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ORGANISATION OF BARRY 1 LABOURERS. MR. BEN TILLETT ON THE BENE- FITS OF THE DuCKERS' UNION. The two branches at Barry have, during the past two months, found it expedient to secede from the National Amalgamated Labourers' Union, but Mr Harry Rogers, the secretary, has succeeded ia re-organising the men with a view to their becom- ing affiliated to some other society. For this purpose a mass meeting of the men was held at St. Mary's Hall, Barry Docks, on Thursday evening, the 1st instant, when the claims of the Dockers and General Workers' Union were advanced. Councillor J. H. Jose presided over a crowded attendance. The method of working and the benefits of the Union were explained by Mr James Wignall, of Swansea, one of the organisers, and Mr G. H. -Lock, district delegate, Cardiff, the former stating that if the two branches at Barry were received into the Dockers' Union, it was pro- posed to appoint Mr Harry Rogers as district delegate, and elect a local secretary to fill the vacancy that would thus be created. The chief speaker during the evening was Mr Ben Tillett, of London, the general secretary of the Dockers and General Workers' Union, who was accorded a very hearty reception. Mr Tillett has been seriously indisposed for the last eight months, but he does not appear to have lost any of his former energy and enthusiasm for industrial organisation. When a young man, Mr Tillett said, the British Press and many of the preachers in the pulpit had been pleased to designate him as a dangerous agitator. His worst reception had been at Swansea, but he prided himself upon the fact that during the last seventeen years he had been able to accomplish good and useful work. (Applause.) His union had been the directjmeans of obtaining many of the trades union advantages of recent years, and the coaltrimmers of South Wales were responsible tu the society the repre- sentedifor their shortened Saturdayiand'increased rate of wages. The Union started with a credit balance at the bank of 7s 6d—(laughter)—but to- day they possessed 420,000, with a membership of 100,000. He had become this so-called dangerous agitator as the result of reading of the terrible struggles of the workers of past generations, when better men than himself had run such risks, and endured suffering and privations in order that their fellows might benefit in time to come. He looked back upon his work with greater pride than a king or emperor surveying his vast domains, because he had seen humanity stirred and moved, and when the leaders of to-day were dead and buried, other men, young in brain, heart, and soul, would spring up to take their places. A great ichange had passed over the workers of this country during recent years. The Dockers' Union had striven to play its part in the evolution and change that was constantly taking place, and he was glad to see the mighty organisation of miners at last waking up to their responsibilities and duties. The workers craved not for philanthropy and sympathy, but asked for simple justice, and the right to live under the best possible conditions. (Cheers.) No man had ever discovered any kind of labour but what yielded profit to the employer, and yet labour had a soul, a body, brains, hom.es, and wives and families and if labour only valued itself in all its censured being, they, as workers, would never be content to grovel in the mire, and bow to the dictates of capitalists, (Cheers.) Unions should be national rather than local. There was no"set of employers to whom he had failed to gain access, with perhaps the exception of Sir William Thomas Lewis, of Cardiff, and this gentleman would never see him. (Laughter.) On one occasion, however, he was represented by two lawyers, who informed him (Mr Tillett) that he would be put in gaol. They were living in the days when brains were more valuable than money. Their hope and aim was a world movement, and a trades union was the best investment they could have. He was happy to be associated with principles which had been formed link by link with past 'generations of humanity, who were proud to do their duty in their day, who would have scorned to have stooped to an act of cowardice or injustice, and who had faced the soldiers' guns, the gallows, and death rather than surrender the cause they had so much at heart. (Applause.) Several questions were afterwards asked, in reply to which Mr Wignall said they were prepared to take over the local branches as a going con- cern, every man's membership to date from the time he joined the local association. They would pay Mr Rogers the recognised Trade Union wages and all district expenses. A district office would be established, and he suggested that they, as a body of men, should form themselves into a por- tion of the district, so that they would have absolute control over their own work, subject to the rules of the Executive Council, and they would be allowed to elect one man from themselves upon the executive. No entrance fee would be required, but after the cost of the establishment of the dis- trict office, any surplus remaining of their funds would be handed over to Lhe general fund. The moment the transfer took place the Union he represented took charge of the compensation cases, and looked after the interests of the tneu just as if they were their members when the accidents happened. A cordial vote of thanks was passed to the speakers and chairman at the close, on the pro- position of Mr E. Curtis, seconded by Mr W. Reeves. THE NATIONAL AMALGAMATED UNION OF LABOUR. Another mass meeting was held under the same auspices and at the same plaee on Monday evening, when Mr J. N. Bell (general secretary), Newcastle, ,and Mr Owen Wade (district delegate). Shields, delivered addresses on the claims of the National Amalgamated Union of Labour. Councillor J. H. Jose again presided, and intimated that the mem- bership of the local branches now reached 574. Mr Owen Wade, who spoke first, referred chiefly to the Union's large district on the north-east coast, where there were twenty-two graving docks alone, and a large number of small repairing shops. The platers' helpers, chippers, painters, fitters' labourers, and general labourers all belonged to this Union, and Mr Wade briefly detailed the working advantages and increased rates of wages that had been obtained for these men. Mr J. N. Bell said he had nothing to complain of against Mr Besi Tillett's society (the Dockers' Union), for they had always been on the friendliest terms possible. (Hear, hear.) Unfor- tunately there were some men who fell away from trades unionism, but it was gratifying to observe that the large majority stood by their union, and he was there that evening to invite them to join a thoroughly stable society, that especially catered for the class of men belonging to the Barry branches. His union paid funeral, accident, lock- out, and victimisation benefits, and was, in addi- tion, affiliated to the General Federation of Trades Unions. The weekly contribution was 3d, but most branches had a separate fund of their own, to which the members contributed one-halfpenny per week. Mr Harry Rogers, the local secretary, had rightly refused to disclose to him the terms offered by the Dockers' Union, but the union he (Mr Bell) represented were prepared to receive the Barry branches into benefit in three months clear of entrance fees. Naturally they would want Mr Rogers to continue to act as their official, but unless Cardiff became affiliated as well, and the membership raised to at least 1,500, he was afraid this would be impracticable. He understood that of late the employers at Barry had got something of the upper hand, and he would frankly tell those present that it would be no easy matter for them to regain what they had lost. Still he had no doubt but that his union would be prepared to negotiate with the firms. (Applause.) Mr Harry Rogers issued instructions to the men with respect to the ballot, which is taking place this week, and said that as soon as Barry became affiliated, Cardiff and Penarth would follow. (Applause). A vote of thanks to the Chairman concluded the meeting.












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