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classes or persons -
Working arrangements
Trade unionism
Other causes -


10,427

18,976

19,573

2,568


10,524

23,185

11,531

3,134


11,436

19,849

25,489

273


7,822

13,609

17,602

817


Grand total -


138,058


135,145


111,437


116,824


93,515



* Compiled from the Annual Reports on Strikes and Lock-
outs.

■\ Examples of the classification of the causes of strikes
and lockouts will be found in the Report on Strikes and
Lockouts for 1903, pp. 122-4;



INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES.



15



TABLE SHOWING THE CAUSES OF DISPUTES IN THE
UNITED KINGDOM AND THE PERCENTAGE OF
THE TOTAL NUMBER OF WORKMEN DIRECTLY
AFFECTED BY THEM, 1899-1903.*



Principal Cause.


Percentage of Total Number of
Workpeople directly affected
by Disputes beginning in :




1899


1900


1901


1902


1903


Wages - - - -
Hours of labour
Employment of particu-
lar classes or persons
Working arrangements -
Trade unionism -
Other causes


68
3

6

13

4

6


61

1

8
14
14

2


53
4

9
21
10

3


49
3

10

17

21




53
4

8
15
19

1


Total -


100


100


100


100


100



* Calculated from figures compiled from the Annual Reports
on Strikes and Lockouts.

TABLE SHOWING THE PERCENTAGE OF THE TOTAL
NUMBER OF DISPUTES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
DUE TO DIFFERENT CAUSES, 1899-1903.t





Percentage of the Total Number




of Disputes due to different




Causes in :




Principal Cause.


















1899


1900


1901


1902


1903


Wages


64


67


63


60


60


Hours of labour -


2


1


5


5


4


Employment of particu-












lar classes or persons -


14


15


13


13


14


Working arrangements


10


9


11


14


15


Trade unionism


6


7


6


7


6


Other causes


4


1


2


1


1


Total


100


100


100


100


100



■j- Calculated from figures compiled from the Annual Re-
ports on Strikes and Lockouts.



16 CONCILIATION AND AEBITRATION.

It will be noticed that the figures quoted above,
show, on the one hand, the number of workmen
directly affected by disputes due to different causes,
and on the other hand, the percentage of the total
number of disputes due to different causes. For
purposes of comparison the first table has also been
expressed in percentages of the total number of
workmen directly affected. The two latter tables agree
in indicating " wages " as by far the most important
cause of disputes ; with regard to the importance of
the other causes the two tables differ considerably.
According to the number of disputes " employment
of particular classes or persons " is the most impor-
tant cause after " wages," and " working arrange-
ments " and " trade unionism " come next. Ac-
cording to the number of workpeople directly affected,
" working arrangements " are the most important
cause after " wages," and these are closely followed
by " trade unionism," and at a considerable distance
by " employment of particular classes or persons."
As this is not an essay on strikes, it is unnecessary to
discuss to which table most importance must be
attached, and the chief object of introducing the
question will have been fulfilled, if it is clear to the
reader that the question of wages ia the predominating
cause of strikes and lockouts.

" Trade unionism," the reader will have seen, figures
directly in the causes of disputes given above. In-
directly, however, a trade union was probably at the
bottom of almost every strike; for organisation on the
part of the workmen is essential,if they wish to have a



INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES. 17

moderate chance of success in industrial warfare.
But it is more interesting for us to note, that trade
organisations are just as essential to successful ar-
bitration and conciliation as they are to successful
industrial war. This proposition sounds distinctly
contradictory, but really it is not so ; for a strong
trade union is not only of assistance in a strike, but
is also the first to appreciate the desirability of
settling disputes by conciliation and arbitration,
and is in the best position to see that awards are
carried out. To use the words of a well-known
arbitrator : *

" Unorganised labour, the new union, the employer,
who though old in years, first meets a labour trouble
and who has not learnt that ' war is hell ' — such do not
need arbitration. They believe they can win out and
are quite sure to have nothing to arbitrate. In proportion
as the contestants learn to respect the ability of the
opponent to inflict injury and appreciate that victories
are expensive, they will be willing to arbitrate, provided,
of course, they have confidence in the tribunal proposed."

