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I WORKMEN'S TOPICS.

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I WORKMEN'S TOPICS. MR. CHURCHILL'S SCHEME. German Experience. By MABON, M.P. In answer to the objections sometimes raised to that part of the scheme on which the Board Trade, and in fact the Government itself, 80 much value, viz., Labour Exchanges," ^ould like to be allowed to quote an array fa--cts and figures I have just received from ne of the German Mining representatives, who thoroughly acquainted with the subject tere, b In answer to the questions, Have the La- "oup Exchanges been of service to the out-of- ork German workmen ? and do employers them: do Trade Unions prevent their efficiently used 1" the answer, generally 'Peaking is, that if you will know what rela- On the Labour Exchanges bear to un- employment in Germany let me say that some £ â¢000 jobs are found every week for men and omen out of work, through the agency of ese registrars. .There are in all about seven hundred of these rfpitutions throughout the various German DMvf3' out of which more than one half are rii Labour Exchanges, supported by muni- Qpalities. Among the others, some are run by ."Arches, Guilds, Trade Unions anrl Em- bers' Associations. Thus one finds that the Dnk*ones ari'' those that are worked under t>M- C con-troi. Furthermore, it is most extra- b^ '^ai'y that the sectional exchanges w orked .Trade Unions, and even Employers' As- Rations are allowed to be ahsorbed by the Ser institutions connected with the Muni- Palities. This fact proves that the distrust th the commencement of their existence ⢠5'employers and workers were afraid of is ^tdisaopearing. At. first the employers feared tin* the Labour Echanges would give the Trade tWj118 c°ntrol of the labour market: and the Unions asked their members not to use Labour Exchanges lest they would give the Ployers the opportunity of black-listing ^kttien active in social reform. One is glad that the fears of both sides have faded «?re the light of practical experience. In this is one of the significant facts that <jjT0unt for the success of German industrial being so amicably arranged latterly thence between employers having in- and the fears from the want of conn- having decreased. They have learnt the th011 largely from the honourable conduct J* found each other capable of, resulting w?1 their use of the Public Labour Exchanges, ^*ch are now popular with employers and J^ktnen. uDerience has proved that the best of these j £ changes, and the ingest, are managed by J;^r<is, on which the Municipalities allow As- ons of Employers and Workmen to elect fT^qvial number of representatives. This ar- gjT^-ment does not prevent the non-associated â¢ha f°yer and the non-union worker from w^ing with the organised employers and work- in the benefits of the Exchange. Even a strike takes place the Public Labour w»change is to take no side. Should the firm b ected send round for men, the officials of j*^hange must publicly announce before the ^ttibled workmen in the waiting-rooms that men then wanted are to replace others on fri\'ke, anci very rarely happens that anyone JrJUnteers under the circumstances, with the j^llt that employers realise that Labour Ex- t^lges are not the place3 to turn to for £ L°rkers when they are having disputes with c'i? own workpeople. Diversity of Administration. There is, I am informed, a considerable dif- rence in the administrative arrangements at Riv86 Exchanges- The bulk of them Coif ^eir benefits free, and whatever their it is borne by the Municipality, 6* t! Some voluntary aid. Some of the larger k r^8S' suc^1 36 Berlin for example, where ^"1ilding8 pay a rent of over £ 1,000 a year, Wo ~ave about sixty officials of all kinds em- Per? charge a registration fee of 2id to each k>D re?'stering. This enables the applicants Ojve the use of the Exchange for three f0p?ths. He hag then the free use of the com- bes* Waiting rooms, where oftentimes he ^orv w^h old friends and former fellow- af6 nie.n* Library, reading, and writing-rooms g0 ^t his service, and for a penny he can get food, as they have it in the refreshment ^*11, and for another half-penny he gets the Jha° a s^L0Wer hath. Moreover, for a uniform e of lid he can have his boots cleaned clothes mended on the premises. A Consideration for Women. all the Exchanges provide a depart- twi for women and girls, where under the of a Lady Superintendent many of the w?en folk while waiting there are provided ceiv aew*11g and knitting, for which they re- small remuneration. Every class of to ^en that are wage earners, from factories ctj aoiHestic servants, find' the Labour Ex- ej^^jSe very helpful, and in order to save un- Wl 0yed women in the German capital from and wearying walks, there are women's t^p^hes of the Exchanges in various parts of city. p Centralisation of Work. in j?rhaps the most remarkable feature of all *le German Exchanges in recent years is the ty they have centralised the work thete. In States of Wurtemburg, Baden and Mi ,ar^a» and in fact throughout the provinces of Prussia, a very de- ioh k movemerit in favour of co-ordina- cL>s been going on for some time. es are formed with which al! the local thai.0}11 Exchanges are in communication so needs either of employers or of work- ther. cannot be met in their own town or city y are at once put in touch with the larger 3H0^ct covered by the central Exchange. Sa °Ver' Bavaria, which has some sixty-five labour exchanges united to eight ^Ht S' has found it necessary to link up the tw1"es again by means of labour associations. 5^ centres act as clearing houses, while the W Nations arrange for the distribution of th> Ur 111 large and small quantities practically J^J^ughout the whole area of the State. The cha 0v}r Bureaux throughout Wurtemburg are ^ging their vacancy lists two or three times pjj rX Week, besides beingi in constant tele- communication with each other and a seilt from one town to another to seek ^.P'Oyment. is allowed to travel on the State /l^ay at half-fare. that in the matter of Labour Exchanges a gj, Pery evident that we in this country have eat deal to learn from our friends the Ger- and if the Labour Exchanges at home will th6^ all Mr Churchill's hopes with regard â We may be certain that if anywhere b]e;j 18 work to be had, the willing ana capa- W^orker will be able to find it without suf- cie^ °r delay. But if the work is not suffi- ttjp, to meet the immediate demands of a dis- the worker will then be able to claim a Vrr^^t's pay. The scheme as laid down is a c<)we and comprehensive one, and so far as the COh-^t^nt, healthy, and the willing wprker is (Ir^Qed it presents in principle no serious ks. He will always prefer woi'k and (foint to idleness and unemployment. The t° him will be two-fold. He will be saved ttl, arinessand humiliation of tramping the to look for work, chasing false rumour, bp^ering advertisements already filled up, the surly porter, and in some cases the unsympathetic employer, and wasting treagth and courage in endless pedestrian t ⢠Performed too often on empty stomachs, to something personally of what it means aTIip a long journey, on one occasion an empty stomach, not to seek for Si^jty, but like a good many more in the early <lite es' to seek for work. Really, it would be ^Mjw-t indeed to come across a more worthy, and moving object than a workman willing to work, seeking for work, and to find it; simply asking for the pri- Woi>k that he may with the pay re- fv buy the necessaries of life for himself it, jh°?e depedent upon him, but cannot find <par hereafter a visit to the exchange will ^hat v m a" this, for there he will soon learn 13 Projects are there. He will be di- b^. where ni^ labour, or the kind of labour li). suited to him, is in demand, if such de- exists, and help him if needs be to I 0t{? to some other town, or maybe some the a district. If however, in consequence of Of -l^culative overproduction of the captains kets?Ustry, who have mismanage^ the mar- t^Me accumulating stocks, there is in his work for h\m to do, his insurance ? Will keep him alive and fit for work comes, without feeling that he is charity. He will have paid his own th0 a* a thrifty provision. The plan P^^till incomplete, is, however, workable

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