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THE LABOR CONFERENCE.

Wellington, October 2. The Conference resumed m the afternoon. '.■',. - ii The Chairman read a letter from the Premier to the effect that the Government did not think the presence of the Railway Commissioners would facilitate the settlement of the difficulty. The requests for their attendance at the Conference had, however, been forwarded to the Commissioners, leaving the matter to their own t discretion. , • « Mr Ansell (Amalgamated Miners and Laborers' Association), contended that the laboring classes on the West Coast had not been benefited by the Union Company obtaining control over certain mines. The great objection to working with nonUnionists was that there was danger m allowing unskilled labor m such places. Mr W. Bols (Greymouth Laborers Union) spoke of the danger to travellers on the Union Steamship Company s steamers while they were not properly manned, as at present. Mr P. Brown (Lyttelton Wharf Laborers' Association) expressed the hope that the Conference wonld put an end to the difficulty, as it was doing great harm to both sides. Captain Highman said he regretted that the Employers' Associations m the colony had shown great discourtsey by not being represented at the Conference. He was glad the Union Company was an honorable exception. He defended the notion of fcKe Officers' Union affiliating with the Maritime Council, about which too much capital had been made. He maintained that since this affiliation a better state of feeling had existed between officers and men, and the majority of officers have determined not to go back to work with non-unionists, and this decision was arrived at on the broad principle governing unionism. After some conversation as to the assertion of Mr McLean that there was no quarrel m the colony, which was contradicted by several members, Mr Millar remarked that if this was the case the Conference was useless. MrLomas spoke shortly. He argued that the miners could not have clone anything else but affiliate with the seamen. The miners had no personal feeling, and if the Union and other companies' boats worked with Union labor they would go back directly on the old terms. The question really lay between the Union Steamship Company, the officers and seamen. He deprecated the representatives from the West Coast taking a prominent part m the debate. He would gladly prefer that Unions should break down altogether than that Union men should conBent to go and work with free laborers. Mr Hoban commented strongly on the absence of employers from the Conference, which he considered discreditable. The fact of employees being represented showed that they were anxious to put an end to the trouble, although employers wanted to place the blame for its continuance on the other side. He argued that the Union Company had allied themselves with other combinations pledged to crush Unionism, and TJnionists had /therefore the right to ask their friends to stand by them and fight the battle to the end. Mr Winter (Railway Servants Association) held that the present strike had been caused % the employers. It was premeditated. Mr Sanford moved the adjournment of the Conference till ten o'clock the followingday. Before the motion was put the Chairman read a letter from the Premier, enclosing a memo from Mr M'Kerrow, stating that as the Commissioners considered they should preserve perfect neutrality m trade disputes, they must decline to attend the Conference. The Conference then adjourned until to-morrow*

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18901003.2.17

Bibliographic details

THE LABOR CONFERENCE., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2534, 3 October 1890

Word Count
565

THE LABOR CONFERENCE. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2534, 3 October 1890

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