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i Pontypridd Chainmakers Meeting.

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Pontypridd Chainmakers Meeting. FEDERATION SECRETARY ATTENDS. I. On Thursday evening the employees of Messrs Gordon Lenox, Chainworks,attended a meeting convened at the Bunch of Grapes Inn, Pontypridd, to hear addresses delivered by Mr Thomas Stitch, and Mr Taylor, general secre- tary of the Chainmakers' Federation, of Sta- ffordshire and South Wales. The chair was occupied by Mr Thomas Morris. In the course of his remarks Mr Stitch mid their organisa- tion enjoyed the unique position of having £ 10,000 at the hankers and a strong member- ship. Referring to the ten pen cent. advance which had been recently conceded by their employrs. he said they all ought to leel grate- ful that the advance had been obtained with- out a struggle, and con "iieiitly -,with injur- trig their trade, which some had' said was ne, cessary if they wished to succeed in their qc- mfmd. There was a danger that the workmen did not appreciate the concession as much as if it had been obtained after a severe struggle, whereas they ought to ieel highly encouraged to think that it had been brought about in such a satisfactory manner. It had been said, when they went in for the advance that it would never be brought about without a struggle, and that it was a most unusual time in the chain trade to go in for an advance of wages. In his opinion the chain trade had never been in such a good condition as it had been for the last two years. It did not mat- ter what time of the year they agitated, the time to do so wus when they were in a good condition. Employers never save anything Uh- less they were asked to do so. The advance conceded was one of The most substantial ever made in the chain trade. Seeing that they were in such a flourishing condition the only thing they had to avoid now was quarrelling and falling out with each other. An enemy in their cwn ranks was worse than 10,000 in the field. It had been intimated to him that some flittS-o unpleasantnjess existed Amongst them at Pontypridd. He trusted they would approach it in a sensible manner, and arrive at a satisfactory settlement. In rising to address the meeting, Mr Taylor said he was glad to come to Pontypridd again, and to see some of the old faces he had seen years ago. Ho joined with their secretary Mr Stitch in congratulating them upon' their pre- sent success in their demand for the ten per cent.advance in wages. The question cf ad- vance was very pleasing t. men. After all, the struggles in the trade they were in the unique position of having gained an advance ia wages as had never been obtained before. He was surprised at the success in the chain trade for the last few years, and the rapid strides which had been made. He remembered the time when prices were low in the chain trade, and employers and men grumbling at the low prices in the industry; but the em- ployers at the recent conference at Birming- ham had stated that the prices were now bet- te," all round. He was glad to hear the secre- tary's observation as to their flourishing condi- tion; it showed how very well they had hus- banded their resources. They would soon be- come millionaires if they kept on as they wert, doing now. (Laughter). They had acted wise- ly in not spending it on strikes. Had they hurried the advance as some had advised, and forced the employers, they would only have spent a lot of money, It was better to have 10 per cent. without a struggle than 20 per cent. with one. It would also prevent them being at enmity with their employers. He re- membered the time in the history of the trade when they could not approach the employers like they were able to at the present time. The money they paid into the society was well repaid by the many advantages derived. The outlook for the future with the Chain- makers' Society was bright, and gaining mort) ground than any other society in the Midland Counties was. He was glad to see that they formed part of that Association—that there was a brotherhood between Staffordshire and them- selves. This unity had brought about the accomplishment of the uniformity of prices, which was a very important point in the trade. Trades Unions they were told were a dangei to the country, and drove trade away. If they looked at the question fairly and squarely,and took the report of the last two months, which bad just been issued, the truth would be dis- covered whether Trades Unions were driving the trade out of the country. The returns of the Board of Trade never told lies. It was also said that the Germans and the Americans were taking away their trude. He said no, their trade was better in demand and prices through the strong combination they had formed. It had improved the position of men and employers, and had saved a great deal of competition amongst themselves. Trades Unions had been the means of making Englana what she was to-day. Trades Unions had dared the Government to recognise the right of protection of the child life of to-day in not allowing children to go into the factory or workshop. In future, it wculd mean better men in the chain trade, and men would not work for a. paltry living, and would be protec- te i as to life and limb. The beauty of Trades Unionism was that the leaders did not govern with an iron will; the men had a right to ex- press their opinions against that of their lead- ers. Trades Unions had come into the country like influenza—.to stop. (Laughter). Even Lord Hamilton could not drive it out. To prove that it had not been a failure, it was only necessary to state that in '98 an increase in wages had put E78,000 into the workmen's pockets. He urged upon thrm the necessity of going in for old age pensions. He was very pleased to know that they were members of the Federation. The labour world had sus tained a great loss in the person of Mr Jug- gins,, and they had committed to their care the work which he had left undone, and to reflect upon his name and character something good in the future. Thoir motto should be, try to settle disputes without strikes. They had been able to bring about settlements in trade matters without resorting to war. That had been the great success of the Midland Council. In concluding his address, Mr Tay- br referred to a great scheme which was being considered of going in for a National Federa- tion, the finest scheme of Federation yet known. At present, they were, however, not prepared to give up their own federation until the lines of the new scheme had been broadened, which would take some time. In the future they would find a combination of labour between the Continent. America, and Australia, forming one brotherhood to the common good of all.

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