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Trade Union Notes. I

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Trade Union Notes. By Trade Unionist. I The three great branches of the Democracy in this country, viz., the Trade Unions, the Labour Party (which includes the Socialist bodies) and te Co-operative Movement, are showing signs ,of an appreciation of the necessity that exists for strengthening their position in preparedness for the severe times that confront them now, and ^ill confront them, in a more intensified form, Probably, when the war is over. The Trade Unions, 'or at least the most important of them are busily engaged in altering their, rules, etc., *> as to meet the inevitable changes in indus- trial conditions which the war has brought foout, and in increasing their membership. The Inking up by absorption and amalgamation of nioIls catering for the same class of workmen 1s also making progress, although one could wish I the pace in this direction to be accelerated. The Labour Party Executive have also completed the draft of a new constitution for the Party, which IS to be circulated among the constituent organi- sations and presented to the Party Conference at Nottingham next January. The Co-operative Movement, at a national emergency conference held last week approved, with practical unani- mity, a scheme for closer union with the Trade Unions, and another for securing Co-operative tepresentation in Parliament. And truly, there is need to prepare, for signs 4re not wanting of a deliberate attack upon De- mocracy. The" Times" articles of a few weeks the furious advocacy by the Press of a Policy of suppression of all Pacifist propaganda, the breaking up of public meetings and private inferences, etc., are all indications of the pur- Pose of the reactionaries. Friends of democratic Methods of government will therefore gladly ^eltcome the powerful aid which the Co-opera- tors will bring into the fight. The war has cer- taInly done good in the Co-operative Movement, bY showing them who their frie»ds are. Up to I bow it has been found impossible to enlist their tive organised support. But by now they have h taught a few lessons. Unfair treatment of movement by the Government and Govern- blent Departments, the commandeering of their Pretni,se.s, and of their supplies (jam, for instance) ab being compelled to pay exhorbitant prices to PrIvate manufacturers for their supplies; the gi-al-ill, injustice to Co-operative Societies of the ugr distribution, and above all, the gross in- tfstice of the Excess Profits tax as applied to operatûr8 have succeeded, where all else had railed. # 01, Oc!to at. i Joiiit con- j On October 27th, at Manchester, a joint con- vince of trade unionists and co-operators is to held to further discuss the proposals for a lor working alliance between the two bodies. -?he operative Bakers are initiating a big "cement with the object of the absolute aboli- ?n of Sunday labour all over the country. At '?irlllin-,Iiai-ii the question is an acute one, the Lister of Labour having been asked to inter- ne. The abolition of night work is also con- ti111)lated by the Amalgamated Union of Opera- tive Bakers. On this point a postal ballot vote the whole of the Union is to be taken, asking j hether members are in favour, if necessary, of tking part in a national strike for the retention 01 the day work system. h-å. conference of railway men will shortly be fhl at Leicester for the purpose of ascertaining t heir views re demanding joint control of tIte railways along with the directors, and also t the increased bonuses on wages now obtained Id continue after the>-war. tJ he deputatioJ? from the Shop Assistants' "ioil which waited upon Sir Auckland Geddes, t e Minister of National Service, asking for the revocation of the Restricted Occupations Order far as it applied \0 the Distributive Trades. thaS successful in impressing the Minister with illf JUstIce of their request. He has written to Jnf T111 John Turner, general secretary, that it decided to withdraw the Order as far as concerns the engagement of anv persons ex- pt aliens. ? ?"'?shing Trades Association is en- ?a ??'? to secure a flat rate, of 1«. 3d. per }t'?.?'?cl the abolition of piecework, established fl)r all operatives. Partial success has already ?e? attained as a result of negotiations, at ijev ^V°0^' I^aekburn, Accrington and Preston, ??ood, Blackburn, Accrington and Preston, id advances have been gamed varying from ,I? d. to ??d. per hour. At Manchester the opera- I e Vs struck work and a keen fight between tio??ployers' Federation, backed by the Na- th al 'Pedel'atlOn of Furniture Employers, and tb?, ???'s Union, is in progre&s. Appeals are ?in ?? ant to the Trade Union branches in the ? ?try for contributions to supplement the dISpute pay to the mem bers. Th \vhi\ ^trike at the Dowlais Steelworks, and M,;( hjas spread to Cyfarthfa Steelworks, seems to ?? P? ? a most emphatic manner the change th ELt a," taken place in the last seven or eight 3?, l,ri the spirit of the men employed. Time ?? s??  both these works were a byword among III w 5- in the steel industry of the coun- lis here was absolutely no organisation, and v18 vSoi rates of pay and conditions of La- h?l, to which the men meekly submitted was 11 lily <ainazing- ?? they ?'e well organised 411d?, the ek,ent of the last few daYE, the part)cu- -? of 'which are well known to all readers of ?6 .