GERMANY: Might of Bluff

Since the establishment of the German Republic, major labor disputes have been settled summarily, expediently by arbitration courts. But last week such a court was insolently flouted, its decision scorned.

Laborers in iron mines in the Ruhr Valley demanded an increase in wages, submitted their petition to arbitration. The court awarded them an increase, smaller than demanded, but satisfactory to the petitioners. The employers, however, flatly refused to comply with this decision.

To the support of the challenged court came Herr Rudolf Wissel, Minister of Labor, insisting to the employers that they must honor the arbitral award.

Unmoved, the employers repeated their...