Page 7, 17th March 1950

17th March 1950
Page 7
Page 7, 17th March 1950 — PASTORAL WORK IN FACTORIES

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By DOUGLAS HYDE INDUSTRIAL chaplains doing pastoral work in factories and "priest workers " of the sort already well known to Catholics are among the means of Christianising industry suggested in "Christian Responsibility in Industry," a pamphlet published by the British Council of Churches.

The British Council or Churches organises the majority• of non-Catholic Christian bodies.

The pamphlet, which has been issued for use by study groups and others also recommends the "cell method" of work in industry for which the Y.C.W. has become well

known and suggests that they should be " interdenominational."

Also of interest to Catholics is a reference to co-partnership which, whilst not directly recommending it, deals with it as follows : "Some consider that co-partnership within single undertakings is the best way to secure that participation in responsibility which is our avowed aim. A number of experiments have been made in this direction and various methods adopted for securing workers' representation. Serious attention ought to be given to the results of these experiments."


Indicative also of the post-war trend towards greater responsibility for the worker in industry is a handbook, "Joint Consultation in Industry," published by the Ministry of Labour.

It is a record of the strides made towards ipdustrial democracy during and since the last war, told in the form of details of the nearly fifty industries in which joint consultation is now operating on an industry basis and the agreements and model constitutions which are in operation.

The need of a cooperative approach by both employers and workpeople if such schemes are to succeed is brought out clearly in the introduction in which we read : " The foundation of successful joint consiltation is willingness on the part of management to treat their employees collectively as an intelligent and responsible force in the undertaking, able to play their part in the more efficient performance of the work, and to make their contribution to the solution of the problems of common interest which arise.

"Where this attitude is sincerely adopted by the management, it calls forth a corresponding spirit of interest and cooperation from the workers."

New spirit

That view, ex pressed by the Ministry of Labour, is based on experience of varying forms of joint consultation operating in most of the major industries throughout the country.

How far the modern approach to worker-employer relationships has advanced on the old conception of the class-war as fought by both workers and employers is shown by the following :

"While practical suggestions for improvements in methods of production, or in organisation, will he, in themselves, of the greatest value, the most important and permanent advantage to be gained from successful joint consultation is the improvement of relations between management and employees within the undertak ing,

To achieve this aim it is not sufficient merely to secure the establishment of joint consultative machinery; that machinery must embody the intention and determination of the parties to make it a success. The existence of this spirit must in its turn spring from mutual confidence."

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