Wednesday, 2 March 2016
WARATAH CONCEIVED DURING BAD TIMES.
The Sydney Morning Herald, Monday 27 April, 1908.
SHIPBUILDING LOCKOUT IN
EMPLOYEES DESIRE ARBITRATION.
LONDON, April 25.
The threatened lockout in the shipbuild
yards of the north-east and west
coasts is about to come into operation.
The men balloted on the alternatives
(1) Accept the reduction of Is 6d per week,
or (2) refer the matter to arbitration, and
thence the establishment of conciliation
boards. To the latter alternative the
The ballot was two to one in favour of
arbitration and the establishment of
The employers thereupon adhered to
their ultimatum, and decided to serve
notices of lockout, affecting 80,000 ship-
wrights, joiners, drillers, wood-cutting
machinists, and others in all the ship-
building yards on the north-east and west
On the north-east coast the shipwrights,
joiners, and drillers have been out on strike
since January 21, 3500 men being affected.
The masters, in consequence of the depres
in the trade, declared that all wages
should be reduced by 1s 6d a week for those
on time, and by 5 per cent, for those on
piece. There are about 25 trade unions in
the shipyards, and these all agreed to the
masters' demands but the three mentioned
above The workmen accepting the reduc
number about six-sevenths of those em
in the shipyards. A clear indication
depressed state of the shipbuilding
trade is given by the amount of new ton
under construction on the north-east
coast. The employers base their demands
for a lower wage on the difficulty of secur
the few orders for new ships unless they
are prepared to tender at a figure which, on
the scales of wages in force last year, would
show considerable loss. For a long time
the men declared that the masters were
aggerating the depression, and asked that
they might continue to receive the wages
on the 1906 footing, which were the highest
rates ever earned by the trades on strike.
The boilermakers and others came to terms
with the masters, and very many men
fited by the withdrawal of the lockout no
and are now getting the hulls of new
ships ready for the shipwrights and joiners.
The following figures will show how com
few new orders for ships are
reaching the north-east
centres - the Tyne,
the Wear, the Tees, and the Hartlepool and
Another sign of the depression in trade is
the crowded state of the Tyne between
Shields and Jarrow with vessels laid up for
want of remunerative freights. In some
places steamers with their fires drawn are
moored six abreast.
andrew van rensburg
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