On the whole Trade Unions have been warm
advocates of conciliation and arbitration for many
years. This is clearly shown by the numerous
resolutions passed at the Trades Union Congresses,
which have been held annually since 1868.f Further,

* Warrcan A. Reed, Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of
Conciliation, in an article published in Peters' s " Labour and
Capital.''

t As an example, the following resolution, passed at the
9th Trades Union Congress in 1876 may be quoted : " That
this meeting, recognising the benefits conferred on many of

C



18 CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION.

tlie rules of many Trade Unions provide that
all peaceful methods of effecting a settlement must
be exhausted before a strike is declared. There is
also no lack of evidence to show the opinions of
prominent individual trade unionists, who are
almost wholly favourable to conciliation and arbi-
tration. I shall limit myself here to quoting three
recent expressions of opinion of English Trade
Union officials. Mr. T. A. Flynn, of the Amalga-
mated Society of Tailors, says : "I am in favour of
all or any kinds of organisation, which shall tend
to rob strikes of their brutality and which shall
give reason and right fair play in industrial dis-
putes." * In the opinion of Mr. W. Dyson, of the
Amalgamated Papermakers' Union, " anything tend-
ing towards the settlement of disputes without re-
sorting to strikes, must commend itself to all con-
cerned." -f-

Mr. C. W. Bowerman, of the London Society of
Compositors, expresses himself as follows : "I
should welcome in England any movement having
for its object the bringing together of employers and
employed for the purpose of settling the terms and



our great industries by the adoption of the principles of
arbitration and conciliation, pledges itself to make every
endeavour to extend the application of those principles to
cases of dispute, in which there may be a prospect of peace-
ful settlement by such means."

* Report of the Mosely Industrial Commission, p, 160t

t Report of the Mosely Industrial Commission, p, 220,



INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES. 19

conditions of employment or of amicably arranging
disputed points. " *

Having assured ourselves of the favourable light
in which trade unions regard conciliation and arbi-
tration, we must next consider how far they are
able to see the awards carried out. The responsiblity
of unions to do this is an entirely moral one. Trade
Unions recognise from long experience, that if they
wish to retain the respect of their employers, they
must carry out their agreements, and the force of
public opinion also tends to oblige them to do this.
The question of enforcing awards is exceedingly
difficult and various proposals, from compul-
sion downwards, have from time to time been made.
There will be reason to refer to this question fre-
quently during the course of the essay, but it may
just be mentioned here, that in some observations
appended to the Reports of the Royal Commission on
Labour, the incorporation of Trade Unions was
suggested as a remedy. As this question does not,
strictly speaking, enter into the subject-matter of

* Report of the Mosely Industrial Commission, p. 232.

The organisation of which these three trade unionists are
thinking when writing their reports, is the National Civic
Federation of America, of which details will be given below
on page 73 ; at the same place a copy of a document dealing
with the Federation will be found, which was signed by all
the members of the Mosely Commission.

The best collections of the opinions of English and Ameri-
can trade miionists on the subject of conciliation and arbitra-
tion, besides the report of the Mosely Industrial Commis-
sion, are the reports of the Royal Commission on Labour,
the reports of the American Industrial Commission and the
reports and publications of the National Civic Federation i

c2



20 CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION.

this essay, I shall not discuss the pros and cons here,
but shall refer to the fact only, that trade unions
and employers can, at the present day, if they so wish,
enter into an agreement to be pecuniarily liable for
a breach of an award, as has happened in the Lei-
cester Boot and Shoe Trade ; * it is also generally
admitted that few arbitration awards have been
broken by Trade Unions, the moral responsibility of
the larger unions, in any case, usually being quite
sufi&cient to prevent a repudiation. f

After discussing at some length the attitude of
Trade Unions towards conciliation and arbitration
and their influence in upholding awards, we may
next turn our attention to the employers and examine

* This point will be discussed more fully on page 60.

