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Trade Unions

council, scale and federation

TRADE UNIONS, General Federation of, a labor organization of Great Britain, aiming to unite all the British trade unions for mutual assistance and the advancement of the interests of labor. It admits any trade union to mem bership, but no branches or indiViduals. It was organized in 1899 at a special session of the British Trades Union Congress. The govern ment is vested in a general council of repre sentative delegates meeting annually, and in an executive amanagement committee° of 15, no two to be of the same trade. District com mittees may also be organized. Any union dis satisfied with ruling of the management com mittee may appeal to the council, and from the council to the vote of the general membership. The federation deals solely with industrial ques tions, particularly with the conduct of strikes, and aims to preserve industrial peace. All unions joining the federation pay an entrance fee of one penny (two cents) per member and regular dues are paid on two different scales, the higher scale, sixpence (12 cents) per quarter per member, the lower scale, threepence (6 cents) per quarter per member; all pay ments are calculated on 90 per cent of the membership. In case of a strike approved by

the general council or the management com mittee, unions that have belonged to the federa tion 12 months are entitled to a strike benefit of five shillings ($125) per week per member on the higher scale, and half that amount on the lower scale. Several large and representa tive unions have joined the federation; among them are the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, the Boot and Shoe Operatives, the Cotton Spin ners, the Shipwrights, the Tailors and the Gas workers and General Laborers; the membership approximates 1,000,000. See UNIONISM.