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HEREFORDSHIRE FARM LABOURERS'…

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HEREFORDSHIRE FARM LABOURERS' CONTROVERSY. Interesting Developments. During the past few days developments of a somewhat interesting character have occurred in the controversy now raging among the farm labourers of Herefordshire and their masters. Several of the leading farmers in the Ross district have decided to meet their men, and in most cases advances of 2s per week all round have been made to the men, and the men have accepted the offers. In one case, Mr R J Colcombe, of the Glebe Farm, Sellack, Rots, offered JE1 per week without perquisites, and this the men decided to accept. On Friday last they were paid in accordance with the agreement arrived at. However, after the men had received their entra pay, two of the leading men on the farm turned round and said, We are sorry, sir, but we have to band you this," meaning their notices. This, of course, placed their employer in a rather peculiar position, but it is believed that the men handed in their notices simply because they had been sent to them by the Workers' Union, and because they do not understand the actual facts of the controversy. Mr Box, the organising secretary for Here- fordshire, has distinctly said that where a settlement has been arrived at between master and men the union do not propose to interfere. If no definite settlement is arrived at in other places the men will hand in their notices in a week's time. The members of the union, however, have thrown over the question of recognition, so that now the farmers are allowed to negotiate with their own men, and the men can please them- selves whether they accept the farmers' offers or not. THE UNION NOTICE. I The notice sent to the men by the Union reads as follows :— I hereby give notice to cease work on 1914, unless an arrangement has been come to regarding an increase of wages and alterations in conditions of working asked for by the Workers' Union on my behalf. (signed) —— The cider question appears to be a rather difficult one with some of the men, and at Fawley there are those who have declared that if the farmers offer them 2s or 2s 6d per week rise they would rather have the cider than the money. It is asserted that the farmers have inflated considerably the value ot perquisites, and in some parts of the county the belief obtains that the men would be better off if they had the money and were allowed to spend it as they please. Taking the county all round, there does not appear to be sufficient unity among the' labourers to organise a general strike.

ILEDBURY BUILDING SOCIETY.___I

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