•j- For information about the incorporation of Trade
Unions the reader may consult in the Fifth and Final Report
of the Royal Commission on Labour, part I, the observations
appended to the report by the Chairman (the Duke of Devon-
shire), Mr. David Dale, Sir Michael E. Hicks Beach, Mr,
Leonard H. Courtney, Sir Frederick Pollock, Mr. Thomas H.
Ismay, Mr. Geo. Livesey, and Mr. Wm. Turnstill, pp. 115-9,
and the Minority Report of Messrs. W. Abraham, M. Austin,
J. Mawdsley and Tom Mann, pp. 127-47. Oilman deals
with the subject at considerable length in his " Industrial
Peace," pp. 149-197. The best collection of recent opinion
will be found in the Monthly Review, the publication of the
National Civic Federation, for April, 1903, where the opinions
of employers, wage eai-ners, the general pubUc, and the mem-
bers of the Bar in particular, are all represented. An article
in the Edinburgh Review, January, 1900, strongly favours
the assumption by trade associations of a legal personality.-
What the incorporation of trade unions would really in-
volve is well shown by Clement Edwards in the Nineteenth
Century, Feb, 1902 : " Should Trade Unions be incor-
porated ? ''



INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES.



21



their attitude. There can be little doubt that among
the early diflficulties of conciliation and arbitration
was the unwillingness of employers to recognise
Trade Unions. This is now no longer so, and em-
ployers have come to recognise that organisation on
the part of the workmen is essential to successful
negotiations. It has now often come to the point
where employers themselves form an organisation, in
order to be able to deal better with the Trade Unions,
According to Mr. M'Pherson,* the men even prefer
to deal with employers organised into an association

TABLE SHOWING THE NUMBER OF ASSOCIATIONS OF
EMPLOYERS AT THE BEGINNING OF 1902 AND
OF TRADE UNIONS AT THE END OF 1901 IN THE
UNITED KINGDOM. t





Associations of Employers.




Trades.


Federa-
tions &
National
Associa-
tions.


Local
Associa-
tions.


Total.


Trade
Unions.


Building

Mining and Quarrying -

Metal, Engineering and

Shipbuilding
Textile
Clothing
Miscellaneous


24
2

3

4

4

15


390
34

95

46

62

169


414
36

98

50

66

184


125

59

263
243

48
498


Grand Total


52


796


848


1,236



* Bulletin of the United States Department of Labour,
No. 28, p. 459.

t Compiled from the Ninth Abstract of Labour Statistics
of the United Kingdom, 1901-2.



22 CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION.

rather than with individual masters. " The former
are regarded as more liberal and less selfish
than the latter, and much personal bitterness is
eliminated." Whether the men favour organisa-
tions among employers or not, it is quite certain
that they should tend to encourage conciliation and
arbitration, for the greater the respect one party has
for the fighting powers of the other and the more
each sees that defeat is about as likely as victory,
the more will arbitration be substituted for war.

Figures are quoted above showing the number of
associations of employers in various trades and the
corresponding number of Trade Unions. For pur-
poses of comparison I give the number of Trade
Boards in the United Kingdom in 1903.*

Building Trades 50

Mining and Quarrying - - - 21

Metal, Engineering and Shipbuilding - 35

Textile Trades 3

Clothing Trades 22

Miscellaneous Trades - - - - 11

Total 142

These figures must not be taken as complete
indications of the extent to which peaceful methods
of settling disputes exist in the different trades.
In the cotton industry, for example, no per-
manent Board exists, and whenever any point of
dispute arises, the officials of the local associations

* The figures are compiled from the Directory of In-
dustrial Associations in the United Kingdom in 1903, of
which^the Board of Trade published a 3rd edition in 1903.



INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES. 23

generally arrange matters, and exactly the same
happens in other industries. It must also be re-
membered, that a large majority of the existing
Boards never settle any cases at all during the
course of a year.*

In this chapter many points have been dealt with;
the recent growth of the wages problem ; the impos-
sibility of an absolutely fair rate of wages, and the
consequent importance of the question of wages as a
cause of disputes ; the existence of two distinct
classes of industrial disputes, the one arising out of
the interpretation of existing contracts, and the
other out of the terms of future contracts ; the
number of strikes and lockouts in different countries ;
an analysis of the causes of industrial disputes, and
the relation of organised employees and employers to
strikes and to conciliation and arbitration. There
just remains to be emphasised the fact that strikes
and lockouts are very costly, and that they very often
not only influence the parties immediately concerned
in them, but also many of the general public. It is
usually this latter point which is brought forward as
the justification of compulsory arbitration ;t there
will be, however, an occasion to enter fully into this
later on '. and here it suffices to say that many do not

* The number of Trade Boards settling cases in 1903 was
sixty. The figures for the last ten years will be found on
page 54,

f See Reeves, State Experiments in Austraha and New
Zealand, and the writings of other staimch upholders of
compulsory arbitration, as, for example, B. R. Wise and H. D.
Lloyd.



