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offices were renewed. The employees were found to be willing to confer with the employer in the presence of the Board, but the treasurer was not in favor with the proposition. A further effort was made, on December 5, when it was found that the attitude of the parties was the same as before. The treasurer could not be found, but the president of the mill treasurers' association stated that under existing rules nothing could be done by his associates except on motion of Mr. Knowles, who was thus far opposed to delegating his control of the situation. It appeared that several attempts of the loom fixers to interview Mr. Knowles by committee on the subject of a settlement had resulted in a failure.
On December 5 a meeting of weavers was held, for the purpose of considering a strike, with the result that a large majority voted to go out on the following Monday, unless the loom fixers' difficulty were adjusted in the mean time. On the following Monday the weavers' strike took place. On that day, December 11, the Board was in New Bedford, and interviewed each party to the loom fixers' strike, and endeavored to arrange a conference of all the parties concerned. The treasurer of the mills persisted in saying that there was nothing to settle, and gave as a reason for refusing the mediation of the Board that its services could only have the effect of encouraging the strikers. He maintained this attitude to the end. The weavers returned to work after twelve days, but the loom fixers continued their controversy. The difficulty was never adjusted. The strike lingered until February 12, 1901, when it was declared off.
ACUSHNET MILL CORPORATION AND HATHAWAY MANUFACTURING COMPANY-NEW BEDFORD.
During the first three weeks of the loom fixers' strike in the Acushnet and the Hathaway mills at New Bedford, the adjustment of looms was performed by men who did not follow that occupation. The weavers claimed that so much time was taken to adjust their looms that they could not make sufficient wages. They said that the management attempted to remedy the grievance by paying the weavers "stoppage pay" for the time lost in putting their looms into running order, but claimed that the stoppage pay was never reckoned fairly, and that what it added to their pay for weaving was not sufficient to procure one-half of what they required to live.
On December 5 the weavers voted to strike on the following Monday, in case the loom fixers' difficulty had not been adjusted by that time. On the 11th about 300 of them struck, according to intention. The Board attempted to mediate between the parties, but with no better result than in the case of the loom fixers. At no time was the treasurer willing to discuss the position of affairs with the weavers' representatives, and he expressed the opinion that any interposition on the part of the Board in the discharge of its duty could have but one effect, that of rendering his former employees less amenable to reason, as he viewed it. The strike would settle itself, if it were only let alone.
On the 23d of December they voted to return on the following Monday, the 29th. It is said that when they returned on this latter date about 50 of them were refused reinstatement.
The loom fixers' difficulty lingered for several weeks, but the weavers' department had no further difficulty.
LEONARD SHOE COMPANY-LYNN.
Some two years ago, during a period of depression, a reduction in price was pretty general throughout the shoe factories of Lynn. Early in December the cutters were resolved to obtain an increase over present prices, if not a restoration of the price which had been reduced. The cutters, who were members of Local Assembly 3662 of the Knights of Labor, sent their representatives to the firm on December 7, and the matter of the new price list was very thoroughly discussed. The firm, however, refused to accept it, and the men, to the number of 16, went out on strike, in consequence, at half-past ten o'clock in the morning.
The Board sought and obtained an interview with the parties, and found that they were negotiating a settlement, with much prospect of success. This proceeding was encouraged, and the parties were reminded that in case the present negotiations should fall through they could have recourse to the mediation of the State Board. The advice was cordially accepted on both sides. After a few days the parties came to an agreement.
GEORGE W. BELONGA—LYNN.
A difficulty in the shoe factory of George W. Belonga at Lynn grew out of the fact that thereafter better work should be required in the department of hand-turned work; and to secure that result, one of the workmen was promoted to the position of foreman. The men of that department left their work for the purpose of holding a meeting to discuss the situation, whereupon the men were told by the employer to go to the office. They did so and were discharged.
They held a meeting on the evening of that day, December 14, decided not to work under the foreman, and demanded increased pay for the better work that had begun to be required by the firm. A strike was declared. The employer insisted that any return to work must be under the foreman in question, and at current prices. The agent of the employees informed the Board that he believed they might be invited to return at any time.
On the 18th and 19th the Board interposed, with an offer of mediation, but the employer said that nothing could be done until after the new year. Moreover the situation had materially changed since the strike was inaugurated, in that he had engaged machines, and the labor that he might need would be furnished by the machine company. It was subsequently learned, at the end of three weeks, that the machines had been delivered to the factory, but that they