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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 53

To the Working Classes of New Zealand

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To the Working Classes of New Zealand.

This Pamphlet deals with a question which more than any other affects the interest of labor, and therefore demands the most earnest and unbiassed consideration of every workman in the Colony.

It is published under the auspices of the Otago Trades and Labour Council, whoso objects are:—
1.—The organization of the Working Classes, so that in furtherance of their interests, they may at all times be able to secure uniformity of action.
2.—To better the condition of the Working Classes; to assist each other in maintaining the eight hours' principle; and to give moral assistance in cases of dispute in all trades and other bodies of working men who may join the Council.
3.—To obviate as far as possible the necessity for "strikes" by a careful and patient investigation of subjects in dispute between employers and employes; and by undertaking in conjunction with the parties interested, the settlement by arbitration of disputes.
4.—To use every legitimate means to obtain a proper representation of labour in the Legislature of the Colony. And to do all such things that are most essential to advance the social and moral welfare of those belonging to it.

The Council would respectfully remind the Working Classes, that the interests of labour are everywhere the same, and if the Political power now possessed by the Labourers of this Colony is to be used effectively for their well-being, they will require to be a compact body, having specific aims, and move at Elections with the order and solidarity of an army corps. With this object in view, the Council would urge upon the Working Classes and those interested in their welfare, the necessity of forming branches of the Trades and Labour League in the various Districts throughout the Colony, each having a representative at this Council, or otherwise associated with the Council, so as to insure uniformity of action.

It is also desirable that a Political Platform which would meet the approval of the various bodies, should be drawn up and determined upon, and that the priority of political questions should also be decided.

It will be apparent to the Working Classed, that in seeking to attain to a higher position in the social scale than they now occupy, it will be the greatest folly to look for much aid or encouragement from the Press of the Colony, seeing it is mainly controlled by other and opposing interests. Self-reliance, then, is necessary and there can be no doubt that just principles, united action, and self-reliance, will ultimately be victorious,

Information as to forming Branches &c., may readily be obtained by applying to Mr. J. C. Thorn, President of the Trades' and Labour Council, John Street, Caversham.