5 MARCH 1921, Page 24

The Campbell Strike. (Halifax : Campbell Gas Engine Company. Free

on application.)—This third edition of corre- spondence and articles relating to the strike of 1919 in the works of the Campbell Gas Engine Company deserves to be widely circulated and carefully read. A more discreditable strike never took place. It was caused by Mr. Campbell's decision to train five young ex-soldiers, all volunteers, three of whom had been wounded while a fourth had been taken prisoner. The Amal- gamated Engineering Union objected to the employment of ex- soldiers on various pretexts, and, with other unions, compelled Mr. Campbell's old workmen to leave his service. The Ministry of Labour tried vainly to induce the ex-soldiers to resign their posts. Mr. Campbell then invited ex-Service men to oome and be trained as turners, fitters, machinemen, and so forth. He also offered to re-employ any of his former workmen. By the end of 1919 he had about 800 ex-Service men at work ; four out of five of them were new to the engineering trade, but they worked well. The factory has since been conducted, with success, as a non-society shop. In May last Mr. Whitley arranged a conference between the firm and the strikers' delegates, but the strikers refused the very generous terms accepted on their behalf. Last October the Amalgamated Engineering Union proposed to seek a compromise. In November all the unions concerned declared the strike at an end with the exception of the ironfounders' society, all the unions decreed that their members might work for the Campbell Gas Engine Company. But the company maintained its decision never again to employ trade unionists, " because of the increased production and more satisfactory working and greater harmony " now prevailing in the factory. The ex-soldiers who have been trained and given permanent employment are to be congratulated. But the trade unions ought to have been the first to help instead of hindering them.