HC Deb 11 March 1925 vol 181 cc1310-1
55. Lieut.-Commander KENWORTHY

asked the Minister of Labour why dock labourers are singled out to sign as unemployed twice a day, while men working alongside them in the shipyards, for example, have only to sign twice a week; if he is aware of the grievance felt by dock labourers on this account, and also that men frequently lose a chance of work on an incoming ship through having to attend the Exchange to sign the second time; and whether he has now reconsidered this matter with a view to an improvement in the Regulations?


Dock workers claiming unemployment benefit are required to attend twice daily in view of the special conditions of their employment and method of engagement. So far as I am aware, these conditions do not apply in the same way to shipyard workers, but if they did in any district it would be necessary to apply the requirement in their cases also.

The times of attendance are fixed so as to follow closely upon the calls at which the men are engaged, and I have no reason to suppose that the requirement lessens their opportunities of obtaining employment.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that these men who have to apply twice a day have to travel a considerable distance from the point where they would find employment to the exchange to sign on, and in view of the fact that in different trades men are subject to casual employment, why is this distinction made in the two cases


Because of distinctions, so far as I am aware, in the periods for which they are engaged. If the hon. Member has any facts which show that it is unfair on one group as compared with the other, if lie or the other hon. Member will put down a question and confer with us afterwards we will go into it in order to try to make it fair.