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y-I Merthyr Painters' Demands.

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y- I Merthyr Painters' Demands. B^EDERATED MASTERS REFUSE INCREASE H; STRIKE IMMINENT. iIP As things look at the moment there seems ?o poMsibihty of avoiding a strike in the fluting Trade in Merthyi. It is three years lnee the last Painters' strike in the district, ';?J'd considering that the present wage of 8?d. i'is very Jittl belter than an un- 'kíllcd Jabourers' wage, and the enormous rise ? prices of all commodities, no one can by '? stretch of imagination argue that the Id. per hour i'or which the men are now askmg is ex- ?'bjtant;, especially remembering that trade is ■ ?ood, unemployment at its minimum, and wa- i. .? betier in other parts of the South Wales ?ea.. To understand the present situation, it is Necessary to brieny run over the history of the past three years m the trade locally. 4t that tune the wages were at the very low rate of7 -¡d. pe,r hour, and after a bitter struggle spread over six weeks, an extra halfpenny was Secured, and at this miserably inadequate rate of 8d. an hour, the men have worked loyally to their agreement. That agreement was sub- ject- to the six months' notice on either side, q,nd on November 1 last the men tendered, through Mr Frank Bateson, the Federation I Secretary, notice to terminate- the agreement on if May 1 (Monday next). At the same time it i Was made clear that a demand would be put forward for an increase of Hd per hour, and r On this point Mr. Bateson has, in the interval, I Communicated with the Employers' Society on I Several occasions. Mr. Bateson worked hard to I Secure a meeting between the employers and the toen, but it was not until a week last Saturday that a meeting was arranged at the Castle liot.el. At that meeting the men's represeata- r tiveg were treated with a lack of courtesy that either indicated on the part of the masters '(j'1' a contempt for the Union and Federation that is surprising in these days. Ultimately, however, the employers stated that they could tlnt grant an advance at the present time, and jjtated that it was as much, as they could do to keep their establishments open during the Resent crisis. The result of this meeting was communicated Jo the Painters' Society. idr. Ed. Shad'bolt, the delegate to the conference, told his fellow- I Vvol.kers that the decision of the masters seem- 4d definite, and it was up to the men to c | decide whether they were worth an increase or r 1:1.0. So far as an increase was concerned, -there was no need to quibble about it so far tts they were concerned since the enormous in- r grease in the cost of living was sufficient to justify their demand in the eyes of the public. Several members spoke in favour of a strike if the demand for an increase was not conceded, ) ^d a discussion arose as to the advisability 1 approaching the non-associated employers, ce it appears there are more master decora- I'M tors outside the Employers' Federation than in, d ultimately it was decided to instruct the K Secretary to endeavour to convene a meeting || \tith the non-associated employers; this to be [ M pranged for to-night (Thursday) at the Tiger S ijn, when Messrs. A. J. Watkins, CSem Waite, | m* Sheppard and George Jones together with Secretary (E. ShadVolt) will attend as a letion from the men. Failing a satisfact- m tory settlement, there seems no possibility of Voiding

Navvy Pat's Views.I

- =I At Random. I

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