Manchester England February 25th 1931
Paper Condems Council's Stand
Manchester Guardian Against Attitude of Stalybridge Authorities.
The attitude of the local authority of Stalybridge, Cheshire towards unemployment is today in the Manchester Guardian as equivalent to the claim that it "is the governments business to see that we have work appropriate to our station or else a pension until such work is provided"
Stalybridge has a population of 25,000. Thirteen thousand are unemployed and half of these are receiving "the dole". Fift percent of the Stalybridge women are out of work. Yet the Town Council backed by a body called the Council of Christian Congregations, protests against women undertaking work in army canteens, which has been suggested by Rt. Hon. Margaret Bondfield, Minister of Labor.
Miss Bondfield aroused a storm some months ago when she suggested that women who were offered positions int he services canteens, and did not accept them, show not be entitled to the unemployment benefits. She established a commission which reported that work in the canteens was suitable for women and conditions were no worse there than in any other industry.
The Guardian, though usually sympathetic towards democratic movements declares the Stalybridge protest unfortunately is no an isolated phenomenon "The trouble with canteen work is important only becaese it is symptomatic" the Guardian added.
Another development in Labour circles today was the presidential address of Fred Holroyd to the Master Cotton Spinners Association, when he expressed bitter disappointment at the attitude of the weaves towards efforts to reduce production costs. The unions implacably insisted up rates which, appropriate under better conditions, were hopelessly ineffective under the changed conditions, he said.