ONE TRADE—ONE WAGE. Levelling by Unionism.
Free Lance, Volume VII, Issue 340, 5 January 1907, Page 6
ONE TRADE— ONE WAGE. Levelling by Unionism.
IT is a sad thing when the lawsteps in and says a man must not earn more than a specified number of Shillings per day. It is a sadder thing when the law steps in at the instigation of the worker and tells him that he, a competent worker, snail go on earning the same dreary wage as every other man of his trade, no matter whether he is competent or not, no matte i whether he is twenty-one or sixty-one, or one hundred and seven. It is, in shoit, a sad thing to reduce men to a deadl level. r * • Unionism is a good! thing. It has raised wages in many trades, but we have the New Zealand Federated Association of Moulders rising in a very natural wiath and quarrelling with the minimum wage of 9s. The union agree ioi a representative court, the Arbitration Couit, to fix a minimum wage, and, naturally enough, when it doesn't fix a reasonable wage they growl. Nine shillings is a good wage for some moulders, and a very poor one for others, hence the injustice of the doctrine of one trade one wage. The oompetents ever pay, under the present system, for the incompetents. The moulder unionists point out that at Home tlie highest skilled trades are paid the highest wages, which is tiue. But it is also true that the highest skilled man in any specific trade gets a better wage than a less skilled one in the same trade. As a matter of fact, a skilled mouldier is paid much higher wages in England than in New Zealand!. Who shall say that it is not fair to pay a man according to his skill and not merely because he is certified as being a tradesman by belonging to a union? * * • Consider the hopelessness of always working far the minimum wage, with the knowledge however much bettei one works than one's fellow man that one's fellow man earns just the same wages. It le killing ambition and is demoralising because there is no incentive to high skill when low skill will earn the same wages. In the day* to come unionists will clamour for classification and a schedule of wages according to proved! skill. * * * It is absurd, for instance, that every member of the New Zealand Federated! Moulders" is classed! as being as good as every other member. Still, unionism at present affirms just that and unionists will continue to get angry while everyone is reduced to one level. A labourer is worthy of his hire, even though his wage is 20 per cent, in ad>vanoe of the incompetent's wage. However, unionism says there are no incompetents. Are there not?