- ters to a steward or seaman or other suit- able person within his hours of duty, and allow him at the least not more than nine persons one hour; where more than nine or not more than l8 persons, two hours; where more than
l8 persons, three hours.
PORT MEAL TIMES. .
14. The meal time allowed in port shall be-for breakfast any one hour between < 7 and 9.80 a.m, for dinner any one hour between noon and 2 p.m., for tea (it working overtime) any one hour between 6 p.m. and 7 P'-m., and. if working Is to he continued after 11 p.m. one hour for supper between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. A seaman shall not be under any, obligation to curtail any meal time, even on the terms of payment
for overtime. ,
15. When a Beaman Is required for shift- ing Bhip at night in port his overtime shall be reckoned from the time that he has to come on deck or attends until the shifting Is over, or until he is released from attendance. Each shift shall be treated as occupying One hour at the least, and any clearing of the decks shall be reckoned as additional overtime work. This article does not apply to a donkeyman, bo far as he performs the functions of a donkey-
man in aiding the shift.
NIGHT WATCHMEN'S HOURS.
16. The hours of any seaman acting as night watchman in port shall be from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. For acting as night watchman he shall be granted eight working hours off work In port on the next day If It 'is not a Sunday or holiday; and if ¡ho do not get the eight hours off he shall be paid an extra sum of 8s. It he bo required to assist in shifting ship he shall be paid an extra sum of 8d for each shift.
17. The shipowner shall cause the galley bunkers to be filled every day before 8 a.m. by the men on duty.
18. The deckhand- shall provide themselveB with the uniform of tho shipowner, and wear It as and when required, but the shipowner shall supply the necessary badges and trim-
19. The respondents undertaking to employ such members of tho union o-, bear good re- cords, and as thero are vacancies for; and that the'superintendent of the company .will consider any representations made to him by the local secretary of-the claimant organisa- tion, the Court rcfUBes to make any order for preference In favour of members of the ¡organisation without prejudice to any appli-
cation for preference that may hereafter be made on further or other materials.
20. The claimant and the respondent, the Commonwealth Steamship Owners' Associa- tion, shall have power to appoint for the pur- poses of this award a board of reference, con- sisting of five persons, and the Court assigns to the board the function of determining or dealing with any dispute, difference, or ques- tion arising out of or relative to this award or rights and duties thereunder.
21. UnlcBB'tho context clearly forbid, "ar- rival" means the time when the vessel Is moored; "departuro" means the time when the vessel Is unmoored to proceed to sea; "at ¡sea" refors to the time from despatch, ¡"time from departure to arrival In I port" refers to the time from ar- rival to departure; "seaman" means any ! member of the claimant organisation employed
'cither on deck or In the stokehold y any of ? the respondents on .interstate . -sels or any of tho other veselB mentioned in the article; "port" includes bay, river, or roadstead; "home port" means any port in the Common j wealth at which the seaman has signed the articles of agreement; "main .ports" mean ¡Cairns. Townsville, Rockhampton wharf, Bris .bano, Newcastle, Sydney, Hobart, Launceston, Melbourne, Adelaide, Port Pirie, Wallaroo, and Frenfantlc; "wages" include overtime
(22) This award shall apply to all vessels owned or controlled by members of the re- spondent organisation and engaged In the In- terstate trade, and to tho followln vesela within the limits of some one State, and to any other vessels of the same chara<-tor trad- ing as aforesaid, In addition to, or in substi-
tution for the said vessels.
23 This award shall come Into operation as from the end of 1911, and shall apply to wagcB earned during the month of December, 1911, | and shall continue lu force for five years from
THE KOOMBÀN.« CASE.
Continuing, his Honor said: I have indi- cated the kind of award'which it is proposed to mako. I have not made it yet. 1 »'ant tho parties to speak'to the minutes of the award noxt Thursday, and to point out anything that I have overlooked In tho complicated details. But thero has como to my knowledgo officially a curious position in connection with some men of this union in Fremantle, and It pos- sible, and if that position be not quickly altered. I shall have to consider what award I should make, if I make any award at all. I understand that in spite of the warning and remonstrances of the executives of -the union the steamer Koombana has been practically boyootted by the firemen in Fremantle, be- cause of some objection which the men have to a chief steward. The owners are willing to Inquire into the matter if tho men will only go.on working, and the detention of the ship is serious, especially as the owners are under contract to carry malls. It cannot be said that the men have struck. Those who left the ship did so after due notice, and those who were brought down to fill their places have not, as I understand, signed the articles. But' there Is an agreement in existence, and under that agreement it is a breach on the part of the union, if by reason of any dispute or i difference between the men and employers a i vessel be detained 24 hours. The agreement , is not one made under the auspices of this I Court, and Its faulty framework may be a
cause of some misapprehension- It is pleas- ing to find that there has been no case yet of any breach of an award of this Court, and
j that there has not even been In this era of i strikes any (admitted) strike, in a dispute of Iwhlch this Court could take cognisance. But! surely it is not for the public interest that I should make an award in favour of a union which, by its disobedient members, 13 break- ing a collective agreement.
MUST BE BROUGHT TO ~30K.
"I know that the men are acting in defiance of the executive of the union, but the union has by its agreement taken . "osoluto responsi- bility for its members' acts, and It must de- vise some system whereby unruly morrbers can be brought to book. No doubt this means I that the innocent aro punished with the guilty, I but that cannot be holpcd »-hero there Is col ' loctive responsibility. The emplorcrs look Wo the union to keep Its contract, and rightly | so. Although there has been no infringe- ment, so far as Is known, of any of this Court's awards, I have to look ahead, and all round me when I see what a tew men on the Koombana can do.
[Ana J,.am at pretest»- Inclined ta think that
even after an award has been made the Court haa power under section 38,to vary Its awards by striking out tn whole or in part the relief already granted to the union* if it appear that the men of the union, although taking the benefit of the award, are nat prepared to take up the burden also. I shall have this- case put down fo. Thursday to speak to the minutes
but If the trouble be not over by that time ¡ I must'consider what I should do. I «_>di
hoped to make the Increased wages apply to j
December's work, but I certainly shall not do
so in the present position of the Koombana, j