HC Deb 17 May 1916 vol 82 cc1530-1
104. Mr. BYRNE

asked the Minister of Munitions whether his attention has been drawn to the recent prosecution under the Munitions Act of sixty-three carpenters in Dublin who went on strike for an increase in their wages of 2d. per hour; if he is aware that the men's trade union served the masters' federation with notice by letter for this increase in December, 1915; that the masters' federation ignored the trade union's letter and did not reply for ten weeks; that the masters' federation refused to deal with the trade union's solicitor; that carpenters engaged in making munitions boxes in controlled shops were not interfered with; that the men prosecuted were not supplied with war badges and were not engaged specially for munitions-box making, portion of their time being spent on ordinary building work having nothing to do with munitions work of any sort; that the carpenters' trade union notified the Board of Trade on the 26th March that they were demanding an increase in wages; and that members of the masters' federation have expressed opinions that they would not have Board of Trade interference; whether he has seen the Board of Trade Return which states that the cost of food has increased 48 per cent.; if so, what steps will he take to compel the masters' federation to arbitrate on the men's demands for this increase in their Wages; and if he is aware that the men's trade union accepted an invitation from the Board of Trade to arbitrate?


My right hon. Friend's attention has been drawn to the dispute referred to by my hon. Friend. I am informed that a prosecution was undertaken by the employers, but that both parties to the dispute agreed within the past few days to leave all differences to the determination of an arbitrator agreed upon by them. I am further informed that the arbitrator has now made an award and it has been accepted by both parties.