HC Deb 30 April 1940 vol 360 cc527-8
34. Mr. Thorne

asked the Secretary of State for War whether he will take steps to improve the conditions of employment of the boilermen working at a camp to which his attention has been drawn; is he aware that these men are only being paid £2 7s. 5d. per week for 47 hours, which is much below the trade union rate for that class of work; that when the men change from No. 5 shift to No. 1 shift they have to leave off work at 8 p.m., and return to work again at 4 a.m., and because of the shortage of house accommodation at the camp the men have to cycle 8 to 10 miles to work, and they work nine days without a day off?

Mr. Stanley

As the result of inquiries, authority has now been given for these men to be paid at the rate of 54s. a week from the beginning of the pay week in which 12th January, 1940, fell, with an additional 4s. from the beginning of the pay week in which 22nd February, 1940, fell. I am informed that, owing to housing difficulties, men have to live a considerable distance from their work in many cases, and that, in the cycle of shifts, there is involved at certain points a nine days' spell of duty without a day's break; but that on the average only 47 hours a week are worked, and that in no case does a man on No. 5 shift have less than 16 hours' rest.

Mr. Thorne

That information is considered very good.