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I Trade Union Notes. i

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I Trade Union Notes. I t By Trade Unionist. Mr. Jolin Hodge, the Minister of Pensions, liu submitted a scheme to the various Trades i Unions of the country iR which their co-opera- toon is requested in the training of disabled sol- ;| ilierr. and sailors so as to make them indepen- dent of private charities when the war is over. when the Nvar is They are to be trained III the various trades F10 that they shall be enabled to earn their own livelihood. A very desirable object, and one which deserves every encouragement. It is not leitly a very desirable object, but one which is also quite practical. There are certain danger- 4kus elements in the scheme, however, and the t Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners i iave not only pointed out the dangers, but have defused to support the Ministry in their efforts. About three weeks ago the Executive Council of the A.S.C. and Joiners adopted the following re- solution:—"Firmly believing that it is the im- perative duty of the workers broken through the War, and also believing that the suggested sys- tem of training disabled soldiers and sailors is sui attempt to shirk that responsibility, and having in mind the past conduct of the employ- ing classes in their treatment of the workers, this Council is convinced that employers will take advantage of the scheme to obtain cheapo labour, leading, as it undoubtedly will, to the demoralisation of our craft. We therefore re- fuse to take any further part in such a scheme, i except so far as any such plan for dealing with i these men has reference to those who, before the war were engaged in the trade." $a{:$ itio,e men would But, after all, I fancy that mose 'men would be glad to find some occupation, which they could follow, without injury to themselves, and with- out in any way prejudicing them in the matter of pensions. It would certainly conduce to a feeling of independence, and at the same time Would be a benefit to the community to the ex- tent of the services they would be able to render. As to the matter of cheap labour and the de- Imoralisation of the craft, surely some means ?ould be found to prevent such a- result. How- ever, I am not forgetting that my opinion is not to be weighed against that of the Executive of the Union, who know all the circumstance* that have to be b?rne in mind. announce d The War Cabinet has definitely announced ? that it has decided to make the Whitley Report the basis of its industrial reconstruction policy. The central proposal of that report is the es- tablishment of Industrial Councils upon which Workmen and employers will sit and discuss mat- ters affecting the particular industry concerned. The principal thing to consider from the Workers point of view is: whether these Councils Will give 'the workmen any real and effective con- trol over the industry, and further, whether the establishing of these Councils will tend to per- Petuate the present structure of industry? The Workers ought to be very careful to see that their co-operation is not to be used as a means ^nl.y of augmenting production. Their right to 4 fuller share in the control of industry, which i ftlso implies their right to the benefits of greater Production, must be clearly established before they can consider the idea of co-operation with plovers at all. The employer must not be allowed in the future, as in the past, autocracy :lth regard to labour conditions nor a freo and in the disposal of profits. But more important than all is the question of the perpetuation of the present industrial System. The Capitalistic system of industry as We know it, has had a long run, and it has Served its purpose; now the time is ripe for a change. The Capitalis system must give way to 1 ne that will make it impossible for the Labour the mass of men and women, and the natural health of the country to be exploIted for the benefit of n. few persons who own land and capital, and will secure a maximum of comfort J' ?nd culture to everyone. Are the proposed j j Joint Councils likely to prove another etep for Ward-towards a. reconstruction of Industry and the abolition of Capitalism The answer de- pends upon the amount of effective power the porkers will have in fixing the conditions of labol-ir. A judgment of great importance to workers generally was delivered by Judge Graham, K.C., 'tt Bow County Court. The point was whether 4Tilail injured while at work during an air raid Wag entitled to an award under the Workmen's Compensation Act. The applicant was Henry Charles Alcoekk, a potman, wno was blown off ladder while engaged in cleaning bi-ass-work Outside an East London tavern. It was argued the defendant that the risk which Alcock ran Was common to everyone in the district, and had lic, connection with his work. The Judge held ■j that this was not so. The case differed from that Of injmy by lightning. In the latter casp human belngs wei'e exposed to the same rifik at all times 1 nd at all places, whether employed or not. In I the present case a large number of people were ) j inning the sanje risks as that which led to I \l(èI accident, but they were exposed to those I tfslvg because they happened to be in a parti- 'llIar place by their employers' order. He Warded the applicant L8 5s., which was the Amount agreed upon if Hability was proved. ?ave to appeal was granted. i 4?ve to appeal was This decision is in direct conflict with that of County Court Judge in the case of a Hartle- pool engine driver,' who claimed compensation injuries received during the bombardment of that town by Germans. The Judge held that he man was exposed to no greater risks than '^e general public. On November 25th, 1915, the Court cf Appeal upheld that decision, and he appeal was dismissed with costs. Which indgment is the correct one? It. is quite P05.-j a tlhle that a differently constituted Court of 1 appeal will uphold Judge Lurry's- decision, ini which case there must be t final judgment by I tLe Lords. j: Mr. Lloyd George, when Minister of Muni- tions, and engaged upon the task of inducing Trade Unions to give up tho rights and privileges they had secured, "for the period of the war." advised workmen to be audacious in their de- mands after the war. The N.U.R. seem to have taken his counsel, as witness the programme to le. submitted for consideration at the coming Leicestel. Conference: ,(1) Equal representation, "oth national and local, of the N. U .R. upon the Management bodies of all railways in the united Kingdom; (2) An eight-hour day or a 4.8- > or week; (3) the conversion of %Il war bonuses Sained during the war into permanent wages, ^od the sum to be demanded w hen the pro- lamine is presented to be such an amount as ^ill guarantee to all railway workers an ad-1 of 10s. per week based on pre-war pnr-j basing power. (That is to say, that the 30s. a 1 teeli man of pre-war days is to receive about! 4 a week.) (4) A guaranteed day and week; fourteen days holiday (with P:'t,y) per annum; ¡ several other demands of importance to railwayman. Of course, these demands are not really audacious; but they certainly appear audacious when contrasted with the really scan- dalouslv low wages and abominally bad condi- tionóf Labour obtaining previously. It has always appeared to me as most strange that a ibody of intelligent, well-organised men like the railway men should have submitted for 80 long to such impositions. I sincerely hope that their programme will be realised.

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