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The Education of the Child

Sub-Contracting in MinesI

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Sub-Contracting in Mines I DISMISSAL OF WORKMEN. FAR-REACHING DECISION AT MERTHYR. An important decision relative to terms of em- ployment in connection with sub-contracting in mines was delivered by the Merthyr Stipendiary (Mr. R. A. Griffith) on Tuesday. The case was one in which the Hills-Plymouth Colliery 00., Ltd., were sued by Thomas Griffin, of Troedyrhiw, and Rees Jenkins, of Bargoed, for damages amounting to £2 1&. 4d. and £7 Os. 2d. respectively in lieu of notice. Mr. E. Roberts, Dowlais, was solicitor for the workmen, and Mr. Griffith Llewellyn (of Messrs. Gwilym James, Charles and Davies) appeared for the company. It was stated by Mr. Roberts that Griffin and Jenkins had signed a contract with the Hills- Plymouth Company under the Conciliation Board Agreement of 1915, and under Clause 26 of that agreement fourteen davs' notice was necessary between the owners and the men as signatories to terminate employment. Griffin and Jenkins, however were given notice by a sub-contraetor--John Edward Price, of the Mardy Hotel, Merthyr—under whom they worked and by whom they were paid wages less the customary deductions for insurance, etc., made at the colliery office. Messrs. Hills-Ply- mouth were written to in respect of the dismissal but their reply was: "From enquiries we have made we find that both the persons in question were employed by one of our contractors and the matter is therefore no concern of ours." The Stipendiary: What do you say is wrong with the notice P Mr. Roberts: We say notice should have been given by the Company and not Price. It was not a proper notice. Griffin and Jenkins bore out their solicitor's statement and added that be fore they were taken on at the South Pit in the first instance they had to make an application to the manage- ment for work, and this being granted, were passed over to contractors until eventually they got into Price's gang. For the defence it was submitted that' men working under sub-contractors, by whom their duties were directed, were not interfered with by the colliery officials, and the contention was made that sub-contractors could both give and accept notice to and from workmen irrespective of the Company. Accepting the Conciliation Board Agreement as the contract of employment, His Worship held that as a matter of construction the only notice to terminate an individual contract con- templated by Clause 26 of the Agreement was a notice by the owners or the men. Accordingly he found for the workmen for the full amounts claimed and costs, and added that the notices given by Price were invalid.

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