HC Deb 27 June 1913 vol 54 cc1369-70W

asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that women telegraphists at Aberdeen have been employed on all-night duties at the rate of fifty-four hours per week, including Sundays, for which extra payment has not been made; whether he is aware that the Hobhouse Committee recommended a 48-hour week and extra payment for Sunday attendances for the women telephonist class; and whether he will state what authority exists for the employment of women on all-night duties, for the abrogation of the 48-hour week in this case, and for the withholding of extra payment for attendances given on Sundays by members of an established class of Post Office servants?


The hon. Member refers, no doubt, to telephonists, not telegraphists. After the transfer of the National Telephone Company's undertaking to the Post Office, I found myself obliged, for a time, to continue the company's practice in some towns of employing women on night duties. I found also that night operating was performed under conditions of much less pressure than day operating, and I decided that the fifty-four hours without special payment for Sunday—already the weekly work of male night operators in the Post Office and less than the work under the company—should be regarded as the weekly work of the women temporarily employed on night operating. The employment of women at Aberdeen at night has ceased, as the hon. Member is no doubt aware.