HC Deb 02 April 1919 vol 114 cc1236-7W
Colonel W. THORNE

asked the Postmaster-General whether, in view of the ultimate reduction of hours in his Department, he will sympathetically consider the claims of those temporary postal workers who were debarred either by physical standard or age limit from serving in His Majesty's Army, with a view to employment of a permanent or un-established nature, thereby following the precedent created and set up by his predecessor at the termination of the late South African War to temporary postal workers employed during that period on similar duties; whether he will now consider the advisability of including the temporary porters employed by his Department in the London area on the same basis as granted to other temporary grades in the agreement of the 31st of January last; whether dockers employed on similar postal duties are receiving on an average 10s. more per week in wages; whether there is growing discontent among the men concerned at this injustice; and, if so, will he immediately take steps to concede their moderate request for 2s. extra weekly to those men of three years' service and upwards?


In view of the greater claims of the men who have served with the forces, I regret that I am unable to hold out a prospect of permanent employment to the temporary postal workers who have not so served. The association representing the temporary porters has been informed that the arrangement under which an increase of 2s. a week was granted to members of certain temporary indoor classes who had rendered three years' service could not be extended to other classes paid on a different basis. The increase was given in pursuance of an understanding arrived at in July of last year; the scope of this understanding was clearly defined at the time, and it was never intended that it should be applicable to classes other than those then concerned. The dockers referred to work longer hours and perform heavier duties than the temporary porters.


asked the Postmaster-General whether he is aware that there are two classes of temporary workers in the Manchester sorting office; whether the full-time temporary employés are dependent upon their earnings in the post office, whilst the part-time temporary workers have full-time occupations of a lucrative character outside; whether the Post Office is retaining the persons who have incomes from other sources, and is dismissing the persons who have no income apart from their Post Office earnings; whether the widows of soldiers are being dismissed while established Civil servants from other departments are being kept as part-time Post Office employés for pocket-money wages; and whether he will give immediate instructions that men with full-time occupations elsewhere shall be dispensed with before any soldier's widow is thrown on to the labour market?


I am making inquiry and will communicate with my hon. Friend.