16 MAY 1931, Page 2

Dock Wages At the meeting, on Tuesday, of the National

Joint Council for Dock Labour, the employers proposed considerable reductions of wages and alterations in working conditions, on the ground of the condition of the industry. Mr. T. E. Bevin will submit the proposals to the Transport and General Workers' Union, and the Council will then meet again on•June 2nd. We- shall be surprised if the Union does not make some reference to another kind of abuse of the Unemployment Fund, by employers who fail to " rationalize " their demand for labour,. and . thus ensure both a large crop of almost " unemployables " and, even in time of the greatest prosperity, a constant drain upon other industries through the Unemployment Fund. The Dock industry is notori- ous in this respect. Dock wages are admittedly high, but the reserve of labour in the industry is also so high that many individual dock labourers are kept, through short time, below or perilously near the subsistence level. Reform cannot be in one direction alone.