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THE LOCOMOTIVE JOURNAL.

FEBRUARY 1911

page 55

RAILWAYS (EIGHT HOURS) BILL.

 

FELLOW MEMBERS,

We feel that the Eight Hours Bill, as submitted to the House of Commons, by Mr. W. Hudson, M.P., is so far-reaching and damaging in its effects on locomotivemen as a whole, that we print here, for your perusal, the Bill as it is, and give you the amendments drawn up by your General Secretary, by which you will see the difference between them; but even now it is not possible, in an Act of Parliament, to state how much per day you are to have. We cannot understand how the parties responsible ever took upon themselves to introduce such a measure, without first consulting the members of the whole of the railway unions. To introduce such a Bill at all without first having a mandate to do so, is folly, and to introduce it in its present form is to wipe away at one sweep all the improvements that have been won in a lifetime. Those who are careless enough to say that the trade unions must fight all their battles over again in order to reclaim what this Bill sweeps away, certainly have not given any consideration to the Bill, or the effects it is likely to produce. If the arguments that are used, that the unions must fight for the pay, then why interfere in Parliament at all ? Why not the unions arrange the hours as well as the money?  We have to regret the waste of energy and funds caused by the mismanagement, on different occasions, by those who should be improving the matters which concern rail way men. Conciliation scheme is bad enough, for Heaven knows the poor railwaymen have got the worst of it, inasmuch as they have got retaliation and not redress, and now the originators »of the previous patent are again anxious. Our whole energies are required to save the locomotive-men from the indiscretion of their so-called friends; prevention is always better than cure, and we record here our warning so that it may not afterwards be said that we did not warn the men. We are in favour of an eight hours day ; it is in our National Programme. We welcome the shortening of hours wherever possible, but we want workable conditions for our men; we want a living wage — we must have i t ; we want some home comforts for our men—and we must have them. We cannot have regular hours like other classes of men, but we can better improve our hours by arrangement than by any cast-iron law. We draw attention to Section 2 of the Bill. Imagine men working trains—signing off and on—but "where? Surely no railwayman drew up that clause. Compare it with our amendment. The sooner the locomotive-men wake up the better. It is only fair to give our members credit for the resolutions sent to the Executive Council, calling upon them to either amend or oppose the Bill, but we have preferred to give those in charge an opportunity of accepting our amendments to the Bill, and we have already submitted those amendments for consideration to the Parliamentary Committee of the Trades Union Congress.

 

 

[COPY.]

RAILWAYS (EIGHT HOURS) BILL.

 

To provide for the establishment of a Working Day of Eight Hours for certain grades employed on Railways.

 

Presented by Mr. Hudson, supported by Mr. Wardle, Mr. James Thomas, Mr. John Taylor, Mr. Nannetti,

Mr. George Roberts, Mr. Joyce, Mr. William Thorne, Mr. Pointer, Mr. Ramsay Macdonald, and Mr. Alden.

MEMORANDUM.

The object of this Bill is to make provision for an Eight Hours Day for railway engine-drivers, firemen, electric motormen, guards and brakesmen, shunters, pointsmen, signalmen, examiners and greasers, platelayers, and goods workers.

Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent  Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :—Limit of  period of employment.

1.—(i) A person shall not during any period of twenty-four consecutive hours, be employed at or allowed to be, for the purpose of employment, on any railway or siding for a greater length of time than eight hours, in the following occupations, namely :— Engine-drivers, firemen, guards, brakesmen, electric motormen, shunters, pointsmen, examiners and greasers, signalmen, platelayers, and goods workers.

(2) For the purpose of this section employment shall be deemed to begin at the time of signing on duty and to end at the time of signing off duty.

(3) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any employment which becomes necessary by reason of any accident causing the entire or partial stoppage of the working of any such railway or siding, or during exceptional climatic conditions due to fog and snowstorms, in which cases it shall be obligatory upon such railway company to report to the Board of Trade every such instance, setting forth the actual hours of duty and the causes to which such exceptions are due.

