The resistance of the operatives to the proposals . or the
Lancashire cotton spinners and manufacturers is as determined as we expected it would be. It is most. unfortunate that the employers should have proposed. to increase working hours beyond the standard of .the. Washington Convention and to reduce wages at. the- very, time when some of the most thoughtful leaders or other industries are attempting, under the leadership. of Sir Alfred Mond, to map out a new way of life for industry in general. The proposal of the cotton spinners and manufacturers to revive the shift that used to work. before breakfast is plainly a step backwards. They have to grapple with over-production, and .their remedy, is the remedy of the coal owners. - The operatives very naturally point out that wages account for a compara- tively small proportion of the price of cotton • goods; and they demand that since it is admitted that. the the whole cotton industry sorely needs reorganization this reorganization should precede attempts to reduce costs' by cutting. wages and lengthening hours. Conceivably- in- the end it will be -impossible to pay the .present wages, but that remains to be proved.