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way of terminating the difficulty. The master plumber was neutral regarding his workmen's attitude towards tradesunionism, but expressed his readiness to perform his part in any fair expedient that might be devised. Mr. St. John promised his co-operation. The four non-union workmen stated that their objection to joining the union was that the required fee was excessive. The representative of the strikers, who was the business agent of the building trades council, said that he would endeavor to have the plumbers' union commute the cost of initiating the men in question to fees within their means. Mr. Sullivan of the plumbing firm volunteered to advance the amount, whatever it might be, if agreeable to them, on account of wages for work to be performed. The four journeymen accepted their employer's offer, and thereupon signed applications for membership in the plumbers' union. This solution was gratifying to all concerned. The controversy was at an end, and on the following day, October 18, all the building trades resumed operations on the Elmwood School.
The co-operation of the Hon. Arthur B. Chapin, mayor of Holyoke, contributed greatly to the speedy settlement.
The influence of the settlement extended beyond the scene of the difficulty narrated in the foregoing, and was effectual in warding off trouble in the building of the Highland School, then under contract to the same parties.
MCARTHUR BROTHERS COMPANY-CLINTON.
About 250 laborers employed by the Metropolitan Water Board at Clinton, in the construction of the Wachusett dam, at $1.50 a day, learned on October 15, at the end of a half-hour's work, that the contract for the succeeding portions of the work had been awarded to McArthur Brothers Company, of Chicago, and that the new employer intended to pay for a ten-hour day at the rate of 13 1-2 cents an hour. The new price was deemed insufficient, and the laborers struck. The Board communicated with an officer of the Metropolitan Water Board, and learned that, while it was no longer the direct employer of the men in question, it would be pleased to have the Board compose the difficulty, if possible. While the Board was in Holyoke, reports were received to the effect that strangers had been put to work in the places of the strikers, and that collisions had occurred between the former em
ployees and the newcomers. The contractors had sought and obtained police protection. On arriving at the Wachusett dam it was learned that many of the old hands had returned to work, and the chief of police assured the Board that everything was going on harmoniously, the same as before.
FITCHBURG MACHINE COMPANY - FITCHBURG.
On October 25 the Board went to Fitchburg and had separate interviews with the parties to a controversy in the moulding industry. In June last the moulders employed by the Fitchburg Machine Company demanded a minimum wage of $2.75 per day, which it afterwards changed to one of $2.62 1-2 a day. The employer's refusal was the occasion of a strike that has lasted ever since. The employer would make no concessions, and the strikers' committee expressed a belief that it was useless to press matters at that time, for the reason that business was dull. The Board gave such advice as was calculated to facilitate negotiations whenever they might be resumed.
M. J. PERRAULT-FITCHBURG.
The parties to a controversy in the foundry of M. J. Perrault were interviewed separately on October 25 at Fitchburg. The employer said that the union price, $2.75 a day, had been demanded of him last June. He declined to entertain it, closed up the shop, but afterwards reopened it to non-union men only. Business, he said, was dull, but the situation was on the whole satisfactory to him. The employees expressed the belief that while business was at such a low ebb it would be useless to undertake anything looking towards a settlement.
BUTCHERS AND GROCERS' CLERKS-SPRINGFIELD..
On October 25 the Board went to Springfield for the purpose of mediating in a controversy between the butchers and grocers of that city and clerks [in their employ. Alleging that the employees in question intended to procure the discharge of non-union clerks, some of the dealers had required that men in their employ should not be members of the clerks' union. The employers also were organized, and three stores had been "boycotted."
Separate interviews were had with the secretaries representing the respective sides. Each promised to call a meeting of his organization for the purpose of appointing a conference committee, with power to negotiate a settlement, and to notify the Board of the result.
The Board went again to Springfield on November 7 and met a committee of butchers and grocers' clerks, and conferred with them on the question of settlement. The committee said that, while the relations of employers and employees were strained, there was at that time no grievance to present of such character as might be the subject of a reference to the State Board of Arbitration.