13 SEPTEMBER 1890, Page 2

Capital is being driven by this epidemic of strikes to

form Unions of its own. A correspondent of the Times, who is obviously well informed, states that the shipowning interests of Great Britain are about next week to register themselves in a vast association, with the view of dealing with labour questions of all kinds, and specially of resisting unjust pressure from Trade-Unions. They will receive information from all ports, establish committees everywhere, and meet combina- tions by enabling shipowners to engage non-Unionist men at higher rates, or by indemnifying them for laying their ships up. They will also pay the expenses of legal prosecutions. As every penny a ton subscribed will yield £20,000, they will have ample funds, and they hope for the adhesion of all Colonial shipowners, if not also for the assistance of all capitalists dependent on the use of shipping. That is a formidable combination, and one which will deal with the men on at least equal terms, perhaps also deal with the public in a way which will not be popular. We have some dread of these vast " Rings," as well as of federated Unions, and should hope more, in the interest of freedom, from another scheme which has long been necessary in trade. This is an immense Union of non-Unionist hands, which shall collect information, help labour to shift where it is wanted, and protect men from being oppressed for taking any wages they please. The " black- legs" once united, the Unionists will soon leave off thrash- ing them for fear of reprisals, and one great source of suffering for the weak will come to an end. The non- Unionists are often a majority, but have to bear all kinds of wrongs because they are without organisation. They have only to offer themselves habitually as special constables, and the struggle would be over.