LESS POLITICS AT the first congress of the Free Confederation of Labour Organisation of Italian Christian Democrat Trade Unions, which was held in Rome recently, over 1,000 delegates,
1.500,000 Catholic workers attended. Although many foreign delegations were present. the British Trades Union Congress was conspicuously absent.
I am informed that the
sends delegates only to Social Democrat trades union congresses. This sounds farcical when we realise the Support given to trade unions in this country by Catholic workers. I think one of the reasons for this policy is that the T.U.C. leaders have forgotten their real mission in life and have become steeped in politics. T must not be misunderstood if I say that they seem to have adopted a line which makes them ignore anything which has not got a distinct " Labour Party " flai our.
Many workers in this country, and millions on the continent arc not Labour Party or Socialist supporters, but that does not mean that they should be excluded from the comradeship and friendly contact of the T.U.C. The majority are working towards the Same ends as the ordinary rank and file members of the unions comprising the T.U.C., even if their political thought be different.
Can one wonder if workers in other countries become suspicious of the real motives of the leaders of the British T.U.C. It seems as if a "party line " comes first before cooperation. No real international solidarity among workers can be achieved this way.
What I have said above is important, because of the forthcoming Free World Labour Conference, which will be held in London at the end of this month. A new world organisation of trade unions is being set up, and the support of all workers of good will is necessary if it is to succeed. The T.U.C. at least should give an example.
UNEMPLOYMENT THE recent figures issued on the number of unemployed persons registered for employment on October 10. show an increase of 32,400 unemployed. This should not unduly alarm anyone as it is due to the usual seasonal fluctuations. Other interesting figures issued by
(Continued in next column) (Continued from preceding column) the Ministry of Labour show that the total working population of the country increased by over 25,000, caused mainly by the entry of schoolleavers into the employment field.
There was an increase of those employed in the manufacturing industries of 29,000, and in professional, financial and other services there was a decrease of 9.000. Workers are still leaving the mining industry and recruitment in this Sphere has not come up to expectations.
WAGES CLAIMS A MITT four million workers are
affected by an appeal this week by the T.U.C. calling for a halt to wages claims until the General Council statement on the economic crisis and wages restraint is made.
It has taken nearly seven weeks since develuation for the union leaders to mike up their minds and no one quite knows whether the current claims will go into cold storage.
Workers affected include engineers and shipbuilders, who are demanding a eJ a week increase: railwayrnen, who want a £5 a week minimum wage, and miners, who seek a new cost-of-living bonus for est Javver paid workers.