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REVIEW OF THE CORN TRADE.

SPORTS AND PASTIMES.

IWORK AND WORKERS.

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I WORK AND WORKERS. RAILWAY TROUBLES—ELECTRICIANS REJECT TERMS —COALPIT CLOSING DOWN—YORKSHIRE MINERS' WAGE DEMANDS—WOMEN WORKERS' Low PAT. Mr. J. H. Thomas announced to the rail- waymen at Birmingham on Sunday night that their union on Saturday received a letter from the railway companies intimating that the companies had appointed a committee to meet a committee of the men's representatives to discuss the differences between them. "For the first time," said the leader, "the companies thus recognise the power and re- sponsibility of the Railwaymen's Union, which is what we have .talked about and pleaded for during the.se years. This has been brought about simply because tie railwaymen have had the good sense to recognise the power of organisation. Railwaymen of the United Kingdom at their branch meetings on Sunday received a communication from the National Union Executive relating to an all-grades movement about to be undertaken for better conditions ■of service. In inviting the branches to submit suggestions for a national programme to be formulated at a special meeting of the Execu five, the men were advised to confine their suggestions to matters of hours and wages. The Executive action was believed to indicate a desire not to overload the programme in a forthcoming general demand upon the companies. The qu,-stion oT a rtrike. on the Great Eastern Railway system in support of the de- mand for the reinstatement of Walter Fair- weather, recently dismissed from the com- pany's police force, was considered in private at Cambridge on Sunday by a conference re- presentin g all branches of the service. Mr. Williams, general secretary of the National Union, attended. The meeting voted against any word of its discussion being given to the public, and bound the officials to secrecy until its decision is submitted to the local branches, on whose vote the responsibility of a strike ,will rest. After a prolonged sitting at sCaxtan Hall, Westminster, London, members of the Elec- tricians' Union decided to reject the terms offered by their employers for a settlement of the present dispute. It is announced that the strike will not affect the tramways or light and power generating stations, but will be con- fined to constructional maintenance and repair works throughout the metropolis. At a meeting held at Codsall, Staffordshire., ;& branch of the agricultural section of the Workers' Union was formed, fifty members enrol ling themselves. The National Farm Labourers and Agricultural Workers' Union have opened about a dozen branches in villages between Kinver and Wolverhampton. There is great .activity among farm workers in the district. The whole of the surface and uncl-ergroumd workmen employed at tliq Cakemore Colliery., Black Heath, be'onging to Messrs. H. S. Pitt and Co., on Saturday received fourteen days' notice to terminate their engagements in con- sequence of the decision of the firm to close the pit. It is stated that the firm have taken !tlÜs dtep in con sequence of the excessive cost <of working the pit and the inferior character of the coal. About 200 men will be thrown ■out of employment. Contrary to the advice of the jnen's section -off the Coal Conciliation Board, the Council of the Yorkshire Miners' Association, meeting at Barnsley on Saturday, decided not to suspend the notices which have been ten- dered, owing to the disputed interpretation of the recent minimum wage award in South Yorkshire. The effect of this is that probably all the collieries in the county, employing about 170,000 workers, wiJl "be idle before the week is over. The Conciliation Board for the Federated Districts had reached a provisional agreement on Friday, subject to the men sus- pending their notices. The decision of the men to endeavour to force a settlement of the minimum wage dis- pute through a strike was not unexpected, says the Hlrmimjhun> mining correspon- dent. The cause of dispute was first brought before the men's section of the Conciliation Board on February 11th, and has since been the subject of protracted joint conferences between the eoalowners and the men. The dispute had been referred by the Conciliation Board to a joint committee of five coalowners and five representatives of the men, who re- commended the suspension of the stoppage notices during further negotiations on the understanding that auy settlement, when efleeted, should date from January 21st, the date of Sir Edward Clarke's award. In the meantime t he South Yorkshire owners agreed to pay the former minimum wage of 6s. 9d. per day. plus 7Jd., the amount of the three advances of 5 per cent, granted by the Con- ciliation Board. This offer was conditional upon the men suspending their notices and the miners at collieries already stopped re- turning to their work. Saturday's (lee-sioli litclllls end of the negotiations, which have been in progress for the past six weeks, and the fighting out of the issue by a straight strike. The Yorkshire Miners' Association is not well equipped to fight a county strike, in which all the men. will be drawing on the funds. Three weeks would see the exhaustion of the association's money. If the Yorkshire miners stood alone, and had to depend entirely upon [heir own resources, the fight would probably not be very pro- longed. But in this threatened struggle the Yorkshire miners have behind them the finan- cial support of the whole of the Miners' Fede- rat on of Great Britain. This entirely changes the situation. The strike will be limited to the Yorkshire coalfield because the cause of the dispute is limited to that area, in fact, it applies only to a portion of the collieries in the county, and as the other coal- fields will be working substantial financial help will be available to support, the York- shire miners. Miss Gore Booth, speaking at a conference I of women workers at Essex Hall, London, on Saturday, said that in the cotton trade men and women weavers got equal pay for the snme work. but there were several processes of the cotton trade which were not open to women. A woman could be a piecer at 13s. a week, but she could not be a. spjniifir at 2 although the work was practically the same. In the cotton trade, apart from weaving, there was a good deal of sex favouritism, and a giving of the best posts to men. Another* trade in 'which the exclusion was noticeable was bookbinding. Long ago the working- men's leaders drew a line of demarcation, and the result was that all the poorly-paid and bad work was given to women and the good work was given to men, I English people, said Miss Booth, had a, tnania that no women were to work out of doors. There was the ease of agriculture, and they never saw won:.rn working on the 'buses and tubes. Why should women be stuffed awav in dark. underground rooms machining when they might be doing some- thing in the open air? Men seemed to think that open air was absolutely fatal to women, and that physical exercise was awful. The only remedy for all this was the franchise, which would be a national cure for a national bliglt. Discussing the question of female em- ployment in the Post Office, Miss Cole men- tioned that only 2 per cent. or 3 per cent. of the women clerks in the Post Office left annually to get married. TLe dispute in the boot and shoe trade at Wootaston and Bozeat has been settled, the demand of the operatives for a minimum wage of 288. having been granted by the employers. A meeting of the Joint Committee of the Iron and Steel Workers' Sliding Scale Asso- ciation was held on Saturday at Abergavenny ío receive the report of the auditor for the three months ended February 28th last. It was resolved that the wages payable to the workmen at the associated works from April let. be increased by I per cent.

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