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- - 1 L Trade Union Notes.j

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1 L Trade Union Notes. I By Trade Unionist. I The Comb-Out Ballot. The South Wales miners' ballot upon the ,,eomb-out" question is now practically Cüm- Meted and the result shows that, roughly, 4Wt one-fourth of the men are in favour of ,adopting a down tools policy. Naturally, "ais result is hailed as a great triumph for the -mongers, and in a sense it is so. But it is ?dent thaa the supporters of a continuation of  war had a distinct advantage, inasmuch as ?question put to the men, viz., "Are you in Wour of a down tools policy in case the Gov- ment apply the' comb-out' IICheme," was of "lentous importance. A majority of the kmen may be in favour of Peace by Nego- ,4tion, may be bitterly opposed to conscription, iMd in particular they may be against the par- Mcipation of their trade union, as such, in any jjoheme for the compulsory taking of men into the army, and at the same time be against mani testing such opinions by refusing to work. They j ad to face the plausible argument that a stop- ge of work would paralyse the fighting forces °f this country by stopping the supply of coal frhich is a prime essential in the carrying on of the war, and thus give the enemy a distinct ad- kiltage Whatever their opinions about the no sensible man amongst them would. abouring under such a conviction, vote in favour of a stoppage. If, however, a, vote I ad n taken on the question of a peace by nego- tiation, or on the plain question of the comb- at scheme, without the "down tools" pro- Posal, it would be seen that the war-mongers I Itould be let down rather badly. j I Silly Jubilation. Many of the miners' leaders are indulging in IQ, y jubilation over what they term as the le- i diation of the delegate conference." The vote is described as a further proof that dele- Sates do not represent the views of those they 'present. That may or may not be. In any e such jubilation and taunts are quite out of Place in the present instance, because, as I pointed out above, the vote was taken upon the down tools issue, upon which no decision recorded by the conference. Besides, if it "ere so; if the conference had declared by re- Nution in favour of down tools," and had keen afterwards repudiated by ballot vote, this kind of talk is quite-out of place. Someone once Sa-id, the minority is always right." That ^obably is an exaggeration, but certainly it is i \rue to say that the minority are not always j \tl'iong. What about the experience of the Exe- cutive members themselves? Do they forget the struggle they had to have the contributions the S.W.M.F. members increased from Is. to a month? On two (or three) separate occa- sions they (the Executive) recommended and the ^legate conference adopted the recommenda- tion to increase the contribution, the workmen 7rere advised by circular to vote in favour of the Proposal, because it was essential that the Jh-ange should be brought about if the Federa- I'" n was to be saved from financial ruin, and in &pite of all, the workmen on the two occasions Hcorned the advice, and repudiated the confer I n.ce resolution by hugh majorities. In the end 'he Executive enforced the change in opposition the wishes of the majority:, and in contra ven tion of the rules. This was a, case of the minority ^ving the organisation, and that fact ought to an.3ike these men refleot that the minority in this 1Qa«e also were possibly in the right and the *^ority in the wrong. J Hairdressers' Charter. I 'he Hairdressers (journeymen) are not a very I onerous body, and as a general rule not dis- llÏshed for any particular zeal for oTgani- tlOn. It is all the more gratifying, therefore, ? record that the Shop Assistants' Union have for the London West-End hairdressers th Charter, for which the organisation has been t, Station for some time. A strike was threat- I^fted, but has happily been cheated by the ac- J^ptance of the CUarter by the hair dressing <JTn6. Here are the terms of the Charter as horded in the Shop Assitant Maximum ? 48 hours week; minimum wage (ladies) 25s. Jeekly and 10 per cent. on all takings; gents -"nds 3os. weekly and 121 per cent. on all tin; general hands 45s. and commission; "AUy hands 60s. and commission; charge hands and commission meal timee as allowed in top Hours Act, 1912; one week's holiday per Sterna* with full pay. i V Railway Clerks and Women. [ "Ehe Railway Clerks' Association, have, like ?my other trades unions, been confronted with  problems raised by the wholesale introduc- *?on of female cictrks into th e servioo of the rail- ?y companies. Their chief task, of course, to organise the new comers and afterwards 16 secure iMPTOvements in their conditions of 4%bour. They had succeeded so well in their ^ganising efforts that they were able early in the year to get an increase of 5s. a week in goo. The increase is not universal, 'however, ^fd wen where secured, the women do not "Olljoy the same rate as the men. The R.O.A. passed resolutions stating that the em- ployment of women under male rates tends to ess the general standard of clerical remuner- ation, and advocating that, rather than oppose e introduction of female labour, which would 1. futile, they should press for equal pay for I8Q1¡h sexes, for equal work. The Cotton Outloók. The outlook in the cotton industry is not at a pleasant one. The industry has been for o time worked under a controlled scheme, %be principal feature of which was the payment '()f out of work benefit by the employers. Ac- cording to the Manchester Guardiian 40,000 "Or 50,000 operatives are always temporarily un- employed in the Oldham province alone, and the Slants they receive are far from adequate in the days of high prices. Under the scheme the en are also debarred from making an appliea- n for an increase of wages. Dissatisfaction s been very pronounced for months under ihe-.e conditions, and now we understand that Ot and after December 10th the scheme will be Jfithdrawn. That will leave the operatives at liberty to apply for an increase in wages, but on \he other hand their trade unions are left to ,?)&nge for the payment of out of work benefits ,rom their own funds. I presume that the anti- ?Pation of the trade unions is that by Decem- Ili? 10th the trade will be in a prosperous con- ,ajtion, and that there is no reason why they Quld not e#ect their release and demand an lIloreased wage. It is to be hoped that their -t.i.cipa.tion is justified, but there are a few (Continued at foot of next eolumc).

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- - 1 L Trade Union Notes.j