Saturday, March 5, 2011

Auckland Market Gardens 1913

COMPETITION AT AUCKLAND CHINESE STRIKES. [BY TELEGRAPH — SPECIAL TO THE POST.] AUCKLAND, This Day. Enquiries were made by a reporter yesterday morning with the object of ascertaining how far the Chinese engaged in the vegetable trade regulate the market in Auckland. At the Waitemata Co-operative Auction Rooms it was learned that the sales there _ were usually attended by fifteen or sixteen Celestials, who take active part in bidding for the purpose of supplying their retail customers. The men of the Orient appear to be held in kindly regard in this direction, having obtained a reputation for scrupulous honescy, readiness to oblige, and keenness of bargaining. A Chinese view of marketing conditions in Auckland was obtained from Mr. Willie Ah Chee, whose firm has tt large interest in the market-gardening business. He said that their prices were always regulated by those ruling at auction, and, therefore, any increases were the result of the general market fluctuating. Mr. Ah Chee remarked that, although the public did not hear of it, they had their labour troubles just as did the people in the outer industrial world. When the Chinese workmen felt that v they should be getting higher wages % they appointed deputations to wait on the employers, and if their requests were not met in a satisfactory manner they went out on strike. "Our men have struck two or three times during the past year,'* remarked tte speaker. He added, however, that they usually managed to settle their troubles before they went very far, as the result of conferences between the parties concerned. "I could show you from our wages book," said Mr. An Chee, "that some of the Chinese in our gardens are getting as much as £3- and £4 per week ; also, that the usual wage for shop hands is from £2 to £2 10s per week." In further explanation, he said that the former were the third or fourthrate overseers. In addition to the wages quoted the employers had to provide keep for their employees, so that their business had to be run on careful line? to secure satisfactory results. In all, there were about 250 Chinese market gardeners in Auckland.

Evening Post, Volume LXXXV, Issue 119, 21 May 1913, Page 3

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