HC Deb 24 May 1911 vol 26 cc265-6

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the fact that about twenty-six men in the wood machine department of the General Post Office, Mount Pleasant, received notice on Friday last that at the expiration of three weeks their services would no longer be required, he can state the number of years for which most of these men have been employed; whether they are being discharged on account of any complaint, or what are the grounds of discharge; what compensation they are receiving; and what are their prospects of obtaining other employment in the service of the Post Office?


It is the fact that in consequence of a falling-off in the demand for woodwork in the Post Office it has been necessary to reduce the number of employés in the woodwork shops, and notice of discharge was given last, Friday to a number of men at the two Post Office factories. The reduction of force has been postponed from time to time on compassionate grounds, but it was clearly inevitable sooner or later, and it seemed to me that in the present favourable condition of the labour market, especially in the case of woodworkers, the opportune moment had arrived for taking the necessary step. There is no prospect of other employment in the Post Office, but I have made special efforts to find places for the men, and good situations have now been offered to all of them. I will send the hon. Member the full particulars for which he asks. Gratuities will be payable to all the men who have been employed for as much as seven years, calculated at the rate of a week's wages or £l, whichever is greater for each year of service.


Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that situations have now been offered to all men who have been discharged?


Yes, Sir, not in the Post Office, but I have arranged with outside employers that good situations shall be offered to all.