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NATIONAL STRIKE ?

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NATIONAL STRIKE ? c COAL TRADE CRISIS P.D." CHAIRMAN'S VIEW A national conference of the Miners' Federation of Great Britain and Ireland will be held in London to-morrow to discuss the present very serious outlook in the Welsh ooalflelds. All sections will be represented, and it is underwood that failing an agree- and it is under?s ment with the mine owners a national ooal strike will result. The Men's Demands. The men's chief demands may be sum- marised tb us 1. 11). To raise the minimum wage ircxm w per oent. to 40 per cent., making the equivalent selling: price lZl3. 6d. per ton. &). Payment for sTna?I 0061. S). Payment by a?erag? for WOT? in a bnormal .pi aoes in the mine. (4). A bonus system on a sort of universal basis for work by night-ø. man who has worked five "shifts" to be paid six. (5). Power to call in an independent person when -the two from each side have have failed to settle a dispute. (6). To raise the standard of the lowest paid workmen, namely, surface men. and labourers underground. (7). The objection to the 60 hours clause in the Eight- Hours Act. Masters' Counterclaims. The masters, on their side, insist upon A-dit,e as many points. Chief of the claims are (1). To reduce the minimum wage from 30 per oen.t. to 20 per cent., moking the equivalent selling- price 13s. 6d. per ton. (2). No payment for small coal. (3). Each "shift," Sunday or week night, to be one of eight hours. At present it is customary only to work six hours on Sunday nigbt. (4). Abolition of the bonus "shift." (5). A free hand to introduce ariy~"shift," multiple or otherwise, when necessary. (6). Universal price for house coal supplied to workmen in the colliery. "P.O." CHAIRMAN. Takes a Serious View. Inference to the coal deadlock which has arisen was again made at a meeting of the Powell DufFryn Fteam Ooa.l Oamipany in London to-day. Mr. Joseph Shaw (the chairman), in moving the adoption of the report, said he took a very serious view of the position of affairs in the South Wales coalfield. There were geveral matters claiming attention. The first waa the effect of the Eight Hours Aot. A large number of people, incluadin-g some in the House of Commons, were led aatray upon the question of quantity, but he wished to point out that whilst the output in many cases was maintained it was only done by increasing the number of workmen and equipping the oolliery with up-to-date appliances. With regard to the negotiations proceeding between tlie employers and workmen's repre- sentatives, Mr. :-ihawv emphasised the fact tha.t, although the employers bad done their best to meet the men, the men had not budged a single inch. There was the question of small ooaL The men admitted now that they were paid for small coal, and t,hey demanded the same rate as if it were large coal. If this was agreed to, no oolliery in Wales would be able to work at a profit. Upon the questioi of abnormal places, Mr. Shaw remarked that the men's demand was that they should decide what was an abnor- ma,l place. If that were granted, the result would be. perhaps, that every place in the pit would be abnormal, and the men would be ready, but would ask to be pebid the sambe amount of wagee, and there would be no tonnage to pay these wages. A resolution was passed agreeing to the creation of fresh capital to the amount of 206,250 new shares of £1 each for the pur- pose of sinking a new colliery at Fengaun. The Chajrman said that the shares would be issued to the present shareholders at the rate of 1 to 4 at par.

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