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THE INDUSTRIAL OUTLCOK AT HOME.

At the Trade Union Congress at Birmingham en September 7 the president (Mr J. Y. Steven?) delivered the inaugural address, in which he contrasted the position of the working classes now with what it was when the Congress last met at Birmingham. In the interval mucn progress had been made alike in national and local matters in the interest and for the wellbeing of the workers. They, as trade unionists, declared that those who worked had a right to live. If it were so, it was their duty, by all legitimate means, to endeavor to establish for all workere, male and female, a living wage. None willing and able to give honest work for the benefit of the community in a land of plenty should for a single moment have any anxiety as to how they were going to exist. They believed it possible to remove much of the misery and privation that now prevails through low wages, long hours, and the bad condition under which men and women had to work, and rainy other evils which surrounded the lives of the workers. ."It"was"toalter thit state of affairs that they justified their existencs as.trade organisations.

THE ENGINEERING DISPUTE. ; They had had many object-lessons during the past twelve months that seemed to demind the absolute necessity of a closer unity of trade unions throughout the United Kingdom. Recent events proved it was impossible for individuals to demand what was just and fair by their own strength and efforts. It was also impossible for individual societies to stand the strain that from time to time was imposed on them in resisting the forces that had recently been brought into play against ttom. There was tho action of Lord Penrhynfresh in the memory of all present. Tney all rejoiced to know that struggle was now over, and were proud of the grand defence made by their trade union qomrades in gallant little Wales for the rights of combination. Another illustration of the attempt of combined capital to weaken and cripple the forces of labor was instanced in the engineers' lock-out now in progress. Here they had one of the beßt-organisea and mos? powerful combinations in-the world in the throes of a great struggle with a powerful combination of capital; and it was certain, if the struggle was prolonged, that tho engineers would have to appeal throughout the country to their fellow trade unionists for help, and that help must be given, as under no circumstances could they allow the be defeated. ''l';3&Svorkkr's war chest.

He hoped the trade federations now in existence would be the forerunners of a grand federation of all trades throughout the United Kingdom, which would create a pool to which all might contribute, and into •which/all who contributed should have a right to dip in times of need, not as a charity but as a right. The latest campaign adopted by the federation of employers in the engineering trade made it imperative if they were to live as trade unionists that some schema of this kind should be adopted. As capital had started the ball they must be prepared to play the game, and they could not complain if labor should at any time enter the field and challenge them with their own.weapons. But, as a man of peace, he trusted that better counsel would prevail on both sides, aud that the matter would be settled by reason. A I.EGAL EIGHT-HOTJBS DAY. He advocated the establishment of an eight-hours day by law, as the result of voluntary efforts had been, very small. A larger representation of the working, classes in Parliament would do much good, and they ought .to be able to hold the'balance of power between the two great political parlies. As the means of obtaining a larger share of the representation, workers must be prepared to pay and support their representatives. In conclusion, he said that the future of labor was in the hands of the workers. Let them stand together shoulder to. shoulder on the grand basis of progress, development, and. reform, with courage to go forward as the worthy sons, of their forefathers, and worthy of the traditions of their countrymen.—(Cheers.)

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD18971030.2.40.6

Bibliographic details

THE INDUSTRIAL OUTLCOK AT HOME., Issue 10458, 30 October 1897, Supplement

Word Count
701

THE INDUSTRIAL OUTLCOK AT HOME. Issue 10458, 30 October 1897, Supplement

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