Thursday 13 October 2016

Telcon Shop Stewards 1954

Below is the shop stewards page from Greenwich taken from the Autumn 1954 Telcon House Magazine.  There were some bits in this which I couldn't read from the pdf - I hope it makes sense anyway!


Stewards, were faced with the problem of what to do about it. As the committee lacks a George Bernard  Shaw, the task appeared likely to prove extremely difficult. One school of thought was all for leaving the page as bare as a billiard ball but this didn't seem likely to convey much to our readers so we tried another angle. "Let us make it a technical page and demonstrate our mastery of theoretical as well as practical work" we said

What emerged was if the coaxial bearings are made to rotate in an anti- clockwise direction was in complete contradiction to the thesis laid down by the Master Mariners' Association, how would the proportion of time saved be apportioned between Management and Operators.'

This didn't seem likely either to convey much to the average reader, and it is the floating vote that counts, so off we went on another tack, "How about a literary effort after all ?". This appealed greatly to some of us at first but, after careful discussion which produced snippets of army songs, limericks and postcards from Southend; it was thought that we might be accused of being- horror take us-highbrow.

So, far into the night, we wrestled with the problem and eventually agreed upon the following scheme.  In each issue we shall introduce to you one of our members, commencing with our worthy Chairman. If we can we shall .comment on the problems of the workers as we see them, make a report on the activities of the Shop Stewards' Committee, and report items of interest from the various departments. One thing to be borne in mind is that this magazine is by way of being a family affair and although we shall, if necessary, offer criticism to the Management, we cannot be too controversial on this page.

In any we can and to do settle out differences through the usual channels. Our ambition is to help to foster the family feeling within Telcon by means of these articles and to further cement the existing good relations.

Introducing the Shop Stewards -Brother Andrews
Bro. Andrews, known to most of us as Andy, is Chairman of the Shop Stewards' Committee. After having served during the war as an air-gunner in which capacity he travelled to many parts of the globe, including Egypt and India, he returned to   his trade of carpentry and   joined Telcon in 1949. Since   that time he has taken an   active interest in the welfare of   his fellow-workers and was   elected shop steward of his   department in 1951.

He not only gained the confidence of his colleagues but   made a deep impression on the Shop Stewards' Committee, thereby becoming the obvious choice as successor to Bro.   Reader for the post of Chairman, when the latter resigned.   Bro. Andrews is married and has two children, a boy and a girl.   As works convener we find in him sympathy and understanding,   together with a sense of humour, which characterises the man and   helps to make him successful in this difficult role.   Chairman's Report .  The Shop Stewards' Committee is made up of all the Stewards in   Telcon, and represents several Unions. The officers are Chairman   (A.S.W.), Vice-Chairman (N.U.G.M.W.), Secretary (A.E.U.) and   (N.U.C) we try to iron out our difficulties, and problems we cannot solve ourselves   are taken by the chairman to the appropriate authority. We also contact our various Trade Union Branches for advice and information.   

Stewards are also represented on the Production Advisory Committee. Here we can bring our views to the fountain head of   authority, and are given an understanding of the problems facing management in its business of running the factory efficiently and profitably.   

In short we arc a link between workers and management and, within the limits or trade union policy. We have a great deal of   scope. We believe that co-operation and local negotiation are the most fruitful ways of getting satisfactory results. We do not always get our own way as we have to bow down to economic factors just as management has to do, but we think we can claim a good record of successful negotiations. We shall continue to serve   the workers to the best of our ability, remembering that without   their support, moral and financial, we, as a committee, shall perish.   

Committee Announcements

Lectures in Economics .   Management has accepted the recommendation of the Production Advisory Committee and has arranged a series of lectures   dealing with basic economies. These will begin in October. We   ask all workers to attend and acquaint themselves with the vital problems concerning our everyday lives.   

Shop Stewards' Fund .  The Committee earnestly request continuous and increasing   support to their fund in the customary manner. It is important   to have a reasonable capital to maintain the service we strive to render to all members.   

Tinfoil   The management has placed a box by the main gate for the collection of tinfoil. It is hoped that all workers will co-operate in this work as the proceeds will go to the Cancer Research Fund or other   deserving charity.   

Management and Labour Relations   There have been, and no doubt will be, millions of words spoken and written on this very controversial subject, and we often hear or read of the causes of industrial strife, as well as the proposed   remedies for them.   

Will there ever be a way to industrial peace? Why do some industries have more labour troubles than others? These questions always come up for discussion at some time or another, both in   managerial and trade union circles

Each and every one of us in the Telcon organisation should give some serious thought to this problem, because the state of Management-Labour relation depends upon us all. The better this relationship, the better the chance of the Telcon organisation  becoming more prosperous to the ultimate benefit of all concerned.   There is no set formula or code laid down, nor can there be for solving automatically all the problems at one sweep but there are several points which should be considered and which would, in our opinion, make for sound Management-Labour relations.   
At Telcon this relationship is in a fairly healthy condition.   Serious disputes do not arise, as we have our various agreements.  We have our Welfare and   Personnel Department and a very capable Personnel Officer, ready to hear our troubles be they personal, domestic, legal, Management and Labour, or what have you, and to help and advise us regarding   them. Several other committees meet regularly, namely the Departmental Production Committees, Foremen's Committee,  Staff Association Council, Shop Stewards' Committee, Sports and Sick Club Committees. All this contributes towards the good relations between Management and Labour, but have we reached the criterion? What can be done in industry to make for really permanently peaceful Management and Labour relations?   

There are several points upon which we shall comment in the Shop Stewards' Page of subsequent issues of this our House Magazine at Telcon, chiefly under the following headings:-   

1 Should management accept the unions as permanent institutions having a positive value to industry and industrial   relations?   
2. Should careful consideration be given to human relations and brains and money devoted to a tip-top Personnel Department?    
3, Should Trade Unions be responsible to the rank and file of workers and management accept and recognise this position?   
4. Should Management and Unions be in close communication   ready to discuss anything any time anywhere?   
5. Should Management and Unions seek a way to accommodate differences and try to settle, differences or problems   on their merits as they arise with union officials taken into   confidence on all problems?   

We think these points will give enough material. and food for thought and we hope our forthcoming comments will at least make interesting reading.       

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