I move amendment No. a1.
In page 2, to delete lines 21 to 29 and substitute the following:—
"(2) On the application, of any person, which shall be made in such form and containing such particulars as the Minister may direct, the Minister, after advertising in the public media inviting public objections and then after consultation with persons who in his opinion are representative of all employers in the bakery trade and with persons who in his opinion are representatives of all workers in that trade, may, if he is of the opinion that it is in the public interest to do so, issue to such person a licence to carry on, in a bakery to which this Act applies, in the period of night, any process of manufacture which is prohibited by subsection (1) of this section."
The main reason for the amendment is to include a requirement that applications for licences should be advertised and open to public objection. This is important especially in the light of the fact that the principal Act of 1936 has proved unenforceable for many reasons not the least being that very often the places of such baking have not been known, whereas people living around the night bakeries and people engaged elsewhere in the bakery industry would have a right to object to a licence being granted.
People would have a right to object if living in the vicinity of a place where night work was to be carried out because it is not hard to see that this could undermine the peace and tranquillity of their neighbourhood at night. But much more important is the right of people employed elsewhere in the bakery industry to object. An example will illustrate what I mean. Suppose bakery A applies for a licence under this Bill. Management and union at the bakery, who will be consulted if this subsection is not amended, are agreeable because it suits both parties. Take a bakery 20 miles away. Neither workers nor management are consulted. Yet, by granting a night licence to bakery A bakery B could find itself facing unfair competition and in an extreme case could be forced out of business as has already been the case of some bakeries, notably Kennedys which was forced out by unfair competition from bakeries working illegally at night.
Another possibility is that it will have the effect of forcing workers to do night work at bakery B although neither they nor the management want it. If I were a worker at bakery B or the spouse of such worker I would be very upset that the normal pattern of my family life, the normal enjoyment of the company of my spouse and family at night could be taken away because I did not know the licence was being granted elsewhere. I urge the Minister to consider this point. The workers have a right to know and be heard on the matter. They have the right to object before a decision to grant or refuse a licence is made. That is very important. It may well be that the only effect of it would be to alert themselves to seek a night licence but in any case there are such interests involved. There are people with a clear interest in what happens in individual bakeries and the only reasonably sure way of alerting them, seeking their views, objections and so on, or of informing them is by advertising in the public media and inviting their comments or objections.