THE LABOR MOVEMENT
Brief contributions on matters with reference to the Labor Movement are invited.
The. Dunedin Labor Representation | Committee have wisely decided not to ( contest all the local electorates at the I forthcoming election. The. arrangement, | with the Liberal partv. if I understand it rightly, is (hat Labor will support the Liberal candidates in Dunedin West and Dunedin South, while the Liberals, as a party T will support tho Labor candidates in Dunedin Central and Dunedin North. If both parties carry out this undertaking loyally there should be no difficulty in returning Messrs Walker. Munro, and Sidey and probably Mr Johnston as well. Whenever the workers of Dunedin as a partv have taken up seriously the question of returning parliamentary candidates they have be'Ui successful. It might be said that the workers are not unanimous on this occasion, but I think it will be found that any dissension there mav be is of a very trivial nature. Mr Sidey, present member for, Dunedin South, has in the past been a i good supporter of the workers’ interests both inside and outside of Parliament. Air Johnston is a worker and may be relied upon to favor Labor s nisi. claims. * * * * «• * * THE ENGLISH FEDERATION OF UNIONS, The annual conference of the General ! Federation of Trades Unions was held in Liverpool during the first days of July. There were present 120 delegates, Bros Baumrister. of Berlin, represent iug the Inlenintional Federation of Trades Unions ; Anderson on behalf of the J.L.P.. and j Seddon as representative of the Parks- j mentarv Committee of the Trades Union | Congress. ’Hie representatives of the International, in response' to a, special request, delivered a long address dealing with a series of Trades Union institutions, arrangements, ami practices on the. Continent. The. value of this address was clearly shown in the. discussions which followed, when the Continental examples, whi.-h had been brought forward, were repeatedly quoted. According to the annual report which was presented bv the secretary, Mr W. A. Appleton, there are ]56 trade unions, with a. total membership of 967,257, or about, one-third of tho organised trade, unionists of Great Britain, affiliated in the General Federation. The Federation is in reality an organisation for strike reinsurance purposes. During the past few veers, however, it has extended its sphere of activity. On tho basis of the National Insurance Act it has established a special insurance department, which already has 155,000 members. Last, year it- founded its own life insurance department, and within four months over 2,000 policies were issued. Since the beginning of this year the Federation has issued a monthly bulletin, ‘The Federationist,’ which has already developed into an excellent medium of information concerning the Trades Union Movement at home and abroad. The financial report showed a marked improvement although the funds at present amount to £20,000 only, whereas, in 1903 the funds amounted to £160,000. During recent- years the funds have been almost entirely absorbed by the many strikes which have been conducted. Tba greater part of the time of the conference was therefore taken np by discussion of ways and means of improving tho financial position. The most pleasing development in the English movement is the increasing recognition of the necessity of fundamental reform. and this recognition is responsible for tho hearty manner in which the invitation sent by tho German Commission asking that trade union officials be sent to Berlin by the English Trades Union Federation in order to study the trades union movement on the Continent has been accepted. The first group is to spend a week in the middle of September in Hamburg and Berlin in order to learn something of the institutions and practices of the German trades unions. It is for the same purpose—that of arriving at a mutual understanding—that an agreement has been arrived at between the International Federation of Trades Unions in Berlin and the Buskin Labor College in Oxford. The college will send every three month? a student to Berlin, who will be engaged in the international office, and at the same lime be given an opportunity of thoroughly studying the German and international movement. Tho above aio extracts from the ‘ Internal ionnl Nows Letter’ of Jnly 21. It will lie noticed that arrangements were made jVr the visits of English trade union official? to Hamburg and Berlin to learn something ol German trades union methods and practice.. ’Of eonrse. those visits would not fake place, hut instead the union members in both countries may be facing each other mi tho battlefield. x ***** * THE ’VAR OF THE WORKERS. It i- marvellous tho number of ways in which the worker is nfleeted by the war. Net milv are thousands thrown out of cmplnvineilt, but those who are fortunate enough to retain their employment find it difficult to malm cuds meet on account of tile enormous rise in the price of foodstuff?. In Australia the war is responsible for delaying the publication of the S\ dr.ey Labor daily, ‘The World.’ ’‘With considerable regret," says tho ‘Australian Worker.’ “the" director of the Sydney Labor daily have to announce that war developments will delay the, publication of ‘The World.’ When war was declared nearly the whole of the machinery was on the water, and the directors naturally base had an anxious time since. When it was decided in February last to prepare for publication the, director? recognised (hat, everything would require to work smoothly to allow of the paper getting out by November. as all the larger machines bad to he built. They, however, were aide to | make special arrangements to secure exI pedilion. and under norma! conditions everything would have been ready. As it i?. cue large press is in Bydney, and the other wl!! bo here in a few day?. Early last week word was received that some of the linotypes were hrM up. and on Friday a r;jV>!e was ivcr-iv'-d stating that tin- large motors -which were eonuiig from New York via San ITanciseol could not he pot to Sydney to time. This mean? that tho directors *< on!d not keep to their original starting date i u November, hut they state that everything po=sih)e will be done to minimise'the delay and to overcome, the dinh’iikie? in the way M (he paper starting." ******* NOTES
la ‘Science Progress.’ it is elated fhat there is a. movement on f>/t to form a union in England of the junior members of university staffs—demonstrators, research workers. and lecturers below the rank of professor with the object of improving the mat/'riel conditions of their employment-. ‘ Science Progress' mention* a case of a London graduate with first class honors who works two or three days n week as a demonstrator, gives two courses of pos!> graduate lectures, and docs other work, rind who receives for all this the magnificent salary of £SO a year!—mi toll less than most unskilled laborers will work for. •* * » •Some workers lock on their union as a slot machine. They think that by nutting in half a crown a month, 50 shillings a year, for instance, an eight-hour day and an increased wage scale will automatically roll out. A union is not a thing itself. Mon talk about their union as if it were something separate, distinct, and apart from themselves. They growl about the union. They bemoan its shortcomings and overlook entirely their obligations and their failures They fail to see that thoy themselves are the union, and only as they live and talk and act as union men will the union prosper and be what it was intended for —simply an instrument to make possible the collective action of the workers.—The * Toronto Lance. • Until on the ruins of the last tenement a happy homo is built. Until the lari slum colony gives way to a public playground. Until the last soup-house lias fallen in decay. Until th* last poor house is a
vacant curiosity. Until the last child .slave is taken from factory and shop and returned to Gchoolhouse and home. Until the last cry for bread iT forgotten. Until the word charity is unknown. Until poverty 3s banished. Until the «on o! Mao is free—free—free. Until then, the organised workers will not give up the fight. I was dragged to gaol a union man. lam at my desk again. With faith reborn and enthusiaism rekindled, I enter the place I left in the ranks, happy and proud that T am a worker, anxious and eager to fight ride by side with my brothers until we, tins work irs, come into our own.—H. M. Titcbcncr. * * * Palestine.—We lake the following from tho ‘ Nouer Weg Strikes and other economic struggles have been taking place in Palestine, the land of the first Christians. Latterly v<u-y serious agricultural workers’ strikes have taken place in which the employ,us nave acted just as they do in the so-called more civilised countries, and have used hunger, the boycott, and organised strikebreakers in order to force the workers back to their work. It is interesting that tlie most- backward Arabian workers have laken part in this strike. The first of May is celebrated more and more in Palestine. Tins year big mectI ings. socia l evenings, and concerts were | held in a, number of towns and colonies where the Jewish workers live. Tho stop page of work on this occasion is said to have been almost general. The comrades who worked gave their day’s wages to the striking agricultural workers. A Jewish Workers’ Secretariat is engaged at the pus sent time- in Jaffa organising the municipal workers. * * * The following essay was written by a. 12-yr-ar-old boy in a Victorian Stale school:—‘Liberal and Labor: The Liberals are the people that- deal justly with all classes and people. They are mostly tlm rich people, the landholder and tho learned people. These nr« tho people wo should have in Parliament, because they are more learned that tiro Labor class. The La-borites are the people that, when their party is in power, will have their wages more than they earn. The Labor party iu England axe in league with the suffragettes ; they axe women who want to vote; they are very narrow-minded, because they injure other people as well as the Government.. They go about the streets with banners on which they put ‘Voles for Women.’ Geography: China is north of Australia; it has about A 0,000,030 people; its capital is Peking. Some of the Chinese arc very ignorant; but the Chinese in Australia aao very busy people. Australia's greatest enemy is China, because it has a bigger axmy than ■Australia, That is why tire young boys have to learn to become soldiers. That is about (he only good thing the Labor party did for all the classes of people.”
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THE LABOR MOVEMENT, Evening Star, Issue 15650, 14 November 1914