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THE PAINTING TRADE., Issue 7992, 22 August 1889
THE PAINTING TRADE.
TO THE EDITOR. Sir,—l have read with some misgivings the correspondence which has taken place between the Painters' Union and Mr Fish ; and also Mr Fish's letter which appeared in your journal, giving an explanation regarding his action re Exhibition contract. I may say I would not have troubled you with this brief epistle were it not for the fact that Mr Fish has presumed so far as to insult the intelligence of the community by making statements which are at direct variance with fact.
Now, sir, in the specification it is distinctly specified that certain portions of the work are to be distempered, and yet Mr Fish maintains he has only whitewashed it. I think that it would be wasting the shareholders' money to pay Mr Fish, say, 3d per square yard for distempering, when by his own showing he has only whitewashed it. Now, l|d per yard is a fair price for whitewashing, seeing there is such a large quantity ot it to do. Mr Fish surely can distinguish between distempering and whitewashing. I have been forty years at the painting trade as apprentice, journeyman, and employer, and I always understood tinted whiting and size to be distemper, and whiting and water to be whitewash ; also, lime and water is called whitewash. Now, a man will lay over a hundred square yards per day, say at 3d per yard—that will make LI 5s ; 9s per day for wages and 53 for material makes 14s, leaving a fat little profit of 1 Is. iJut, seeing that Mr Fish has got the work done by boys and underpaid men, at an average, say, of 43 per day, that will leave Mr Fish 16s per day of profit on every boy and man employed on the job. So I think that he is making a very good thing out of the Exhibition, although the men have to suffer. He has solved the problem of What shall we do with our boys? Make them whitewashers ! And he has solved it somewhat to his own advantage. But, as he says himself, circumstances alter cases. Mr Fish should not have been permitted to tender for any part of the work, seeing he was chairman of the Building Committee, as no other of the painters oared to tender while he was in that capacity. There is one thing in Mr Fish s letter I agree with, that is men jobbing for themselves when the employers have no work for them. The painters must not expect the trade will be any better until they stop that pernicious system of petty jobbing, for it is quite impossible for the employers to pay 9i per day and compete against thtm, as they are satisfied with 4a or 53 per day when jobbing for themselves. Boy labor will never be done away with until the men stop jobbing. I quite sympathise with Mr Knowles (chairman of the Union) and a number of other good men, for when the wages are lowered they will have to suffer along with the unprincipled members of the trade. —I am, etc., Small Cork. Dunedin, August 19. A NUISANCE. TO THE EDITOR. Sx-r., — X t\AaW ifc is VngH time tlaat tVie Education Board should take some steps to abate the nuisance caused by the continual canvassing of theatrical agents amongst our public schools. There is not a company of strolling minstrels orplayers that come here and hold what they call "a matinee," but persistent efforts are made to induce the children to badger their parents to let them go to see these performers, and notices are given out to the ohildren by their several teachers. It was only last week that two of my children, aged respectively six and seven years, came home and told us that their teacher had informed them that a girl only six years of age was going to act in the theatre ; would we let them go ? Only the week before it wm " Tom Thumb"; and so it goes on from time to time. Now, some parents have conscientious reasons for objecting to their ohildren going to these places; are these objections not to be respected ? I wonder the head-masters do not stop this sort of thing. At any rate I appeal to Mr Fraer and the Hon. Thomas Dick and the members of the Education Board to take some steps to put an end to this thing.— l am, etc., A Pabent. Dunedin, August 19,
THE PAINTING TRADE., Issue 7992, 22 August 1889
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