ο»Ώ 1 I From Labour's Stand- point.|1914-01-31|Llais Llafur - Welsh Newspapers Online
Hide Articles List

5 articles on this Page

.-.....-. - - -.-' - I The…

1 I From Labour's Stand- point.

News
Cite
Share

From Labour's Stand- point. NOTES OF THE WEEK. I —— CARDIFF SHOP WORKERS' DISPUTE I Notwithstanding the fact that a con- ference took place on Friday, the out- come of which certainly pointed to a settlement of the trouble, the dispute between the firm of Messrs. David Evans and Co., Cardiff, and about 30 members of their staff, still continues. A joint meeting consisting of the Lord Mayor (Aid. Robinson), representatives of the firm, and of the Shop Assistants' Union, discussed the position of the strikers at considerable length, a de- cision being ultimately reached that all those who have come out in sympathy with the dismissed assistants should be re-instated, five of those dismissed should be re-instated, and the other five who had been dismissed should re- ceive one month's salary and should not be taken back into the firm's em- ploy. It was also agrev«d to give con- sideration to the living-in system with- in a fortnight's time. These terms were later put before the members of the staff, but were rejected by a large majority, the members declaring that the living-in system ought first to bo considered and settled, otherwise a re- petition of the dispute might ensue. Thus it would appear that no terms I will be satisfactory which do not in- clude a definite agreement in re'gard to the question of living-in. THE SOUTH AFRICAN EMBROGLIO I The storm of indignation that has spread over all free and justice-loving people in the 17 people in the United Kingdom as a re- sult of the monstrous steps taken to crush the general strike in South Af- rica, will, it may be hoped, influence the Government to take effective action for preventing a repitition of such in- human conduct. AYriting in a morning contemporary, Mr. Percy Alden, M.P., a prominent Radical, gave expression to the following opinions:— To declare martial law throughout the strike area, to proclaim all poli- tical meetings, including trade union assemblies, to arrest without warrant labour leaders who have any influence with their men, even though they have not incited to out- rage or unlawful action, is conduct so amazing that we can only suppose the Government had made up its mind to crush trade unionists once and for all. Furthermore, Mr. Alden believes "it will take a. generation for the working classes of S. Africa. to have either for- gotten or forgiven the inhuman and detestable policy which, according to reports, has succeeded in breaking down the strike," and he thinks the lesson enforced by the strike is the impor- tance of' political áctiøn-the election of more Labour members to Parlia- ment. The conviction of Mr. Frank Cresswell, the leader of the Labour party in the Union Parliament, who has been sentenced to one month's im- prisonment without hard labour, and a fine of £ 20 for publishing a pamphlet likely to excite ill-feeling; together with a £10 fine or fourteen days' im- prisonment for attempting to induce men to refrain from working, is so as- tounding as to be well night incredible, and the information to hand on Tues- day intimating that the punishments had been remitted, excited little sur- prise. In spite of the Government's action in regard to this matter, how- ever, we shall be astonished if the workers of South Africa do not take up the challenge so forcibly flung in their faces throughout the strike, and never rest contented until through their own representatives they hold the reins of Government in that now completely mismanaged colony. j PROSPECTS IN THE BYE ELECTION I Polling takes place to-day (Friday) in the North West Durham bye election f and on Saturday the result will be an- nounced. The final week of the cam- [ paign has been exceptionally keen, all ¡' parties having concentrated every ener- gy in placing their respective views be- fore the electorate, and the issue of the fight now lies in the lap of the gods. We shall be committing no er- ror in declaring that the result of the poll is more uncertain than have been any of the past half dozen bye-elections, for whilst it appears to be common opinion that Mr. Hardicker, the Tory champion, is not to be seriously con- sidered, the fight between Mr. G. H. Stuart, the Labour candidate, and Mr. Aneurin Williams, the. Liberal, has been exceedingly keen. Judging, how- ever, from reports of special corres- pondents in the constituency, we think that Mr. Stuart has reason to be hope- ful of the issue. The usual cry of Labour splitting the Progressive vote has been shrieked with considerable force by many of the Liberals, but Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, as well as many other supporters of Mr. Stuart, have exposed this wily ruse, and the leader of the Labour party in Parlia- ment demonstrated unmistakably that this allegation applies exactly to Mr. Williams, who knew that Mr. Stuart had been adopted as candidate before he (the Liberal nominee) consented to enter the fight. Perhaps the