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SPORTS AND PASTIMESI

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WORK AND WORKERS. I

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WORK AND WORKERS. I The Board of Trade gavg notice on May 6tli, 1914, that they proposed to make two special orders under Section 103 of the National Insurance Act, extending the provi- sions of Part II. of the Act (Unemployment Insurance) to workmen employed in the fol- lowing trades: (1) Repairing works of con- struction, other than roads and the perma- nent way of railways; (2) sawmilling, includ- ing machine woodwork, whether carried on in connection with any other insured trade or not. Objections to the proposed extension have been received, and the Board have ac- cordingly appointed Mr. A. A. Hudson, K.C., to hold inquiries with regard to the proposed orders. The inquiries will be open to the public, and will be held in the Board-room, Central Office for Labour Exchanges and Un- employment Insurance, Queen Anne's Cham- bers, Westminster. The annual report of the Printers' Ware- housemen and Cutters' Trade Union contains the following reference to the proposal that the society should embark upon political action under Labour Party auspices: "We do not recommend that our members should go to the expense of a ballot under the Trade Union Act of 1913, as we are of opinion that the Labour Party has never even attempted to justify its existence in the House of Commons. Our money can be better employed than in financing a Labour Party which, throughout its career, has been the watchdog of the Liberal Party." The Postmen's Federation at Belfast on Saturday discussed a motion to discontinue affiliation with the Labour Party on the, grounds that it had failed as an independent party, and was not representative of the working classes. It was urged that the Labour Members in Parliament ran away from their own amendments to save the Gov- ernment from defeat, were merely poli- ticians, and did not assist in Labour dis- putes. Other delegates warmly defended the action of the party. The motion was re- jected by an overwhelming majority. Labour Courts of Justice were demanded by a resolution of the Dockers' Conference at Swansea. The motion demanded that, in view of the unsatisfactory position of labour eases in the British Courts of Justice, togetliei with class ignorance and the bias of the average Judge, separate courts should be established and special Judges qualified and experienced in labour laws should be ap- pointed. There is hope of a, peaceful settlement of the dispute between the London 'busmen and the London General Omnibus Company, and the officials of the men's unions are advising the men to accept the new terms offered by the company. These terms are to be sub- mitted to the men at a series of midnight mass meetings, the first of which were held on Saturday night. Among the concessionE which have been obtained from the company are payment for overtime, free uniforms, free passes to and from work, abolition of acci- dents club, increase of 6s. for cleaners and 2s. 6d. for washers, provision of free clogs, minimum wage of 34s. for conductors for a week of six days, and Y.2 a week for drivers. One of the first-fruits of Mr. H. W. Thorn- ton's ruling of the Great Eastern Railway is that he has arranged for a train to leave Liverpool-street Station on Sunday mornings at 3.40 a.m. to Stratford and intermediate stations to Ilford, commencing on the 14th inst. This is being done in answer to an appeal by Sunday newspaper workers. An official reply on behalf of the men to the statement published by the London master builders charges the employers with eteliberitely cancelling all agreements with the building trade unions without notice, al- though these agreements contained a clause stipulating that six months' notice should be given." On the question of wages, it is urged that even if the advance demanded by the men were granted, the increase in the cost of living has been so great that the men's general standard of living would not be so high as it was ten years ago. The move of the Jocked-out London builders in working out for themselves the contract for the headquarters of the Theo- sophical Society is just one of those things which may make history, says Reynolds's Newspaper. If this job, which had been placed with well-known contractors, and is probably worth :EIOO.ON, is carried through successfully, it will be the finest object- lesson that the building trade has ever had. Why should not the London Building In- dustries Federation find the funds for plant and carry out contracts for the benefit of the workers? The contractor under present ar- rangements is a necessary part of the machi- nery for getting up a building; but he is no more necessary than the mason, and he gets ever so much more for his work. Can the work the contractor dees be done without him? That is tlw. question the experiment of the London building trades worker has got to answer. We see no reason to suppose it will be answered in the negative. The big dispute, with all its suffering, may. yet prove a great blessing. Millions of pounds in wages are wasted annually by workmen in Great Britain owing to their irregularity, and tens of millions of pounds are lost to employers owing to fre- quent irregular holidays taken by their em- ployees." This statement was made to a Standard representative by the head of a great firm of steei construction engineers. It is one of the queer phases of the indus- trial world to-day," he added, that while men are always clamouring for higher wages on account of the increased cost of food and other commodities, few of them are prepared to take advantage to the full of their oppor- tunities. The winter season is the time when men (jeem most inclined to neglect their work, and then a football match proves a far greater magnet than work. When a great mid-week football match is being played fully 25 per cent. of my men will take an after- noon's holiday without even consulting their foremen. The absentees will be from among several gangs, and it. often happens that work in one particular department will be brought to a standstill because important units in the gang are absent. The result is that men who are ready to work have to be sent home and lose wages. These willing workers, who usually are the older men, are angry at being deprived of part of their live- lihood, but they have no redress; nor has the employer. If we attempted to discipline the unreliable men by fines, or made an example of one or two by discharging them, we should probably have a disastrous strike to cope with." In regard to Scottish wages, a resolution was unanimously agreed to, at the Miners' Federation Conference at Westminster, as follows: "That this conference, having heard the report of the Scottish delegation as to the coalowners' demand for a twenty-five per cent, reduction of their wages, which would, if persisted in, bring them substantially below the 7s. minimum rate as affirmed in the Scar- borough resolution, remits the whole of this question to the Executive Committee, with power to take any action they deem desirable, and, if necessary, to call a further conference at an early date with a view to taking national action on the matter." At the National Union of Boot and Shoe Oiperatives' Conference at Northampton there was much discussion on a resolution that the headquarters of the Union should be moved from Leicester to London. By 32 votes to 16, the Conference decided against removal from Leicester. It was decided, among other busi- ness, that neither the old-age pension nor parochial relief should debar the payment of funeral benefit. The British Seafarers' Un.ion has been in- formed by the Royal Mail Steam Packet Com- pany that overtime pay for men in the deck and engine-room departments on the com- pany's liners sailing out of Southampton will be increased from 6d. to 9d. per hour.

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ACROSS THE TABLR I

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MARKETS. I

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AGRICULTURAL NOTES.

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REVIEW OF THE CORN TRADE.

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