21 NOVEMBER 1908, Page 32


[To THE Eorroa OF THE "SPECTATOR.] SIR,—A letter signed " Lancastrian " appears in your issue of November 14th in which the writer asserts that the Friendly Society of Ironfounders "fine their members for doing too much work." Will your correspondent kindly point out any rule or words in the list of fines in the rule-book of the above Society justifying that statement ? No man is entitled to relief out of the funds of this Society who leaves work on his own account ; he must be able to show that he has been dis charged honourably. Should any member protest that an "unreasonable day's work" was being forced upon him, he would be called upon to provide the fullest possible proof to show that it really was unreasonable ; and in the event of his failing to do so, lie would lose all claim to assistance, and be subject to a fine for making a frivolous complaint. The rules further state that no member shall receive assistance "'who is discharged through intemperance, disorderly conduct, or neglect of work." Surely such a Society is a help to every employer who seeks to establish a sane discipline in the work- shop, who studies the interests of his workpeople as well as himself, and is satisfied with a fair day's work for a fair day's wage. This Society does all it possibly can to avoid strikes, and strongly favours the appointment of "Conciliation Boards" for the purpose of settling disputes by arbitration.