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The BMB during World War II -
 
Bank Archives re the Staff's Inspection of Aircraft Parts
 
BMB in
World War II
 
[1] July 20th 1942: Office Hours
 

Your Sub-Committee have considered a communication from the Salaries, Wages and Labour Committee, dated 18th June herein, requesting employing committees to take any necessary action to increase working hours to compensate for loss of staff and have had submitted to them a report of the General Manager thereon. It does not appear that any real advantage to the war effort would result from extending the hours of business, and no useful purpose would be served by merely increasing staff working hours, which vary, as between Branch and Branch, from 34¾ to 42½ hours per week.

Your Sub-Committee are, however, of opinion that a scheme might be arranged whereby extra hours to bring the total to 46 hours per week could be spent on vital war work in connection with munitions. The possibility is being investigated of establishing a work room at the Head Office where the staff can work by rota on operations such as examination, checking, or assembly of small munition parts which could be done without machinery, under direction and supervision of a munitions firm, and on terms to be agreed. HM Treasury and the Local Man-Power Board are sympathetically inclined to the proposal, as they consider it would be a valuable contribution to the war effort. Your Sub-Committee have approved the principle and authorised your Chairman, the Chairmen of the Sub-Committees, Councillor James and the General Manager, to evolve a suitable scheme.
 
[2] October 19th 1942: Staff - Work on Munitions
 
Your Sub-Committee report that in pursuance of the policy approved by your Committee for the staff to undertake munition work in lieu of overtime, arrangements have now been entered into with Messrs Baxters Ltd for testing rivets at the Bank Head Office.

The following resolution of the Salaries, Wages & Labour Committee approving the scheme, has been received:
6635 RESOLVED: That the proposal of the Bank Committee to extend the staff working hours to 46 per week, whereby the extra hours beyond normal hours of the Bank’s business would be spent at the Head Office on munition work for Baxter’s Rivet Co, for which a payment of a flat rate of 1/- per hour would be paid, be approved, and that the staff be authorised to retain any such payment received from the firm in respect of their services, it being understood that the Corporation scheme for overtime payments is not applicable to the employees of the Municipal Bank.

It was originally understood that the Ministry of Supply had fixed the rate of remuneration at 1/- per hour, but as a result of negotiations with the Local Trades Unions the rates have been agreed as follows:

Wednesdays 5 to 9 
     Women 1/5d per hour
     Men       1/9d per hour
 
Thursdays  2 to 6 
     Women 1/5d per hour
     Men       1/9d per hour
 
Sundays  9 to 1  & 2 to 6
      Women 1/11d per hour
      Men       2/3d per hour
 
203 Members of the staff are already operating the scheme, but there are a number of married women and others, whose circumstances should be considered with a view to granting exemption from the requirements to work extra hours. Your Sub-Committee have, therefore, appointed the Chairman of the General Committee, the Chairman of this Sub-Committee, with Councillors James and Mrs Hyde and the General Manager to consider applications for exemption with power to grant same if thought justifiable.

In order to work the scheme, some adjustments have had to be made in the matter of accommodation, black-out arrangements, etc, involving an expenditure of £41 - 15 - 0d toward which Messrs Baxters have agreed to pay £5, in respect of table partitions, etc.
The firm have also installed at their expense, special daylight lighting. Your Sub-Committee have approved the expenditure.
 
[3] January 16th 1943: Additional Hours of Labour by the Staff
 
The scheme for making up hours of labour by inspection of small munition parts has worked satisfactorily in four shifts, viz, Wednesdays from 5pm to 9pm; Thursdays from 2pm to 6pm; Sundays from 9am to 1pm; and Sundays from 2pm to 6pm.

Applications for exemption from working extra hours have been considered by a Committee consisting of the Chairman, Councillor Griffith, Councillor James and Councillor Mrs Hyde. The result is that 32 persons have been granted exemption. The rest of the staff, totalling 202, are regularly engaged on this special work.
 
[4] April 16th 1943: Additional Hours of Labour by the Staff
 
Under the scheme approved by the Committee for such extra hours to be spent on examination of small munition parts, it was agreed in September last that the “make up” hours should be four per week. Since that time the normal work of the Bank has increased, and from an analysis of the time sheets, it is found that the Staff have worked an average of one hour more per week than was the case in September 1942. This being so, it is now proposed to adjust the “make up” hours to three per week.
 
[5] October 14th 1943: Make-up Hours of Staff
 
The amount received by the Bank staff for inspection of small munition parts (work undertaken as make-up hours) compares unfavourably with the rates fixed for make-up hours of other Corporation staffs. Under the Corporation scheme, the payment for three make-up hours is 4/6d on a basic salary of £3 per week, rising to 15/-d on a salary of £10 per week. The Bank staff received 4/3d women and 5/3d men, such rates being fixed between the Munitions Firm and the appropriate Trade Union.

The Chairman, together with Alderman Barrow and Councillors Cooper and Griffith, came to the conclusion that a case existed for some contribution by the Bank over and above the amounts received direct from the Munitions Firm, and that the position might be met by an allowance payable to those who work the make-up hours on this particular type of work, and to meet travelling expenses and cost of teas. Accordingly, they arrived at a figure of 4/-d for women and 5/-d for man over 21 years of age, with half rates for those under 21 years of age; the payment to date from the beginning of the present financial year, viz: 1st April 1943. The Salaries, Wages and Labour Committee have been acquainted of this matter, and their approval asked for.
 
[6] January 13th 1944: Examination of Rivets
 
This scheme, arranged as part of the “make up” hours of staff came to an end on the 30th November, following upon the ruling that the staff could not be required to do such work. During the period the scheme was in operation, viz, 14 months, 205 tons of rivets were examined, equivalent to 6 million gross of rivets. 67 members of staff have decided to continue this important war work on their own initiative, and are attending once a week for that purpose.
 
[7] April 17th 1944: Examination of Munition Parts
 
The Man Power Board have been acquainted of the official termination of the arrangement for members of the staff to work extra hours in examination of small munition parts, but a number of them are still doing such work in a voluntary capacity. The Board have asked whether an invitation could be extended to outside people to take up such work on our premises. Some time ago a similar request was turned down, as it was felt undesirable to have strangers about the premises at nights, and it is suggested that that view be re-affirmed.
 
[8] October 1944: Examination of Rivets, etc
 
This work, which has been undertaken by the staff in conjunction with Baxters (Bolts, Screws & Rivets) Ltd, is no longer necessary, and is being terminated. A letter of appreciation from the firm has been received, and will be submitted at the meeting.
 
 
 [1] Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: July 20th 1942
 
 [2] Finance & General Purposes Sub-Committee: October 19th 1942
 
 [3] General Manager’s Report: January 16th 1943
 
 [4] General Manager’s Report: April 16th 1943

 [5] General Manager’s Report: October 14th 1943

 [6] General Manager’s Report: January 13th 1944
 
 [7] General Manager’s Report: April 17th 1944

 [8] General Manager’s Report: October 1944
 
Inspection of
Aircraft Parts