ORGANIZING THE MIDLAND USERS.
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The Work of the East Midlands Branch of the C.M.U.A.
Evidence has been forthcoming, during the last few months, of very keen interest in the East Midland Counties in the work of the Commercial Motor 'Users Association, of which a branch has been established as the outcome of a meeting held. at Nottingham.
The successful inauguration of the effortin May has since been attended with eminently useful results, the area of organization including, in addition to Nottinghamshire, the southern parts of Lincoliashire and the counties of Lincoln, ' Derby, Leicester and Rutland. The branch has the advantage of the help, as President, of Mr. H. A. Bennett, proprietor of the widely-known garage in Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, who is rendering also invaluable assistance as chairman of the Advisory Committee of . the North Midland Division of the Road Transport Board, acting as baser' officer between that Committee and the Board, which, under Mr. G. Metcalfe's chairmanship, has now entered upon its extensive work for one of the largest territories in England, with Nottingham as the headquarters.
Useful Legal Information.
The necessity of effective orOnization -upon the part of commercial motor users Ills long been recognized in the East Midlands, and there are now possibilities of substantial development of operations to which the establishment of the Road Transport Board. has imparted added stimulus. It is in regard to rendering legal assistance in the conduct of
involving nvolving points of general as well as local interest, that the Association's work is, inter alia, making strong claims upon the support of members hi the East Midlands as elsewhere and, in this connection, a useful purpose has been served at Nottingham by the dissemination OT a *cis of some. instructive cases which have engaged the attention of the Courts.
The recent proceedings in the action brought by the Weston-super-Mare Urban District Council against Messrs. Henry Butt and Co. have also furnished an object lesson indicative of the value of combination for the protection of mutual interests, the value of which is appreciated in the Nottingham district, as throughout the country. In various other ways also the eminently practical character of the Association's work is being emphasized by the East Midlands Committee, which has the advantages of the services of Mr. G. N. Barker as secretary.
Shortage of Drivers.
Among other matters, attention has been directed to the fact that the organization has been assiduous in taking steps to lessen the serious shortage of commercial Motor drivers, its endeavours through a deputation which waited upon the Board of Trade having been
successful in securing remaining men being placed in the schedule relative to certifiedoccupations.
In the light of past necessities, Mr. Bennett has expressed the surprise which is shared by many others, that the
direct extension of the Association's work to the Midlands had been so long delayed, but this temporary failure is now being adequately compensated for by means of the new branch which has already attracted a substantial number of members to its ranks and is at present offering advantages upon the basis of reduced terms of subscription to cover the remaining period of the year.
Incidental to the establishment of the East Midlands branch of the Commercial Motor Users Association has come the formation for the same area, of an entirely independent organization, as an auxiliary of the Motor Transport Employers' Federation. Recent legislative enactments have accentuated the necessity for this addition to the trade's work, the main object which it is sought to attain being. in keeping with the spirit of the Whitley recommendations. As everybody knows,, there has been an abnormal rise of wages during the war period, and the limit seemingly has not yet been reached. joining with the larger organization represented by the National Union Of General Workers, of which Mr. 3. R. Clynes, the Food Controller, is the president and Mr. Will Thorne, M.P., general secretary, the men in Nottinghamshire, as in many other parts, have taken themselves beyond the pale of their individual organization, with the result that, in any action which they may deem it necessary to take, they will operate as components of a national body.
Much of the advantage which has hitherto attached to the purely local spirit of negotiation for the settlement of
• disputed points may thereby be lost and the establishment of the EmploYers' Federation has become a necessity, the importance of which is being recognized. in Nottingham, as elsewhere. Added to his many other activities, it may be recalled that since the outbreak of war Mr. Bennett has rendered much useful service in connection with the Nottingham Corporation Fire Brigade, taking his regular turn of duty at the central fire station, which is situate in the vicinity of his work, the portrait reproduced on this page depicting him in his fireman's garb.