Transferred Workers

Oral Answers to Questions — National War Effort – in the House of Commons on 19th November 1942.

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Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

asked the Minister of Labour, whether any arrangements are being made to secure the benefits for workers who were members of sick clubs, etc., to which they have made contributions for many years, when such men are transferred to other employment?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

It is the responsibility of the worker to arrange to have his membership transferred, if this is possible, or to have contributions paid on his behalf while he is away from home. The leaflet "Going Away on War Work," of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy, is given to each transferred worker and deals with this matter.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that, in some cases where the transfer of men to other employment is being effected, indoor workers who have been accustomed to work in high temperatures have been moved to outdoor employment and that most of these workers are over middle age; and whether he will issue instructions that when such transfers are made, in so far as is possible, the nature of a man's previous employment will be taken into account?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

In transferring workers, employment exchanges have instructions to have regard to previous experience, physical capability and other relevant factors. If my hon. Friend will send me details of any particular case he has in mind, I will make inquiries.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

I was under the impression that the right hon. Gentleman had already received particulars.

Photo of Mr Irving Albery Mr Irving Albery , Gravesend

Well, concerning several men.

Photo of Mr Thomas Kennedy Mr Thomas Kennedy , Kirkcaldy District of Burghs

asked the Minister of Labour whether he has considered the protest of London builders against the transfer of skilled tradesmen from their employment to work as labourers for large contractors in other parts of the country; and whether the operative trade unions concerned are consulted regarding the transfers?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

The policy of transferring skilled tradesmen to work as labourers which is necessitated by the requirements of the urgent Government building programme, has been made in full consultation with the national organisations of employers and operatives in the building and civil engineering industries.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that Mr. Joseph Baxendale, 499, Manchester Road, Westhoughton, Lancashire, was recently directed to work in the Lincoln area as a general labourer; that he was examined by the independent medical officer of his department, who issued a certificate that there are slight irregular nystagmoid movements of both eyes; that the Lincoln job fell through, and that he was then directed to proceed to work at Peterborough; and will he place him in employment near his home?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

On becoming unemployed, Mr. Baxendale registered at the employment exchange and was directed to work in the Lincoln area as a general labourer. The medical referee reported that his vision was normal apart from some slight irregular mystagmoid movement in both eyes, and that this did not influence his work as a general labourer. The local appeal board disallowed his appeal, but by this time the job had been filled. He was then directed to a similar job at Peterborough, and he again appealed to the local appeal board, who will hear his appeal on 20th November.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

Cannot the right hon. Gentleman take steps in a case like this, where it is agreed that the man is suffering from nystagmus and cannot work very well unless he is guided to and from his work? Would it not be possible to find a job for him near his home? Then he could work properly.

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I referred the case to the medical referee, who gave the report which I have indicated.

Photo of Mr Rhys Davies Mr Rhys Davies , Westhoughton

But it was no concern of the doctor, when he issued his certificate, where the man should work. My point is that he has been sent away from home to work.