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A changing workplace - transcript

Table 3 Average weekly earnings, Sunshine Harvester Works, July 1938

  Adult award wage
Percentage of
earnings by piece
Sheet iron machining 90 106 63
Tool room 102 100 0
Machine fitting 90 114 73
Drilling and turning 80* 96 73
Cutting and punching 90* 106 76
Blacksmiths 89 108 75
Gate shop not available 98 67
Plough fitting 85 112 66
Plough assembly 83 88 0

Sources: The earnings and proportion of work on piece are computed from Factory Payroll Report 1938/39. The award wages were calculated from rates given in the 1936 award for adult workers. The earnings column includes juniors and apprentices.

*These categories are based on the rates for machinists.

Excerpt from a letter written by Sunshine Harvester works superintendent George McKay to the Melbourne Argus, 19 September 1922

Excerpt from a letter from Sunshine Harvester Works superintendent to the Melbourne Argus newspaper, 19 September 1922, about the advantages of employing women
National Library of Australia

The short facts are that the work done by girls is in this case more satisfactory than it was when the boys did it. The girls are more careful, and produce a better quality of work. The rates of pay are similar, and they take better care of the machines. There is also less waste of time and material. As for the nature of the work, it is not arduous, and certainly not dirtier than that of the housewife, who washes overalls and other soiled garments. As for the motive alleged by the objectors, that is purely gratuitous assumption.