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Miners (Absenteeism)

Volume 529: debated on Monday 28 June 1954

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asked the Minister of Fuel and Power the current rate of total absenteeism in the mines compared with 1938.

12·40 per cent.; the figure of 6·44 per cent. for 1938 is not strictly comparable.

Has the Minister's attention been called to a report issued at the end of last week by the National Union of Mineworkers, pointing out the dangers to its own members and to our economy if present conditions are not changed, and that the only solution is to increase the production of coal without increasing production costs if the country is to survive? To import coal is sheer lunacy.

Would it not be fairer to break down that figure into voluntary and involuntary absenteeism?

There are several views upon that matter. Some of the best judges take the view that it would be unwise to make that distinction.

Will the Minister try to arrange a system of pairing between the absentee miners and the would-be absentees behind him?