HC Deb 14 December 1908 vol 198 cc1210-1
MR. HORNIMAN (Chelsea)

To ask the Postmaster-General whether he will explain why the casual men taken on for Christmas work in the letter department in London start at 24s. per week while in the parcels department they commence at only 20s. per week; and what is the test that the latter men have to pass before their wages are increased to 24s. per week.

(Answered by Mr. Sydney Button.) All casual men engaged during the Christmas season to assist with sorting work, whether for letter or for parcel work, have to acquire some knowledge of sorting before any practical use can be made of their services, and during the period of tuition they are paid at the rate of 20s. a week. When they are able to pass an easy test, which is, as a rule, in a few days, they are paid at the rate of 24s. a week. The casual force engaged to assist as postmen and porters do not need training, and they are paid at the rate of 24s. a week from the commencement of their employment, which is, as a rule, of shorter duration than that of the sorting force.