13 AUGUST 1859, Page 2

The employers and operatives in the building trade are now

fairly aux prises. The men having refused to sign the docu- ment, the employers have locked them out. The leaders of the men sit in Conference, and the employers sit in Conference also. A vigorous paper war is carried on in the journals, and " architects " and others intervene on each side. There has been some talk of mediation, several suggestions of a compromise, one based on payment by the hour, instead of payment by the day,—that looks reasonable. The real question, however, has now got beyond rates of wages : it has become an internecine struggle between the employers and the leaders of the men, and the prize con- tended for is whether the societies shall continue to interfere with the conditions of labour, limiting employment to their own members, and insisting on the observance of certain rules, or whether the contract shall be free as between employer and em- ployed. The men are striving to maintain their system of dic- tation and tyranny, and the masters striving to break up the combination. Probably no signs of giving way will be visible on either side until the " funds " of the men and the capital of the masters have materially suffered.