|"Where daywork conditions obtain the output required of an operative shall be determined by the piecework quantities, if any, corresponding to the wages paid to him. To avoid misunderstanding, it is declared that this provision does not affect the right of an operative to be paid not less than the rate of wages at which he is engaged as a dayworker".
This, the new clause of the new agreement between the National Union of Boot and Shoe Operatives and the Boot Manufacturers Association, was the subject of keen discussion at the ordinary monthly of the Rushden and district branch of the Union on Monday, when criticism of certain employers who were suspected of having paid dayworkers at the standard rate while getting more than a corresponding quantity of work done by them.
Mr. C. Bates presided, supported by the secretary (Mr. W. Langlev, J.P.) and the branch Executive.
On the subject the President reported that investigations had been made, with the result that certain firms had agreed to pay to the quantity statements.
Announced for the first time, the Secretary reported on the award of the umpire with regard to the price to be paid to operatives working the British United side-stapling machine which was 5½d. Per dozen pairs. The price for gumming and boning of welts was to be 1¾d a dozen pairs. The scales were to come into effect in the first full week after Nov. 10th. That had been confirmed by the Arbitration Board and was now in operation. The Board also agreed Mr. Langley reported, at the meeting held on Nov. 20th, on the following statements for men engaged in bottom-stock sorting and fitting up: (1) Men engaged primarily in sorting soles, or in secondary sorting, and fitting up to he paid 15 per cent. above the standard minimum rate; (2) men engaged primarily sorting "throughs", insoles, and middles, or of secondary sorting, and fitting up to he paid 10 per cent. above the standard rate on conditions (a) that no operative already paid a wage in excess of such scales be reduced consequent upon the application of such percentages and (b) that the percentages do not apply to operatives purely counting out bottom stuff. It was announced that a conference of all the delegates who attended the Yarmouth Conference of the Union would be held at Leicester on December 20th to consider the position of the Union in respect to the administration of the Government Unemployment Insurance Act under the new procedure. The new arrangement, it was explained makes it obligatory on the Union administering the Act to pay benefit from their own funds as well, notwithstanding the fact that a member might have exhausted all his Union pay.
The sum which the Act required the Union to pay was to be not less than 6d, per day. In the Boot Operatives’ Union they paid in for only 18s. a week for ten weeks, and the funds of the Union would be drained to the extent of 3s. a week after the tenth week if they administered the Act. The additional sum insisted on by the Act from the Union's own funds would mean the necessity of a considerable increase in the contributions for unemployment benefit or a levy, or both.
The result of the voting for the branch Executive was announced by the secretary as follows: Lasters, Mr. A. Crouch and Mr. W. H. Walker: finishers, Mr. F. T. Short and Mr. T. Whitney: Irthlingborough, Mr. H. Maddison, in the place of Mr. S. Hartwell (resigned).
A grant of £1 1s. was sanctioned for the Salvation Army Christmas Distress Relief Fund. It was stated that 30 pairs of boots had been sent from Raunds to the Rev. R. J. Barker, of Rhondda, the cost (£10 10s.) having been met by £2 10s. from the branch fund and £8 from the central fund.