[April 20, 1932 – New Zealand Herald] An increased number of men was at work yesterday on the relief undertakings in and round the city, although in some districts, notably Mount Albert, the men appeared to have taken a determined stand against returning to work.
Only about 40 men out of the 400 for whom work was waiting started at Mount Albert and they were consolidated into two gangs. This number was an increase on the number working the previous day. No work was done at Avondale and New Lynn, about 160 men being involved in the latter district.
“It is a matter for regret,” said the Mayor of Mount Albert, Mr. W. F. Stilwell, “that in spite of repeated intimation on behalf of the council that work was available, it has not been availed of with the exception of a comparatively small proportion of the men. I have, whenever possible, pointed out to the men of Mount Albert that I think, having made a very effective demonstration of protest, in the interest of their dependants alone they ought to return to work.
Intentions of Government.
“It seems that the Government is seriously considering an improvement of the conditions under which they work. I think that should be accepted as a fact by the men and that they should take advantage of the amount of work available in the borough, pending the expected improvement in the situation.
“There has been a grievous loss in wages to the men. This is shown by the fact that the amount previously paid in relief wages in the borough has been about £6OO a week.”
There was a considerable increase in the number of men engaged on work under the jurisdiction of the Auckland City Council. On the major undertaking, the formation of a sports ground at Epsom, the levelling of the front portion of the area was continued. It is anticipated that many more men will be working today, as some confusion arose in the minds of some of them regarding the council’s offer of work in lieu of work lost last week. They were not aware that they were eligible for work this week and did not offer themselves for employment.
Mount Eden and Newmarket.
Work proceeded on every job in the Mount Eden district, all the gangs being nearly at full strength. Of a total of about 200 men due to work yesterday 90 per cent. availed themselves of the opportunity offering. Pickets visited the works, but there was no molestation.
At Newmarket, where work has proceeded steadily since the protest commenced, the normal number of men was again at work, 40 or 50 being engaged on the improvement of the school grounds and 45 being distributed over various council works.
The full number of men was at work under the Mount Roskill Road Board, everything proceeding smoothly. In the course of routine no work is being done at Northcote this week, while at Devonport work ceased on Monday night and will not resume until tomorrow. Although a few men did not offer for work at Takapuna 111 men were busily engaged yesterday and everything proceeded satisfactorily. At Birkenhead the full number, about 50, worked throughout the dav.
The organised unemployed at New Lynn have voiced disapproval of acts of hooliganism, in view of the recent disturbance in the city, and have expressed the intention of assisting to combat any such menace levelled against the business men of their district.