Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 7, No. 3. May 3, 1944
[Letter to Salient from A. R. Stone. May 3, 1944]
—In your article on "Students and Trade Unions" (March 28th), Mr. Thompson, Secretary of the Freezing Workers' Union, cited the case of a student at Ngahauranga who refused to pay union fees. He failed to mention, however, that the refusal to pay was based on the injustice that a student who was only there two months should have to pay a full year's fee.
I was the student concerned and could see no legitimate reason for paying a full fee. Although other casual workers also paid, the fee was in most cases partially transferable to other unions.
Had there been a similar agreement between the Freezing Workers' Union and the University Students' Associations a different light would have been thrown on the matter.
However, by the Industrial Manpower Emergency Regulations, 1942, it is the law that anyone refusing to pay union fees may have them deducted from his pay if the union secretary, via the Chief Manpower Officer, requests the employer to deduct the amount.
In my case this was done. Apparently at Auckland freezing works students were given a concession, but at Ngahauranga we obtained a despondent promise from the manpower officer at the works to see what he could do. This seemed to be nothing.
Certainly dues levied on a weekly basis present the solution of the question, but the students from Ngahauranga are still fifteen shillings short. I am certain that the majority of them feel as I do; that they were stung.
Hoping for a square deal next time.
A. R. Stone,Medical School, Otago.