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interested, and love, that something may be done to adjust this matter, and that good feeling and harmony may exist between the employers and the employed.
To the Honorable JEREMIAH CROWLEY, Lowell, Mass.
DEAR SIR: - Yours of the 29th inst. at hand. The demand of the strikers at the Merrimack Print Works is that either overtime work cease, or that it be paid for at one-fourth more than the regular pay.
The business of the company is of such a nature that overtime work at certain seasons and in certain departments is a necessity.
If the works should be so extended as to avoid overtime, the result would be that steady employment could not be given. The present system is, therefore for the interest of the operatives, as well as of the company.
Overtime in the departments in question has always been paid for at the regular rate, and this has been the rule not only at the Merrimack but at the Hamilton, Pacific and Manchester Print Works. We should not be called upon to pay more than our competitors, neither is there anything in the condition of the print business to warrant an advance in wages at this time.
Many of the places being filled, it is impossible to take back the former employees in a body, as you propose.
The Hamilton strikers are to go back on the condition that they shall not be required to work overtime unless it is necessary. We have never worked our employees overtime when not necessary. In view of the settlement in the Hamilton case, which the strikers claim is satisfactory to them, it would seem that the strike of the Merrimack employees was unjustifiable and unnecessary. The committee stated that they did not want to strike, but were outvoted at the meeting, and the action forced upon them.
We have hired such of the strikers as have applied, so far as there were vacancies. To-day in one department 65 applied; 25 were allowed to resume work. The others will be sent for if needed. That will be our policy regarding others.
Very truly yours,
JOHN W. PEAD, Agent.
The attitude of the management was exactly the same as at first. Matters drifted on for another week without hope of compromise, until, after more than three weeks of trouble, the strike collapsed. Only as many as were needed could be received, and the hands began to return to their former positions as fast as the conditions within the mill would permit.
HAMILTON MANUFACTURING COMPANY - LOWELL.
A misunderstanding affecting wages in the bleaching department of the Hamilton Mills at Lowell took place on October 8, and thereupon a strike of the 18 employees in that department ensued. The wage earners of other departments, who had lately been reinstated under the agreement already referred to in a preceding case, remained at work, and the difference arising in the bleaching department did not spread to any other branch of the industry.
The following day the Board, upon learning of another trouble in this mill, went to Lowell to investigate it. Interviews were had with the workmen and the management. It was learned that this new difficulty arose from a misunderstanding as to wages, caused by the introduction of machinery, and, further, that, as the men had without notice so soon after the other strike severed their connection with the mill, the employer was not willing to receive them back.
The places of the men were filled one after another, and at last accounts the mill was running full-handed.
JORDAN, MARSH & CO. -BOSTON.
On October 4 the agent for the upholsterers in the employ of Jordan, Marsh & Co. had an interview with the Board in relation to a movement in his industry for higher wages per week, and filed an application requesting the Board to mediate, with a view to bringing about a settlement. There was no indication that the employer was averse to granting the demand. The agent was therefore advised to lay the demand before the firm, and endeavor in a direct way to come to an agreement and report the result. When such an effort had been made in vain, it would be proper to invoke the services of the Board. In a few days he reported that negotiations were pending, and thus far had produced good results; and on the 13th of October he notified the Board that the employer had conceded the demand.
AMERICAN HIDE AND LEATHER COMPANY.—
A strike of 15 trimmers occurred on October 5 in the American Hide and Leather Company's tannery, known as White Brothers, at Lowell. Several employees of other departments were thrown out of work in consequence of this strike. Neither party seemed to care to make the details of the difficulty public, but it was known in a general way to be a controversy relating to prices; and the strikers claimed that, intentionally or otherwise, the company had not lived up to its promises, made in settlement of a recent difficulty. The Board had interviews with the parties, and learned that the difficulty was in way of settlement, both parties having agreed to confer with that in view.
Finally, a settlement was reached and the strikers returned to work on October 15. The employees who had been thrown out of work by reason of the strike did not return until several days later.