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THOMAS G. PLANT COMPANY-BOSTON.
On October 27 there was a strike of about 115 cutters in the factory of Thomas G. Plant Company in Roxbury, which soon involved 100 other employees and threatened to spread to all departments, including about 2,000 wage earners, all told. The strike originated with the cutters, who objected to a system of caring for the clothing which had been recently inaugurated in that factory. They apprehended that their garments would be rendered unsightly, if not damaged, especially in damp weather, by being rolled up and forced out of shape into the receptacles constructed for the purpose of guarding them.
Notice of the strike was received from the employer after the close of business hours on Saturday, October 27, and arrangements were made for a prompt visit on the following Monday, by the full Board. Early on the morning of the 29th, accordingly, the Board went to the scene of the difficulty, and, placing itself in communication with both parties, endeavored, by argument and suggestion, to reconcile them. The president of the company addressed the strikers at their meeting. He said that his system was practically the same as that adopted by the best hotels, but that his plans had not yet been fully carried out.
Thereupon the strikers passed a vote substantially as follows: that on the following morning, October 30, at 7.30 o'clock, they should return to work, place their clothing
in the usual places, as heretofore, and, awaiting the completion of Mr. Plant's arrangements, try them for one week. Mr. Plant, on his part, promised to make such changes as would meet the wishes of the help, or take down the boxes which had been prepared for storing the clothing; but he hoped that when the arrangements were completed and tried for a reasonable time they would prove satisfactory.
In this way the strike was declared off, through the efforts of the Board, and the wage earners returned to work on the following day.
The men employed in the making of skirts at S. Shapiro's factory in Boston, numbering 13, went out on strike on the 25th of October. They had recently organized a union for the purpose of enforcing redress of grievances, but the women employed were resolved not to join the union. The reason given to a member of the Board who investigated the difficulty was that the employer had aimed a blow at the principle of trades unionism in the discharge of a certain workman who had been active in attempting to reform the customs of the shop. The employer said he had not discriminated against the union, but had discharged the man in question for sufficient cause. He said the strike presented no difficulty for him, in that he had the help he needed, was running his factory full-handed, and the situation was perfectly satisfactory to him.
The mediation of the Board was recommended in case it should appear that the situation might be improved through a conference of both sides; but nothing further was heard of the matter.
HUMPHREY & PAINE-MARBLEHEAD.
Seventeen turn workers in the factory of Humphrey & Paine at Marblehead went out on strike on October 29 to enforce a demand for higher prices. On the 1st and 2d of November the parties were seen, and their assent to a conference was obtained. The employer presented an application for the Board's services, alleging that the prices demanded were excessive. Invitations were issued to both parties to confer at the shoe factory at Marblehead, on the 6th, with a view to settling the controversy by agreement. The appointed conference was had in the presence of the Board, and after a full discussion of the matters involved, an agreement was reached whereby the men returned to work on the next day following, with the understanding that if after trial prices were found to be excessive, the shoe council at Haverhill would take the matter under consideration, with a view to possible amendment.
On December 27 another difficulty arose between these parties, which was settled in a few hours. No further difficulty has come to our knowledge.
BOSTON & ALBANY RAILROAD COMPANY-SPRINGFIELD.
On the 25th of October a strike of boiler makers in the employ of the Boston & Albany Railroad Company at West Springfield occurred, a sequel, it was said, to an older settlement, whose terms had in some way been violated. The present grievance began in the unfriendly attitude of a foreman, and his furnishing employment to non-union men had made the breach wider, it was claimed. They now demanded, as a condition of accepting work in these shops, that the foreman be transferred to another station. On November 7 the Board went to Springfield, had an interview with the strike committee, and made appointments for the following day. On the 7th and 8th the Board was in Springfield, and mediated between the parties with a view to discovering some method by which the difficulty could be settled. The local officers of the road would make no concessions that the strikers would accept. The boiler makers' union then offered to withdraw all complaints concerning non-union men and return to work, provided the foreman be transferred to some other quarter.
The local managers of the road requested time for consideration, and promised to reply in a few days. On November 12 the grand president of the International Association of Boiler Makers of the United States, Canada and