26 JULY 1919, Page 3

Many of the engine-drivers on the North-Eastern Railway struck last

week, causing great inconvenience and loss to the Industrial districts which the railway serves. The pretext for this strike was the suspension of ten drivers who had failed to pass the eyesight test very properly imposed by the company. The test had been arranged by the company after consultation with the two railwaymen's Unions, and the larger Union promptly ordered its members to remain at work while the matter was being discussed. The North-Eastern railwaymen, however, repudiated the authority of the Union and followed their own Strike Committee. Last Saturday Sir Auckland Geddes offered to establish an official eyesight test within a month, and con- strained the North-Eastern Company to withdraw its own test and reinstate the ten drivers. The railwaymen thereupon returned to work. From the public standpoint such a " settle- ment " is deplorable. It means, in plain Peglish, that for the time being a driver who cannot- distinguish a red from a green' light is to be allowed to drive a passenger train because, if he is transferred to other duties, his comrades will again strike.