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MUNITIONS WOMEN CEASE WORK.
More to Stop Today.
Last night 1,500 munitions women employed in the manufacture of small arms ammunition, percussion caps, and detonators in the metropolitan area ceased work; 1,500 more women employed in munitions annexes attached to factories in Melbourne area will go on strike at 11 tonight.
Both strikes have been caused by disputes relating to the 90% of the male rate of pay question.
Decision of women in small arms ammunition factories to strike was made at a meeting at Footscray on Friday. For some time they have claimed 90% of the male rate of pay. The Women's Employment Board, deciding it had no power to give a ruling on the question, the matter was referred to the Arbitration Court where an adverse decision was made.
Appeals have been made by Mr E. Taylor, secretary Munition Workers' Union, to Mr Curtin, Prime Minister; Dr Evatt. Attorney-General; and Mr Ward, Labour Minister, to act to avert a stoppage.
The strikers will hold a meeting at the Royal Hall, Footscray, at Ham today. For work yesterday, Labour Day, a penalty rate of double time was paid.
Mr B. Flanagan, secretary, Ironworkers' Union, said yesterday that 1,500 members of the Ironworkers' Union employed in munitions annexes were stopping work because the Chamber of Manufacturers had advised these firms not to pay 90% of the male rate of pay to these workers back to March 3, 1942. They had paid only back to September 23, 1942. The retrospective pay ordered by the Women's Employment Board had been paid in NSW.
The workers concerned are employed in the manufacture of fuses, caps, and components of fuses and caps. They will cease work on the completion of the afternoon shift at 11 tonight. A meeting will be held at the Oddfellows' Hall, Latrobe St, city, at 2.30pm today.