(4) In no case shall men who have been on duty under exceptional circumstances be called upon to resume duty until they have been nine consecutive hours off duty.

(5) The Board of Trade shall have power to enforce a fine of twenty pounds for a first offence against any railway company which fails to comply with the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section, and for every subsequent offence fifty pounds. 

Report on working of Act.

2.—A report of the  working of of this Act shall be made yearlyand laid before both Houses of Parliament.

Short title, construction and commencement of the Act.

3.—This Act may be cited  as the Railways (Eight Hours) Act, 1910, and shall be read In  conjunction with the Railway  of January one thousand nine hundred and eleven.

 

 

[DRAFT.]

PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO

EIGHT HOURS BILL.

A. FOX, General Secretary,

Associated Society of Locomotive

Engineers and Firemen,

8, Park Square, Leeds.

 

RAILWAYS (EIGHT HOURS) BILL

 

To provide for the establishment of a Working Day of Eight Hours for certain grades employed on Railways.

Be  it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :—

Limit of 1.—

(1) A person shall not, employ?* during any period of twenty-four ment. consecutive hours, be employed at or allowed to be, for the purpose of employment, on any railway or siding for a greater length of time than eight hours, in the following occupations, namely :—- Engine-drivers, firemen, guards, brakesmen, electric motormen, shunters, points men. examiners and greasers, signalmen, platelayers, and goods workers.

(2) For the purpose of this section, employment shall be deemed to bagm at the time of signing on duty and to end at the time of signing off duty.

(3) In the case of locomotive-men or motormen, such signing on or off duty shall take place at the locomotive or motor depot where the day's employment shall respectively commence or finish.

(4) No person shall sign on for less than a full day of eight hours.

(5) For the purpose of regulating the work, the following mileages shall be considered equivalent to an eight hours day, when run within that time :—

For all express passenger and motor trains, 150 miles. For all express goods, local or stopping trains, 100 miles.

All further mileage run within eight hours, in any one day, to be treated as overtime, and nothing herein before provided shall preclude any person from completing a full day of eight hours.

(6) No driver, fireman, or other person employed upon any locomotive engine or motor, shall travel any longer distance than 250 miles, upon any engine or motor, during a period of eight consecutive hours.

(7) Two men shall always be employed upon any locomotive engine or motor engine.

(8) The provisions of this section shall not apply to any employment which becomes necessary by reason of any accident, causing the entire or partial stoppage of  the working of any such railway or siding, or during exceptional climatic conditions due to fog or snowstorms, in which cases it shall be obligatory upon such railway companies to report to th3 Board of Trade •every such instance, setting forth the actual hours of duty and the causes to which such exceptions are due.

(9) In no case shall men who have been on duty under exceptional circumstances be called upon to resume duty until they have been nine consecutive hours off duty.

(10) All persons who shall, on the passing of this Act or thereafter, be employed by any railway company, shall {unless prevented by sickness or disablement) be entitled, so long as such employment shall continue, to six days of eight hours each in every week, exclusive of Sundays.

( 11 ) AH time worked between any Saturday midnight and Sunday midnight, or between the same hours on Good Friday or Christmas Day, shall be paid for after the rate of time and a half.

(12) Men finishing a day's work at a distance from their usual place of abode, shall be entitled to return home the same day free of expense to themselves by the first available train. If from any cause they are unable to so return, they shall be entitled to receive remuneration not less than they are in receipt of on the passing of  this Act.

(13) The Board of Trade shall have power to enforce a fine of twenty pounds for the first offence against any railway company which fails to comply with the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section, %and for every subsequent offence fifty pounds.

Report on  working and Act 

2.—A  report of the working of this Act shall be made yearly Act and laid before both Houses of Parliament.

Short title, construction and commencement of Act

3—This Act  may  be cited as the Railways (Eight Hours) Act 1910, and shall be read in, of conjunction with the Railway Regulation Acts, 1889 and 1893, and shall come into force on the first day of January, one thousand nine hundred and eleven.

 

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