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On January 2 the Board went to Hudson, with a view to composing the difficulty arising out of a proposed reduction in prices for operators, tackers and pullers-over in the shoe factory of F. Brigham & Co. at Hudson, who had quit work the day before. Mr. Brigham was out of town, and the investigation was confined to inquiries among the workmen, and an offer to mediate between the parties in adjusting their differences. On the following day Mr. Brigham was seen, and expressed his consent to the Board's mediation; but it appeared that the strikers had already returned, pending a settlement. Mr. Brigham said he was willing to pay whatever prices were paid by his competitors. Nothing further was heard from the difficulty.
WRIGHT & COLTON WIRE COMPANY - PALMER.
On January 8 about 65 wire drawers in the employ of the Wright & Colton Wire Company of Palmer struck to resist the introduction of cheap labor into the factory, claiming that the firm, by the employment of an objectionable person, had indicated its intention to replace the present labor by cheaper hands. On January 11 an interview was had with a committee of the workmen, and on the same day the Board went to Palmer to meet the firm and its employees. On the next day Mr. Wright of the firm and a committee of the employees, on the invitation of the Board, met in the presence of the Board to discuss their differences. ment satisfied the committee that their fear of being replaced by cheaper labor was unfounded. The objectionable person, he said, had been hired for no other reason than
because more workmen were required, and he offered if all hands would return to work, to restore them to their former places. The committee expressed a desire to report to the strikers at their meeting, to be held in the afternoon, and Mr. Wright agreed to remain in town to learn the result. The committee promised to inform him and the Board promptly. The conference then dissolved and the Board withdrew. On the 14th the strikers accepted the offer of their employer and returned to work. This settlement reopened the whole mill, which had been shut down by the action of the strikers.
F. BRIGHAM & CO.- HUDSON.
On January 7 a reported strike of 4 sanders, that threatened to involve the whole shoe factory of F. Brigham & Co. at Hudson, was investigated. It was found on inquiry that 1 of them had been discharged, and the other 3 left because they were not satisfied with the wages, and it did not appear that they desired to return. On the 12th 5 new hands were hired, whereupon the men in the finishing department ceased work and prepared to quit the factory on a sympathetic strike; but, after a short interview with the superintendent, they concluded to remain. It thus appeared that there was no controversy to be adjusted.
A. D. FISHER-LYNN.
On the 12th of January A. D. Fisher's 18 lasters struck to resist a reduction on the price of lasting slippers.
The employer stated to the Board that he had a plan in relation to the conduct of his factory which he was anxious to put
in operation, and that, if it did not prove successful, he would notify the Board. This information was communicated to the workmen. The controversy continued for some time, and a settlement was finally effected between the parties.
MORSE & LOGAN - LYNN.
On the 17th of January 16 shoe cutters employed in the factory of Morse & Logan at Lynn struck to enforce a list of new prices which were calculated to increase wages to the amount of about 15 per cent. average.
The Board offered its mediation, but learned that negotiations were being carried on which promised to result in an early settlement of the differences. An adjustment soon followed.
WILLIAM PORTER & SON - LYNN. The following decision was rendered on March 5, 1901:
In the matter of the joint application of William Porter & Son, shoe man
ufacturers of Lynn, and the cutters in their employ.
PETITION FILED JANUARY 22, 1901.
HEARING JANUARY 24, 1901.
The question at issue under this application is a scale of prices presented by the employees to the firm.
After due consideration, the Board recommends that the following prices be paid to the cutters in this factory:
Per 60-pair Case. Dongola foxed Polish,
$2 10 Dongola foxed button,
2 25 Dongola foxed Oxford,
1 55 Dongola foxed button Oxford,
1 70 Polisḥ tops, plain,
90 Button tops, plain, .
1 05 Pointed slippers,
90 Men's Oxford,
1 30 Golf boots, extra on all styles,
Per 60-pair Case. Colors, extra over black, on all styles, ·
$0 30 Seamless foxing, first quality, on kid, extra,
15 There is no award for extra on seamless foxing, first
quality, when calf is the material used.
By agreement of the parties, this decision is to take effect from the twenty-first day of January, A.D. 1901.
By the Board,
BERNARD F. SUPPLE, Clerk.
C. W. VARNEY & SON - LYNN. On January 18, 1901, 25 lasters quit their work in the factory of C. W. Varney & Son of Lynn, to resist a reduction in prices. Negotiations were soon begun between the parties, and the mediation of the Board was promptly offered. The lasters expressed their willingness to refer the whole matter to the Board in case negotiations proved fruitless. On January 21 an agreement between the parties was. reached, and the men returned to work on that day.
STEAMFITTERS - BOSTON.
In our report of a year ago a brief statement was made of the efforts of masters and wage earners in the steam and hot water fitting industry of Boston and the vicinity to formulate an agreement that would govern the relations of employer and employed.
The existing agreement, which was signed on October 24, 1895, as a result of the Board's mediation, was fast becoming inoperative, it was said; and it was apprehended that serious results might ensue unless some necessary amendments, suggested by experience, were speedily made.
Early in February the business agent of the fitters' and the helpers' unions and a representative of the Building Trades Council called upon the Board to invoke its aid in procuring a collective agreement; but before anything could be done the union revoked its request.
Five months later they renewed the request, and the Board transmitted it to the masters' association. It was then August, and some of the officers of that body were away on their vacations, and another month elapsed before a conference could be arranged. In the mean time, serious difficulties arose between the masters and their sheet metal workers, whose union is recognized as a branch of the building trades co-ordinate with that of the steamfitters.
The parties came together in the presence of the Board in response to invitation, and discussed their differences on September 10 and 16. The workmen's demand at the outset was a minimum rate of $3.50 per day for steamfitters; but this was later on reduced to $3. The masters claimed that they should pay a scale of wages according to the years of proficiency; but they, too, gave way so far as to shorten the list to two items, one of which was the $3 minimum to all fitters of more than one year's standing, and the other was $2.50 a day for steamfitters in the first year of their promotion from the grade of helpers. The masters also desired a ruling as to whether the agreement of October 24, 1895, was still in force. The workmen took the employers' offer under consideration. The conference dissolved without agreement.
On the following day the unions rejected the compromise offered by the masters, and so notified them through the Board. A letter was received from the fitters' union, expressing thanks to the Board for the services rendered.
The following response was sent to the employers :