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Labor Questions


WkLmngtox, October 3. . The Conference was resumed this morning, when Mr Sandford, of the Canterbury Trades and Labor Council, m the course of a lengthy speech, contended tluit the Union Company deliberately, associated themselves with a combination m Australia, whose avowed intention it was to crush Unionism. He thought the true solution of the labor difficulty was to federate, so as to form a Council of two classes,' who could meet and arrive at a settlement of any disputes arising. Mr McLean defended the action of the Shipowners' Association of Australia, and said they had not lifted a finger till attacked. He had everything to say m favor of Unionism, but m the present instance the Unions had ridden the high horse, and gona too far.' He declared that since tho strike the Company were getting,the flower of the young men of New Zealand into tho boats. Many of the officers, cooks, and stewards were returning to the Company, and he challenged Mr Millar to take the embargo off the seamen and firemen, when most of them would'be only too glad to get back to the Company- He thought the great fault m connection with the present trouble lay m the fact that the Union Company had not been brought face to face with the difficulty before extreme measures were resorted to, as some means might have been adopted to avoid the strike. At twelve o'clock the Conference adjourned till 2.30 p.m. The Conference resumed at 2.30, when Mr Millar replied to some of Mr McLean's statements. He admitted the Union Company treated their men well, but the Company would have to look a long way , before they could get such a fine body of meu m their employ as they had before the strike commenced, so that really there was no indebtedness on either side m this rospect. As to the men going back, he (Mr Millar) could assure Mr McLean they would never go back with his sanction until a settlement of the difficulty was effected. There was no doubt as to the quantity of free laborers coming forward to assist the Union Company m the crisis, but he could not say very much for their quality. A good portion of / hose who had joined the sendee at the present juncture had previously been dismissed for drunkenness, while many of them the Company had previously refused to take on. Mr McLean positively denied this assertion. Mr Millar then touched on the question of free labor, and said members of Unions had no right to sacrifice themselves .to non.Union labor, for the latter were certainly m the minority, and they ought, therefore, to bow to the majority. He 'believed the dispute could be settled to-morroAV ; but m order to do so, the Company must admit the principle that every Society was entitled to enter into any affiliation it chose. He suggested that, m order to put matters m practical form, three or four delegates should talk over the situation with Mr McLean and see whether there was any probability of coming to a settlement. Mr McLean said he certainly could Hot concede one point raised by Mr Millar, and that was the right of the Marine Officers' Association to affiliation. After some discussion-Mr F. Meyer moved that a deputation consisting, of Messrs Winter, Brown, Sandford, Millar, Fisher, and Lomas should confer with Mr McLean for the purpose of arriving at an arrangement, and report as e^rly as possible. This was carried, and the Conference adjourned till Monday at ten a.m. ' '

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Bibliographic details

Labor Questions, Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2535, 4 October 1890

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Labor Questions Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2535, 4 October 1890

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