30 MARCH 1861, Page 4

• Another strike has occurred in the building trade. Its

existence is officially notified to the Times by the workmen through one of their secretaries, who thus puts the case : "The present position of the masons of London at this important juncture renders it necessary for us to lay before the public the relations that we stand in with our employers. It has been a recognized fact between employers and em- ployed that the wages of the London masons are 5s. 6d. per day for six days successively, with the privilege of the four o'clock on Saturdays; but Mr. Kelk, of Pimlico, and Messrs. Lucas Brothers of Belvidere-road, Lambeth, have, with a few days' notice, issued a proposition introducing a system of working by the hour, at the rate of 7d. per hour, which is diametrically opposed to the rules and regulations which have been the guide of the masons of London, and which have been recognized by the employers hitherto; and, although this system they wish to introduce advances our wages at the rate of 20. per day, still we consider it far from equivalent to the evils that will be introduced into our branch of the building trade. By accepting the system which they wish to enforce upon us we shall open the way to the systematic working of overtime, which we have found to be a very great evil ; in fact, one of the greatest curses to our branch of the building trade. It would also take away our privilege of four o'clock on Saturday. Under these circumstances we sent a deputation to wait on these respective firms, soliciting the withdrawal of the said proposition, which they have refused, stating they are deterinined to enforce the system, leaving us no alter- native but to cease work on Friday, the 22nd inst., with the determination of not resuming it again till the withdrawal of the proposition."

The strike has arisen in consequence of a renewed demand of the workmen for ten hours' wages for nine hours' work. To this the masters will not accede. And it is stated that in order to prevent the recurrence of the enormous losses they sustained during the last strike, arrangements have been made, if the strike becomes general, to introduce Belgian workmen, who are equally skilled with the- English, and who will gladly work at 25 per cent, less than the wages paid here. This is really an "extreme step," and one that can hardly be taken without involving fatal consequences. The strike of the Bristol masons has come to an end. Both sides., have made concessions.

The Bath strike has terminated in the victory of the men. The- masons obtain what they ask for—fourpence per day extra pay, and the liberty of leaving work at four o'clock on Saturdays. At the same time the men undertake not to make any new demands for twelve months, and both sides are to give six months' notice of any intention to reduce or raise wages. There is also a nine hours' movement in Edinburgh. The joiners have given way and resumed work, but the masons are obstinate, and refuse to surrender.

Two journeymen carpenters have been fined each five pounds for a. violent assault upon another carpenter whom they detected in the heinous offence of overtime. James Dunn, the victim of this brutality, agreed to work all night that a job might be finished against time. He said he was at work up to three o'clock in the morning, when the prisoners, whom he had never, to his knowledge, seen before, came by, accompanied by a third man, and one of them exclaimed, "Iota are a nice nine-hours man, are you not ?" and another of the three said, "I'll tell Mr. Potter of _you." Mr. Potter, as witness under- stood, is the secretary of the Union-men combined to carry out the nine-hours movement, but witness never saw Mr. Potter, nor did he

wish to do so. Witness made no reply to their remarks, went on with his work, and on seeing him do so one of the prisoners seized a- piece of wood, which the witness had just sawn off a plank, and. struck him such a violent blow across the face with it that it injured both his eyes in the manner they then appeared, and he bled terribly, and, as all three men set upon and attacked him together, he was so hurt and ill from their ill-usage that he was wholly unfit now to re- sume his work. The accused denied some of the statements, but did. not support the denial. They paid the fines !