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Miners' Organisation,

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Miners' Organisation, A meeting of the miners of the Gelli, Ton, I'.wHfa, and Bodringallt Collieries, was held on Wednesday at the Ton Schools, under the pre- sidency of Mr D. Thomas, checkweigher, Thero was a crowded attendance. In opening the meeting the Chairman said that the meeting was of great importance to the miners of the locality who were now working under a new dispensa- tion. The Rhondda miners would presently have ai opportunity of changing their representatives on the sliding-scale committee, if they desired to da so, but, whoever was elected, it was the duty of the workmen to be faithful to them. Councillor Isaac, in the course of his remarks, said that the miners of South Wales had re- ceived the financial support of almost all Trades Unionists in the country. As had been said by Mabon to the employers, it was impossible to have a permanent agreement betewen men and masters unless it was a just one. They hoped that at the next struggle the men would be in a better position to meet the masters, Now that the strike was over, they should bury the hatchet. The men had not been thoroughly beaten. What was offered when the men came out was less than what they eventually had been fible to obtain. He was confident that all that could be done for the welfare of the miners in the last struggle had been done by the leaders. It was very probable that the miners would en- tertain different opinions as to the basis of the next Union to be established. He had no ob- jection to join the Miners' Federation of Great Britain. If a large section of the miners, say 15.000 or 20,000, joined together, he believed thf- Federation of Great Britain would accept them, and become affiliated on the ground that the remainder of the men would join afterwards. He would very much like to see the Cambrian Association of Miners take the lead ;n South Wales in this matter. The men should be in one body to join it. If they endeavoured and mede every effort to obtain a living wage be did not think the federation of Great Britain woald refuse them. The men had not yet succeeded in getting a living wage, but the thin end of the wedge had been put in, and it was their duty now to drive the thin end further, imtil they secured the actual thing. Although the Com- pensation Act had been given them by the Tory party he believed in the principle of it, and did not believe in contracting out. At the same time he would strongly advise tnem to retain their membership with the permanent fund, and ask the- employers to help them to collect the contri- butions for it. Mr W. Abraham (Mabon), M.P., called to address the meeting, said a great many fatdts were found with the leaders, especially with regard to one part of the agreement arrived at after the last struggle between employers and employed. Taking the position he bad to take and the knowledge he had of the situation at the time, they were forced to call mpon the men at the last conference, and he had done nothing tfiat he wished to apologise for, and he was not going to make an apology for anything he had done. He did not know that the true state of things had been placed before the men at 811 times as to how the business had been done at the Cardiff conferences. He found that great unanimity prevailed among the men in the opin- ion that everything that could be done was done with that part of the agreement which regula- ted the monetary portion of it, and he was very glad of the opportunity of coming face to face with the men, so that they could speak over these questions. Referring to the contract books, Mabon said that at some collieries the men had signed Contract Book No. 2 against the advice of the provisional committee. After signing the book they were given a circular which entitled them to have their lamps; it was a lamp cer- tificate. The contents of the circular was that the men allowed the employers to deduct every- thing to their (employers') own interest, and nothing but the checkweil-, hers' wages—and that was optional—-to the men's interests. Had the men waited a day or so longer the employers would have allowed them to sign the old con- tract book, and the only remedy now would be to give a month's notice that. no deductions what- ever be made at the colliery office. This could be done without the loss of a day's work. With regard to the refusal of employers to re-insileto old workmen, this was a revengeful act on the part of the employers. He would suggest that the money in the funds of the central fund- which would amount to Is per man-should all b:! given to these old workmen. There was also a third contracting-book, and if any of the men had signed that, what they had done was to sign away their birthright under the Compensa- tion Act. Dealing with oanísation among the men, be said that if they were goiijg to fight they would have to organise upon pure Trade Union lines and principles—and to com- mence at home. It was said that they could not join the Federation because of the sliding- scale, but the age of the siliding-scale was but four years, and that was not much to organise.

Rkondda County School, Porth

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