STRIKERS AND STRIKES ONE of the most stupid remarks I have ever heard of during a strike was made by a dock strike leader to a reporter on Sunday last. Commenting on Mr. Isaacs' Saturday night broadcast, the docker said that if they had known previously that the Canadian Seamen's Union was Communist-dominated they would not have come out on strike.
The fact that this union was controlled by Reds appeared in the Press some two weeks ago. Also, officials of the Transport and General Workers' Union had been telling the striking dockers this since the Bristol men came out. It is hard to understand the mentality of those who get taken in by such fruitless strike methods.
The Daily Worker. of course, is livid at the thought that the Cornmunist Party is being blamed for encouraging the unofficial strikers. Facts, however, show that there has not been one major unofficial strike since the "cold war ' started that the Communist organ has not supported either officially or indirectly. Another important point to remember over the dock strike is the position of the London dockers. It was said that they did not support their Bristol, Avonmouth and Liverpool workmates, because they did not agree with the purpose of the strike.
I discovered last week, however, that when the London dockers were asked to give their support, it was touch and go. What swayed the Londoners was the fact that in a previous dispute, Avonmouth dockers had worked on ships which had been diverted from London docks, The elephant never forgets.
One more important item on the same subject. There is an election
for a new general secretary of the Stevedores' Union taking place and among those nominated for the job is a very prominent leader of the famous 1945 dock strike. Needless to say what party he favours. We can only hope that Catholic mem• bers of the Stevedores' Union use their vote to alter the anticipated result.
TRAINING WORKERS HERE is something more cheerful and constructive. The decision of the National Union of General and Municipal Workers to send some of their officers and shop stewards on a trial run course in motion study and other industrial techniques has been followed by similar action on the part of the Transport and General Workers' Union, who have arranged a course of four Saturday morning lectures for their engineering shop stewards in the vicinity of Birmingham. Here experts will talk on the purpose and application of job study methods and engineering agreements.
At Birmingham, too. and at Manchester, courses on these subjects and on the wider questions of industrial management are now available to workpeople's representatives through technical colleges in those cities.
Similar action is slowly taking place in other parts of the country, and I suggest that trade unionists find out more about it from the union branches.
All this is the genuine side of the trade union movement. I only hope that every effort will be made to bring up such constructive subjects at union branches rather than the usual political topics which won't make any contribution towards education in working life.
Finally. in this matter, take advantage of every offer made in furthering our education, Unless we know something about our particular im dustry, in addition to the ordinary working side, we will never be fitted to take up our proper part in management. This type of education is free—what more could we ask?
ACTU SECRETARY I AM getting quite a bit of corres
pondence concerning the starting of ACTU branches. I cannot cope with many requests, so will readers please contact either their own diocesan secretary or the Liaison Committee Secretary, Mr. R. C. Whyte. 38 Victoria Avenue, Hillingdon, Middlesex.
Your own parish should know the diocesan secretary, so ask for his address I received a note from a correspondent this week to say that ACTU is to be started on the " Rock " at Gibraltar—it certainly is spreading.
ACTU—PROFESSIONALS ABRANCH of ACTU for mem bars of Unions. Giulds or Associations of professional workers, in Central London, is in the process of being formed.
Any Journalists. scientific workers, Civil Servants, Bank and Insurance officials who are interested should contact John Topliss, 80, Albany Mansions, Albert Bridge Road, London S.W.11.
,I have heard it suggested that there may be certain dangers in separating professional workers who might make a particular contralti. lion to leadership in the life of he ordinary parish branch of ACTU.
There seems to me to be too much separation of the various grades of workers. What do readers think ?