24 CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION.

consider the costliness or the wide-spreading influence
of strikes the sole, or even the primary, justifica-
tion of conciliation and arbitration, for the very
nature of the wages problem itself, requiring, as it
does, quiet discussion by clearsighted, coolheaded
and moderate men, proves the necessity of concilia-
tion, and possibly of arbitration. We may now enter
upon a general discussion of this subject, and in the
first place the importance of the distinction between
conciliation and arbitration will be fully explained.




CONCILIATION v. ARBITRATION. 25



CHAPTER II.
CONCILIATION v. ARBITRATION.

At the outset it will be as well clearly to define
tlie terms which are to be used in this chapter, so as
to avoid confusion as far as possible. Arbitration
has been defined as "an authoritative decision of an
issue, as to which the parties have failed to agree,
by some person or persons other than the parties."
Conciliation, on the other hand, is " the discussion
and settlement of a question between the parties
themselves, or their representatives, who are actually
interested." It is also necessary to understand
two other terms which frequently occur in the litera-
ture of conciliation and arbitration. " Mediation,"
strictly speaking, is " the intervention of some outside
person or body with a view of bringing together the
parties to a dispute in conciliatory conferences."
The word is much used in America*, though very
often simply in the sense of conciliation!. " Collective

* e.g. the New York State Board of Mediation and Arbitra-
tion is the name of one of the best known Government Boards
in America.

f An example of this will be fomid in a table in Vol.- XVII
of the Reports of the American Industrial Commission,
quoted on page 142 of the essay, where the number of cases
of successful and unsuccessful mediation is given, quite
apart from the action taken by the initiative of^the board*



26 CONCILIATION AND AKBITRATION.

Bargaining " is a term first invented by Mr. and Mrs.
Webb*, and is used to signify " the process by which
the general terms of the labour contract itself are
determined by negotiation directly between the
employers, or employers' associations, and organised
working men." When one remembers that all
piece rate scales and all sliding scales are examples
of collective bargaining, it is not difficult to under-
stand that this form of contract is very common.
A collective bargain, however, requires a certain
amount of regulation, and some system of joint
committees or conferences is generally organised at
the same time as the contract is made. These wages
boards, or whatever else one chooses to call them,
although very often, strictly speaking, not boards of
conciliation and arbitration, may easily be confused
with such, and for all practical purposes may be
treated as such. Having pointed out of what
collective bargaining really consists, no further
attempt will be made in this essay to distinguish it
from conciliation and arbitration.

The confusion between mediation and conciliation
has already been referred to above ; it must be
further mentioned here, that conciliation and arbitra-
tion are also very often confused. It is not at all
uncommon to find the word arbitration used to in-
clude what is in reality conciliation and media-
tion. There is also a good deal of justification for
this broad use of the term ; one thing very easily

* There is a very good chapter on the subject in their In-
dustrial Democracy.



CONCILIATION v. ARBITRATION. 27

passes over into tlie other. After the " mediation "
of a third party has been successful and a conference
has been arranged, an independent chairman is
generally appointed. If he tries merely to induce the
two parties to come to an agreement, "conciliation"
takes place, but if he has a casting vote, it is practi-
cally " arbitration." The distinction between con-
ciliation and arbitration is so closely associated with
their respective advantages and disadvantages, that
further discussion of the point is unnecessary here ;
it has only been mentioned as a warning to the
reader, not to think that "arbitration," "conciliation,"
and " mediation" are used by all writers in the sense
in which they were defined at the beginning of this
chapter.

