PROBLEM OF DUST IN FACTORIES.
The question of dust in factories is re- ceiving the attention of the Manufactur- ing Grocers' Union, states the Federal secretary (Mr. F. J. Riley) in a com- munication from Melbourne. Complaints are received of the prevalence of dust in some factories, he states, and of the urg- ent need for more hygienic methods of dust prevention. Industrial dust is the chief subject of discussion at all medical conferences called to discuss industrial hygiene. The report of the second con- ference of medical experts convened by thc Commonwealth Government to dis- cuss industrial hygiene held in Melbourne in 1924 states:-"Dust is the greatest enemy of mankind, and calls for every effort to remove it from the air breathed in the workroom. The air of the work- place, and particularly that breathed, should be free from visible particles of dust when viewed in any direction in an
illumination of not less than one foot candle at any point. In all dusty pro- cesses the provision of mechanical de- vices to carry off the dust and prevent it entering the air of the workroom is essential. This exhaust ventilation should be effected at a point as near as practicable to where the dust, fumes, etc., are generated, and the air should be away from the worker."
The union intends to take action in the matter.
ARBITRATION COURT DELAY.
A conference has been held with the Victorian executive of the union and Mr. W. G. Clough (secretary of the South Australian branch). Mr. Clough stated
that the South Australian members were very dissatisfied with the progress made in getting before the Federal Arbitration Court. Unrest existed, he said, owing to
the basic rate fixed for South Australia being 1s. a week lower than the figure fixed for the city of Adelaide according to the figures of the Commonwealth Sta- tistician. Another grievance was the practice of one large firm in closing down over Christmas without making payment for the days the factory was closed. The union had made several attempts to have this matter righted, but had failed. The Court was looked to for redress. Mr. Clough further stated that the industry in South Australia was working full time.
Mr. Riley reported that the log of claims now before the Arbitration Court would in all probability be heard early in November.
PRINTING TRADE IN U.S.A.
Writing from New York to a member of the printing trade in Hobart, Mr. Charles Francis (president of the United Typothatic of America) states that when the unions were in their infancy in Am- erica nearly every newspaper had a "job" office, and newspaper compositors com- prised from 60 to 70 per cent. of all the compositors in the city. The introduc- tion of the linotype had had the effect of reversing this. In New York now there were about 9,000 compositors-3,000 in newspapers and 6,000 in printing offices. Newspaper compositors (or linotype operators, as they would be called in Aus- tralia) had formulated shop rules, which they wished to be made general, but the rules were unsuitable to printing offices. It was now proposed, added Mr. Francis, that the two groups should formulate separate sets of rules.
The master printers and the unions, continued Mr. Francis, negotiate all agreements on the plan which he inaugu- rated in 1900 in New York, by consulta- tion, conciliation, and arbitration. While there were troubles sometimes the two sections got along fairly well with friend- ly relationships existing.
Mr. Francis was in Hobart about two years ago.
For several weeks an inter-union feud has been in progress on a contract at the Greyhound Hotel, Swan-street, Rich- mond, Melbourne, and in consequence the work has been stopped since August 24. The Builders' Labourers' Union refused to permit its members to load drays, the owners of which did not belong to the Tip-dray Carters' Association, despite the fact that the carters employed were members of the Carters' and Drivers' Union. The Building Trades Federation had resolved that the work should be gone on with in view of the fact that there was no clash with trade union prin- ciples. The work was then resumed, but on the following day it was again stopped by direction of the Builders' Labourers' Union. The Trades-hall indus- trial disputes committee intervened, without success. At a meeting of the Trades-hall Council it was resolved that the disputes committee be authorised to convene a conference of all unions involv- ed in the dispute, with the object of
endeavouring to effect a settlement of the trouble, which has resulted in work hav- ing been suspended for five weeks.
Mr. R. Penfold, State secretary of the Baking Trades Union of Tasmania, has received information to the effect that a bill to prohibit the baking of bread for sale between the hours of 9 o'clock in the evening and 8 o'clock in the morning has been introduced in the West Australian Legislative Assembly. The principles in- corporated in the bill, said Mr. Penfold, were those which had been affirmed by the International Congress at Geneva and issued in the form of a draft convention. lt was an obligation upon each Govern- ment to introduce legislation giving ef- fect to the principles set out in these draft conventions within one year of their receipt. In this respect he thought Aus- tralia stood in a very bad light when compared with other countries. The first obligation was to live up to the condi- tions under which Australia entered the League of Nations.