most re- grettable feature of the election has been the speech of Mr. J. M. Robert- son, one of the bitterest foes of Labour in the Government, who made the rather mean and dirty suggestion that Mr. Stuart's eagerness in the contest was inspired by the hope of getting C400 pear year. Stuart warmly refut- ed this attack, and he will certainly not suffer from Mr. Robertson's contempt- ible action. TWO LONDON STRIKES I London is at present held tightly in the grip of two industrial disputes of considerable magnitude, and once more the power of Trade Unionist combina- tion is being exemplified. Practically eve,ry one of the coal porters and car- men in the City have ceased work, de- manding an extra per ton for the de- rnan(l i.,i g an I- livery of fuel in bags. That this de- mand is not excessive can be readily understood from the fact that during the past few months a large number of the men have not been able to earn more than 23s. to 25s. per week, and many have been receiving a beggarly 15s. to 18s. Upon these sums it is al- most impossible to exist in London, and it is not too much to say that the 12,000 strikers have the sympathetic support of a considerable number of the general public in their struggle. Al- ready the firm of which Sir Edward Cornwall is at the head (one of the largest in the City, employing about 500 men), has conceded the demand and withdrawn from membership of the Society of Coal Merchants, the em- ployers' union. Perhaps the most re- markable feature of this dispute is the support extended to the men by the "Times," the great capitalist organ, who have been suggesting that the London consumers as well as the strik- ers, are at the mercy of a "rapacious ring" of merchants, and they urge the men to secure financial assistance from other unions to continue the fight against the employers! THE BUILDERS' STRIKE I The other dispute concerns the build- ing industry, and in this a much larger number of workers are arected. Briefly, the facts are that recently the men have been conducting a vigorous cam- paign against non-Unionism, a legiti- mate proceeding in which they were quite justified. The officials of the union have stated quite explicitly that they do not make trade union member- ship a condition of employment, but the Masters' Associations have asked their individual employees to sign a bullying agreement providing that they will not strike under pain of a penalty of 20s. Very natui-allv the men flatly declined to accede to this demand, and on Monday the employers put into exe- cution their threat- of a general lock- out in which upwards of 5.000 workers are concerned, and the building trade in London was at a complete. standstill. Again, in this case there is a strong feeling against the arbitrary action of the employers, and numerous. Liheral and Tory journals have deprecated the reckless challenge of the masters' asso- ciations. The men's leaders are strong- ly advising the rank and file to main- tain a strong stand against this in- sidious attempt on the part of the employers to crush their individual liberty, and the men appear fully de- termined to follow this course. It was intimated on Tuesday that an effort would be made to arrive at an agree- ment by arbitration, but no settlement will meet with the general approval of the workers which does not drop en- tirely the obnoxious "penalty" demand. SOCIALIST UNITY PROPOSALS Un another page of this issue will be found a copy of a manifesto issued by the International Socialist Bureau regarding the question of forming a United Socialist Party for Great Bri- tain, and we trust that this appeal will be carefully persued by all Socialist readers of "Llais Llafur." The inter- national leaders are exerting every effort to carry this matter to a success- ful conclusion, and now the position is such that the active assistance of all individual members of Socialist Societies is required to bring about a satisfactory consummation of the pro- posals. It is earnestly to be hoped that this will be forthcoming. As has already been stated in these columns, the prospects are upon the whole hope- ful. The Independent Labour Party and the Fabian Society have for several years taken joint action in many im- portant matters, and so far as these two organisations are concerned, no difficulty lies in the way, but the British Socialist Party (formerly the S.D.P.) have always maintained a re- grettable aloofness, intensified by their unsparing and often unfair critical de- nunciation of the Labour Party, to which the other organisations are af- filiated. Unity is very necessary and very desirable if it be real unity, but a unity in name and dissention in spirit would be worse than useless—it would prove a millstone round the neck of the I.L.P. and the Fabian Society. The B.S.P'ers in particular, should very carefully consider this point, and should be quite certain that they are' entering into the union in the true spirit, before the final step is taken. G. A. G.

-β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”'οΏΌοΏΌοΏΌοΏΌβ€”β€”β€”β€”β€”β€”…

Advertising

PONTARDAWE BOARD OF GUARDIANS…