Everybody practically understands that boards
of conciliation, where employers and workmen meet
to talk over subjects of dispute, are valuable means
of maintaining industrial peace. The other very
excellent efiects of the boards generally come in for
very slight recognition only. People do not usually
appreciate the splendid service rendered by the boards
as educators. It is by frank and free intercourse at
the meetings of the board that employers and work-
men learn to know each other, their respect and
esteem for one another is increased, and mutual con-
fidence is encouraged. The workmen begin to
appreciate the infinite complexity of the problem
of distribution, and also that wages are not deter-
mined by employers but by economic forces acting
through them ; on the boards, workmen are often in



28 CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION.

a position to obtain a correct knowledge of the needs
of a trade, and if they see for themselves that facts
require a reduction of wages, the chances of a strike
occurring are very greatly reduced. Employers, on
their part, come to look at the human side of busi-
ness and learn to understand, often for the first time,
that what appear to them to be but unimportant
trivialities, may affect the whole future of many
families ; their outlook is widened and they appreciate
better their responsibilities as employers. Boards
of conciliation would be valuable if they offered means
only of securing industrial peace ; but seeing that
they form an excellent remedy for the want of con-
fidence, the suspicion and the prejudice which exist
between employers and employed, they are doubly
valuable.

In spite of the excellent education which the
boards provide, so much of the spirit of antagonism
sometimes remains, that it is found desirable to have
an independent chairman, whose duty practically is
to keep the parties in a good temper whilst bargain-
ing. The conciliator draws out the best points in
each party's case and restates them in the most per-
suasive form, eliminating from the controversy
all unnecessary sources of irritation. He inquires
into the real facts of the case and makes them known
to both parties. He also tries to be suggestive and
fertile in devising possible solutions.

Were it practicable, it would be best to settle all
cases of dispute by conciliation, which is distinctly
more satisfactory than arbitration, because mutual



CONCILIATION v. ARBITRATION. 29

concessions are much, to be preferred to authoritative
decisions. The large majority of differences are
settled by conciliation, but sometimes, whilst dis-
tinctly wishing to arrive at a peaceful settlement,
neither side will give way, and it becomes absolutely
necessary to reach a definite settlement by arbitra-
tion. Conciliation is something informal and friendly ;
each party is candid and lays the facts at its disposal
fully before the other party ; the disputants endeavour
to convince each other, whilst in the more formal
and judicial-like arbitration, they attempt to con-
vince a third party, and advocacy is substituted for
a simple appeal to facts. People do not always attend
an arbitration in the right spirit, willing to assist
the arbitrator to come to a fair decision, but often
go with a feeling of antagonism, wishing to gain the
day at any price. This, however, is not really so much
a difficulty as a characteristic of arbitration, but real
difficulties do exist, which I purpose examining next.
The first serious difficulty of arbitration is the choice
of an arbitrator, and it is a double one. Should he,
or should he not, be connected with the trade ? and
should he be a permanent officer, or be chosen to decide
a particular case ? Taking the former point first, we
will consider what are the advantages and disadvan-
tages of each course of action. It is absolutely
essential that both parties to an arbitration should
consider the umpire quite impartial and free from bias.
At the same time, it is very desirable, if the arbitrator
is to understand properly the case before him, without
the arguments and discussion being unduly extended,



30 CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION.

that lie should have at least some knowledge of indus-
try in general, if not of the particular trade in which
the case has occurred. The ideal arbitrator is an
unbiassed man connected with industry, but unfortu-
nately it is not always possible to find such a man,
who is acceptable to both parties, and then it becomes
necessary to choose some one unconnected with trade,
against whom no possible imputation of bias can be
made. As far as England is concerned, members of
this latter class have often been as successful arbitra-
tors as members of the former ; the late Judge Kettle,
Lord Brassey and Lord James of Hereford, all
gentlemen practically not connected with mining
or manufacturing, have been no less successful
as arbitrators than the late Rt. Hon. A. J.
Mundella, the Rt. Hon. J. Chamberlain and Sir
David Dale, Bart., who are, or were, closely
connected with some industry. It will be
noticed that all the gentlemen mentioned above are
members of the brain-working class. The same
observation might be made of almost all arbitrators.
Mr. and Mrs. Webb have investigated this question
carefully and have come to the conclusion, that this


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Online LibraryDouglas KnoopIndustrial conciliation and arbitration → online text (page 3 of 18)