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The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, JUNE 23, 1890.

What threatened at one time to be a serious railway strike has been postponedby the exercise of sound judgment on the part of the Railway Commissioners. At first these gentlemen refused to listen to the railway sorvantfl grievances unless through a channel nominated by themselves. The Commissioners, on the pretext that the Railway Servants Executive included other than railway servants, endeavored to ignore the Railway Union, while at tho same time professing a willingness to redress any grievances that might exist. The employes, however, were firm in their determination that their grievances should not only be listened to, but that the channel through which these grievances became known should be acknowledged and respected. The employes firmly, but respectfully, fought their ground inch by inch, and the Commissioners at length consented to recognise the Union by receiving a deputation from it*: ranks. 'If the railway servants, in their late encounter with their chiefs, iiad only succeeded in getting their union, or combination, recognised, that, in itself would have hfflfl » gl'eat vie" tory. They,,have, howevee, i\qt only succeeded in the foregoing particular, but, judging fiom the concessions given by the Railway Commissioners have succeeded in bettering the condition of their employ-, ment in many important particulars. On the important c^s&on of boy labor and payment ojt overtime, the men have succeeded in getting important concessions ; and on the principle of " eight hours " being considered a day's* work the Commissioners have yielded, except in regard to intermittent jabor, where the employe's will be paid only for the time when actually working. Tliot)© concessions, so far as can be gathered, tvQtft f-fip voluminous 'technical eviden.ee taken, cover nearly all the demands of the employe's, and, we doubt not, wiU #vsni;ually give satisfaction to the ITniQR ? whose officers deserve all praiae for ih& fteftsomible and rational manner in which tb&j hj#ye put forward the men's grievances, #yd the soundness of the arguments by which they have been upheld. The Commissioners also deserve credit for receding i po.m the antagonistic ground at first takett «p ; for if that attitude had been persisted ia £j,\ere is grave reason to fear that a serious F&zljy/vy afcpjke would have occurred. The conscque4*t>jCs pf such a strike to the trading and tra-vfcjling public can better be imagined than' desG^tyftd; and the loss to the State by having thp Ki.ihvftys lyin# wile for ever so short a period wouJd \)p> co»,«i,dorable. Fortunately "the Railway Qomw\ ssjoners foresaw this, and also realised fch»t #icy w?re unequally matched when pitted against the employes and public opinion; <!o»,sequently the catastrophe was averted by meeting the aggrieved servants and ?o&Boning with them, instead of persisting jjj. ft course of "bounce." The day has go»£ ])Jpv bouncing labor into submission, and any #4jfcempt at coercion will result in los>s to $Ue v «^;p]oyers, whether such employee &r<e jthe $&# pr the individual. The re&e#t .combination tt/jd unanimity of labor is already a felt power, and it only remains for tlie various Unions to set about redressing £i)#ir grievances in the same manner as th<4 Railway Union to ensure a successful issu« i-xj. their favor. The rail- , way Unionists iiave s& /in important ' example which we hope to see followed 1 ia all future labor disputes—a policy

of moderation. The Union has proved, by the respectful and sensible manner in which it has conducted its business with those in authority, that the labor Unions are not composed of the large number of " fire-brands " which many would have the public believe. They are merely combinations of toilers who are engaged in a struggle to obtain fair remuneration for their labor, and, if approached in the proper spirit, their existence will prove a benefit instead of a bar to the public welfare. Of the ultimate satisfactory settlement of the "intermittent labour" difference between the' railway men and the Commissioners there can be little doubt,' as the men have shown a disposition to meet the Commissioners in a reasonable spirit.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900623.2.4

Bibliographic details

The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, JUNE 23, 1890., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2448, 23 June 1890

Word Count
671

The Ashburton Guardian Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, JUNE 23, 1890. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2448, 23 June 1890

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