Conisborough U.D.C. – 1. Unemployment and the Six Hour Solution

February 1931

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 13 February 1931

Conisboro’ U.D.C.

Mr. Collins Six-Hour Day Scheme.

A drastic suggestion for the alleviation of unemployment was made by Mr. J. T. F. Collins at the end of the monthly meeting’ the Conisborough Urban District Council Wednesday. Mr. G. A. Chadfield presiding.

The Six-Hour Day Solution.

A deputation of the Unemployed Workers’ Movement was present at the meeting and though the Council had decided earlier in the meeting not to hear this deputation Mr. Collins said there was no chance of solving the unemployment problem and the least they could do was to hear what these men had to any. The officials of the Connell had prepared schemes to give employment to these men hut members of the Conrail could also try to get a move on with schemes of their own.

“I suggest.” continued Mr. Collins, “reducing the hours of the Council employees; to six, so as to absorb some men. The Council does not exist for making profits and a practical proposal is to reduce hours of labour.”:

Referring to schemes submitted by the Unemployment Grants Committee, he said;

“Red tape is at the bottom of this business’ but if we get on with these schemes how many men are we going to absorb? Let us set an example to the rest of the country by reducing the hours of our workmen to six. I am prepared at all times to try and put something forward to alleviate unemployment. You cannot cure it while hundreds of people are living on the backs of the workers. We, as an urban district, ought to set an example on this matter. If we reduce hours it would at any rate reduce the number of unemployed. It is the only practical step, and it is up to the Labour Government to take this stand. We should have the public auditor to face, but cannot we justify this scheme of reduction of hours? I think six hours is long enough for any sane man to work, especially when we have so many unemployed.”

Shorter Day for Same Pay.

In reply to a question by Mr. J. I. Webster. Mr. Collins said he suggested that the same rates of pay per week should be retained.

The Surveyor (Mr. H. Thirlwall): Unless we get authority from London to proceed with some of our schemes we shall have to dispense with some men.

The Surveyor asked Mr. Collins if he proposed they should at that meeting decide to reduce hours from to six and pay the same rates of wages, and Mr. Collins was understood to say that was his proposal.

As it had been decided earlier not to deal with matters arising from the presence of the deputation Mr. Collins’s proposal was not accepted and the matter was left.