HC Deb 15 May 1918 vol 106 cc328-9
14. Mr. DUNCAN

asked the Secretary to the Admiralty whether he is aware that in November last his attention was drawn to the fact that in Chatham Dockyard the Admiralty were not carrying out the spirit of the Treasury agreement nor subsequent orders made by the Ministry of Munitions in that certain women now engaged on work formerly done by men were not receiving the rates of wages which the men would have received, and that particulars of specific cases were supplied; and whether he is now able to give a reply to the representations then made?


The Clause of the Treasury agreement to which my hon. Friend refers is as follows: The relaxation of existing demarcation restrictions or the admission of semi-skilled or female labour shall not affect adversely the rates customarily paid for the job. I have had before me a good many complaints about the carrying out of this undertaking. But, as a rule, it has been found that in the cases brought forward women were not doing the skilled men's job in its entirety, but only a portion, and in all probabilty the simpler portion of the job. We think our scale of payment for women is adequate and consistent with the letter and spirit of every undertaking which has been given. Of course, as my hon. Friend probably knows, where women are employed on piece-work, the piecework rate is the same for women as for men.