12 DECEMBER 1931, Page 3

Dockers' Wages Reduced By friendly agreement between the employers and

the trade unions, the wages of dockers throughout the country are to be reduced by 10d. a day from the New Year. The minimum daily wage will then be 11s. 2d. in the larger ports and 10s. 2d. in the smaller ports. No man's weekly rate of pay is to fall below 50s. It must not be assumed that no docker earns less, for the work is uncertain and the numbers of registered dockers, especially on the Thames, are in excess of the labour needed, so that recourse is had, in many cases, to the " dole " to. supplement wages. All the more credit is due to the employers and the union officials for negotiating a friendly settlement. In the New Surrey of London it has been pointed out recently that the privileged position of _the registered dockers makes London a relatively dear port, and is open to attack on purely economic grounds. The wage-rate reduction should tend to ease the situation. We cannot but contrast this amicable and successful and to reduce labour costs with the high-handed and abortive attempt of the master cotton spinners to impose a similar reduction, by longer working hours, without previous consultation with the operatives' unions. * * * *