asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that many persons had to seek other employment when cotton mills went on short time or closed down; that they are being recalled now and some are objecting to it and wish to remain at their present work; and whether full consideration is given to them?
Yes, Sir. Owing to the urgent need for experienced workers in some sections of the cotton industry, I am asking ex-cotton workers, including some engaged in munitions production, to return to their former employment. Where workers are transferred compulsorily to cotton by direction under Regulation 58A the normal procedure of appeal to a local appeal board against the direction is available.
Are there any further efforts they can make if the appeal board rejects their appeal?
Will my right hon. Friend have some regard to the conditions obtaining in the cotton industry, and could not efforts be made to make the cotton workers' position a little better than it is at the present time, because they are being driven back to conditions they did not like from positions where they have been getting better wages?
I have to follow the rate for the job, and wages in the cotton trade have been arranged with the cotton Union, and I am happy to say that there have been material improvements made in the cotton trade during the war.