33. Dr. Morgan
asked the Under secretary of State for the Colonies whether any local legislation has been passed in the island of Barbados affecting working conditions in bakeries since January, 1939, when working conditions were bad, with latrines situated inside the actual bakeries, and the bakers working from 5 p.m. until 6 a.m., or from 8 p.m. to 9 a.m. next day, during which 1122 hours they were padlocked, without meals, in their bakeries; whether any workshop inspectors existed in the island at this date; and whether such conditions still exist?
§ The Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies (Mr. George Hall)
I am not aware that any local legislation has been passed with particular reference to this industry, but a Bakers' Conciliation Board, consisting of equal numbers of employers and workers, or persons representing their interests, under the chairmanship of the Labour Officer, was formed during 1940. The Board met on five occasions during that year, and reached agreement on all points. The agreement involved considerable reduction in working hours, substantial in creases in pay, the provision of a week's holiday annually with pay, and many other stipulations regarding working conditions.
34. Dr. Morgan
asked the Under secretary of State for the Colonies whether any factory legislation has been passed within the last two years in the island of Barbados; and is he aware that up to January, 1939, there was no factory legislation and no factory inspection, even with respect to defective and dangerous machinery, when 23,000 workers in the island were involved?
Having regard to the long delay between the introduction of the legislation and its passage, will anything be done to expedite it?
35. Dr. Morgan
asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he is aware that, whilst a Minimum Wage 1123 Act was passed in Barbados in 1938, six years after a circular requesting such legislation was received from the Colonial Office, up to 1939 there was no Wages Board in the island, and no scale of mini mum wages in operation; and whether any changes in this respect have occurred since, or any Government inquiry made?
§ Mr. Hall
The question of fixing minimum wages for certain occupations under the Minimum Wage Act was considered last year by the Government of Barbados, but it was felt that in most cases the parties concerned ought to be able to reach agreement by collective bar gaining. In order to facilitate agreement on this and other questions, conciliation boards, under the chairmanship of the Labour Officer, containing persons representing employers and workers in equal numbers, were set up for various industries. A Central Advisory Labour Board was also established. The reports received indicate that the results of this procedure have been very satisfactory.