These two extracts show the Cabinet was involved in trying to resolve a dock strike in 1924. Working conditions for dockers were generally very poor. They were usually employed on a casual basis, day by day and had little job security. There was often competition between gangs of dockers, which could sometimes break into violence. In Liverpool, for example, there were teams of Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Manx dockers. Employers could use the rivalry between them to keep wages low. A strike was called in February 1924 when relations between unions and employers reached breaking point.
THE DOCK DISPUTE.
4. The Minister of Labour informed the Cabinet that, following the breakdown of direct negotiations between the parties concerned in the dock dispute, he had invited a joint meeting of employers and employed to take place at the Ministry of Labour at 2-30 the same day. He proposed to open the meeting with a few words, after which everything would be done to explore the possibilities of a settlement.
THE DOCK DISPUTE.
2. The Minister of Labour made a full statement to the Cabinet as to the circumstances in which the Dock Dispute had been brought within sight of an immediate settlement, and of the terms on which it was hoped that a settlement would be reached. These terms included an increase to the wages of workers of 1/-s a day at once, and a second 1/- on the first Monday in June, the remission of the question of decasualisation to a Committee of representatives of employers and workers, with a Chairman nominated by the Minister of Labour, and were accompanied by a statement on the part of the representatives of both employers and employed that it was intended to be a real settlement in the industry. It only remained for the representatives of the <<Transport and General Workers' Union>>, who had their Executive Committee behind them, to consult their Delegate Meeting, and the results of that consultation ought to be known by 7 o'clock the same evening.
The Cabinet were also informed that the dockers at Plymouth had declined to handle the mails that morning.
The Cabinet agreed -