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Open Letter to the Iron and…

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Open Letter to the Iron and Sft" Owners of South Wales. Dear Sirs,—I hope yott will pardon ine writing this open letter to you in the nud f of a terrible war, especially so when the hof our and integrity of our dearly beloved coull t 18 at stake. But, I can assure you that It i the patriotic feeling which I have toward A. fellow man that compels me to address this. you at this juncture. I was very pleased j hear that you also had been animated with 7 same patriotic feeling towards the lower Pj m orders in your employ in granting thool weekly bonus of 51- on wages ranging from JIll to 30i-, on condition that they worked time. Of course, you agreed on this account of the high cost of living, knowing tb the lower paid man was not in a. position | meet it. I must confess that to a very gr extent I agree with you on this point, bec? apart from the increased cost of living lower paid mn, working side by side with jjjll. higher paid, has always been a menace to i' higher paid man.  It has been pointed out by you that this is a war bonus. That means It will be in opeo, tion for the duration of the war. 'Vhat JI!¡I I ask, is to become of it afterwards. Th. ?. may be over in three months from now or io?? months, or, perhaps, it may last another Ø,< years, but whenever the war is over the bo%; wIll be over also, whether the cost of living have decreased or not. Don't you thin? would be far more honourable to have ad^ it to the standard rate of wages? Or ivr°V it not be better stJJL if you wiped out M maximum in your Sliding Scale Agreement "*3 give the extra percentages instead? there, your works to-day are controlled e,s lishments, and, as yell say, you are entirely the hands OT the Government. You could 11 touch the agreement if you wished. According to the last iepoi? of the j? auditors, the average selling price of rails ? tin bars was ?8 9s 6d per ton. wl)ich me? that on that scHmg- pr?c i' is El 19s 6d ?, ton above the maximum in the agreement. 19s 6d per ton, and as the agreement st^ at present, the worker bus no share from th?' But you say that although the selling price' the ('ommOdiJeS worked at your works is higjL V to-day than it has ever been, the extra pi'^t that should accrue are swallowed up in < mcreased cost of freightage and so forth. l' t1i\ was the argument used by you at the Board meeting, but, it is stated, that when 1 ting yom- case to the Committee on Product'0!' yon argued that if the maximum in the ?': re?ment was wiped out, you could not <n?)-? the output of munitions that were requir, ,h \ause, ,t present, you had all y(;mr work ?' out to fuJul contracts, OWIng to time lost by j h.gher paid men. Still, at the same time, y } were quite prepared to consider the raising A' ti1,0 paid. The only conclusion one ?! come to from such an argument is. that 1j were prepared to grant an increase to the Io?? )' man, so that he also would be able to get holiday, now and again. If is true, it was,'? ? nature of; n, bonus that you were prepaded t°.^| liatill-e ol.t, b,oi,itis that voii we-,j,e 1.)i,e,padea to, i that way. Well, whatever may be your  of the Sliding Scale Agreement? as it at pt'? stands, it is. to the man in the street. anachronism. There is just another point before I conc!?t? and that is in regard to a rumour that ;,$'gl rond, U?at you have foremen and timokoep<,r,*j your employ at the princely sum of 30/- ?t week and that when these men are oif ??? in for one, two. three or more days, the s"P?? one shi1.lill'u and eightpence per day is ded? |  from their wages. I am sorrv to .say th^ J? fail to see the drift of this, unless it be v they aw paid their iv,,t9 Icsn the sick JV allowed in the National^'Insurance Act. f from the deductions in the wages ?Jtog'?t iust to think that you have omcials t-eC??B ing such pay is ,iot.hi?,, short of a scandal- ^1 ii Tn cOJlrlusion I sincereh- hop(. if you s .j? perchance read this letter, you will accept, con tents in the ?od feeling in which wntten.. t Yours smcMph-. L rXTKRF<H>-

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