< p-0necrj indicate a determmatlOn to im- ?Ov"?eer indicate a, determ i nat i on to im- !P.rciv fi.* which is in sharp contrast with fo '0101' tame^- A noticeable feature of t1. '1'1 t D ? str??? Dowdais is the unitv displayed by i e ?en ?" ?s? determination to resIst black- S?bo T? <, Tilb r'sQ, C-0 ,-out ballot of the South Wales (• 0^ri 0-011t ballot of the South Wales "?o?-'?Ms to exercise the minds of the Iar- 0 (I-()f South Wales. Every day columns e,I0? r:t various. ? ??s local Press giving the views .y ??'ious representative (?) wor k men and to -?lu??? Iepl'esentative (?) workmen and to i11,0111tio8  at miners' meetings condemn- ° 011 of the conference. What ?he o? r?e ??n of the conference. What ? t ??? forcibly about all this is the fia! ntir: efFm.+8 Illa de by the Press, which, I sup- f?.?c eff?n ?made by the Press, which, I Slp- v. Sfi) is nser] terested parties, to preJudIce >, blinds of j.? ?terested parties, to prejudice  a ma- n?y agH.i? ?? down tools" p?icy. I am ??PrSS alY opinion as to the desirability t ^Ven the ??cticabilitv of adopting such a ?,cjtlr b,,t 'llust confess to a feeling of dis- ?? ?ith t? ??st confess to a feeling of dIS- ? ?eat. ???Mds adopted to bring about it's defeat. And, of cnrse; we are being treated t? ?ga.in to ? ??h?ition of ignorance and in- tql 1' ?ce (thp alwayso together) respecting th ? 1- L P a3 ?? So together) respecting ch' respOllsibl ¡he pacIfists, They, of course, 41-l? l?espolisible for ,apl,lac the trouble and the mis- ^he The intolm-Q ant ones w h o Would persecute ? i.??P?sS? ???? ? Would persecute hy n1'Sh coiymli-mov? It ????y unconscious of .^nowledgi + ??yPay to the Socialists, their influence and emphasis- ?.?" P?art, rrS?e????? ?? impotence. For :41"? O'Wll Part, I-"ld Sa'v that -if h I L P h an pacIfist I atl t e J. t e 4nd pa,-i fi?gtelern ent were eliminAted from the S.W.M.F., that organisation would be a very flabby thing indeed. My notes of last week seem to have roused the ire of Mr. D. B. Jones, w. is an agent for the Stirfa-ce Craftsmen Union. Let me add that I was expressing the opinion of every member of the S. W .M.F. who takes any interest in the affairs of the organisation, and further, from conversations I have had with many surface craftsmen, who are members of Mr. Jones' or- ganisation, I gather that very few, even from that body, would deny that there was ample justification for all that I said. The point that I wanted to make was that the surface crafts- men's union entered into the labour of others; and that is a fact which cannot be disputed. Let us recall the past for a moment. In 1912 a great fight for a minimum wage was carried to a suc- cessful issue by the S.W.M.F. The Enginemen and Stokers' and the other craft unions did nothing to help on the fight, but they came in when all was over and secured the advantages gained by the miners. In 1915 I am not aware that they did anything to raise, the standard rates by 50 per cent. Still they enjoy the 50 per cent, advance. With regard to. the recent ad- vance, the initiative came from the South Wales miners, the matter was sent to the M.F.G.B. Executive. It was ultimately referred to the M.F.GTB. Conference at Glasgow on July 24th. The application was for 25 per cent, on gross earnings. On September 13th, vafter two months' hard work by the Executive and the expenditure of much money, the Coal Controller made an offer on behalf of the Government, which was re- fused. A second offer was made on Septem ber 19 th, which was placed on the agenda for con- ference on the 26th September. It was here that the Craftsmen's Union came ii-i. They thought that it was now time for them to make a show. I have been told that on September 22nd they practically agreed to accept the Controller's se- cond offer, viz., Is. 3d. per adult, 7-J-d. for boys. They, wisely, waited to see what the miners were going to do, and having heard of the miners' de- cision to refuse, they also refused, and demanded Is. 9d. per man and 10 £ d. per boy. They were told by the controller to wait until a settlement had been arrived at with the miners, and were promised the same terms as them. All this, of course, goes to emphasise the point that the Craftsmen's Union were simply following the miners' organisations. Would the craftsmen's organisations ever have been able to secure » minimum wage or an increased standard rate? or can we imagine them initiating and winning a figlit for the last increase? Everyone knows that they couldn't. They are absolutely depen- dent upon the -M.F.G.B. what the M.F.G.B. wins the craftsmen also get; what the M.F.G.B. fail to win the craftsmen have to go without also. The moral is, that all men employed in and about the mines .should belong to one, organisation. It would strengthen the men's position and save ex- pense.

Workers' and Soldiers' Council.

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Fisher Grants at Merthyr.I

! Avan Valley Notes. I

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