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War Economy

Pressure for Co-operative Stevedoring

Pressure for Co-operative Stevedoring

Union officials were interested in building up pressure for a co-operative stevedoring system and, by 1939, the men were looking towards the introduction of co-operative stevedoring as a means of bringing about a definite improvement in waterfront work conditions. The employers opposed this scheme and suggested an extra rate for work done, in the hope of speeding up cargo handling and discouraging go-slow tactics. This suggestion came too near to the idea of piece-work to suit the unions.

Meantime the situation was deteriorating. Disputes and stoppages of work became more frequent. Disputes Committees were in existence but in general were not used. There were faults on both sides. The employers were too slow to discuss causes of dissatisfaction. The men were too ready to cease work when a matter was in dispute.