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shop, since it included some non-union men and had not been directed by the union, was not at the outset a union affair. They maintained that they could not be held by an agreement that had grown obsolete. The employer argued that it was to run indefinitely until terminated in the manner specified, or superseded by another; that it had never been superseded, and never been regularly terminated. He thereupon made a request that the Board pass upon the question as to whether the men were still bound by the agreement of September 17. On August 30 the following reply was sent: STATE BOARD OF ARBITRATION AND CONCILIATION,
Boston, August 30, 1901. Walker & Pratt Manufacturing Company, 31 and 35 Union Street,
Boston. GENTLEMEN: In reply to your request for an opinion as to whether the agreement of September 18, 1899, entered into between the Boston Stove and Furnace Dealers' Association and local Union No. 17 of the Amalgamated Sheet Metal Workers' International Association, is still in force, after careful inquiry and due deliberation, this Board is of the opinion that the agreement is still in force.
By the Board,
BERNARD F. SUPPLE, Clerk.
The case assumed another phase, treated elsewhere.
STANDISH WORSTED COMPANY - PLYMOUTH.
On Friday, August 30, 60 weavers quit work because of their objection to a deduction of .3 of a cent in changing from 4-shuttle to 3-shuttle work.
On September 3 the employer said, in reply to the Board's offer of services, that matters looked as though they would be settled on the following day. On September 6 it was learned, however, that all the departments of the mill were idle except one.
The Board went to Plymouth, and after separate interviews arranged a conference on September 9. It appeared that there was a written agreement, in which 4-shuttle work was taken for a standard, and .3 of a cent per yard were added; no provision had been made for 3-shuttle work, and when the employer went on to 3-shuttle weaving, the em ployer deemed it fair to deduct .3 of a cent a yard from the price of 4-shuttle work. The weavers, however, objected, saying that the price of 4-shuttle work was a minimum.
The president of the company had requested the weavers to return, and leave the settlement of the whole matter to him, saying that he would do what was fair; but this the weavers did not see their way clear to accept. About 250 hands had been employed in the mill in all departments.
During the conference it further appeared that the employees set up another claim, namely, for an increase in the price of white work. This was disputed by the employer. Evidence was submitted that 3-shuttle work had been paid for at the price for 4-shuttle weaving, it being shown that as many as 15 weavers had so been paid.
The president of the company thereupon said that he had been misinformed all along, and that, such being the case, he would now concede the claim of the weavers. He thereupon proposed that the list be signed without the desired increase in the price of white work; but the committee preferred to let the whole matter come before the weavers' meeting, which was about to reassemble. After the meeting the Board was informed that the committee had been invested with full power to conclude a settlement. The demand for an increase of 5 per cent. upon all earnings had been pressed at the meeting; but the State Board and the committee were of the opinion that it would not be conceded, and, furthermore, that the president's concession regarding the number of shuttles ought to end the strike. After the Board's departure a settlement was reached, and the next day letters expressing gratification and announcing the settlement were received from both parties.
LYNN THEATRE - LYNN.
A dispute having arisen between the Lynn Theatre and the stage hands over a list of prices which had been presented by the business agent of the union, but refused on the ground that they were higher than prices paid in other places, the management called upon the Board early in September, and, after stating the case as he viewed it, was advised to seek a conference with the employees' committee in the presence of the Board, with a view to a settlement. The advice was accepted, but nothing further was heard of the case until nearly three weeks had elapsed, when the employer announced his intention of referring the matter to the judgment of this Board. He was advised to seek a still further conference, but he thought it almost useless, saying that he had made concessions which were not accepted, and that the union were determined to have the full demand, or nothing. The conference was had, however, and on the 26th the employer reported that the difficulty had been satisfactorily settled.
EXPRESSMEN'S STRIKE - BOSTON.
On the 25th of September notice was received from John F. O'Sullivan, general organizer of the American Federation of Labor, to the effect that a strike had occurred on the part of the drivers for express companies doing business in Boston. Both parties were thereupon visited, and efforts of help in bringing about negotiations between the companies and the strike committee were made. It appeared that about 150 were involved, and that the strike was caused by the discharge of 8 men in the employ of the New York & Boston Despatch Express Company and of 1 by Earle & Prew; and the strikers believed that it was because of their mem bership in the union recently organized under the name of Team Drivers and Handlers, No. 207. The purpose of the strike was to compel the reinstatement of the discharged
After several interviews by the Board with each of the parties, the employer made a proposition that all might return to their former places forthwith, with the exception of 4 who had been discharged from the New York & Boston Despatch Company's employ and 1 from Earle & Prew. The number 4 was reduced to 3 by one of the strikers taking himself out of the controversy for the purpose of facilitating an agreement concerning the discharged men who were to be received back on application. Their cases would have to be investigated by the management, and any injustice that might have been done would be righted.
The Board reported this offer to the strikers, and accordingly on the following day the strikers were so informed, and accepted the offer as a suitable basis for a settlement. A conference on the 26th was thereupon arranged, and a settlement, it was thought, was arrived at, when it was discovered that for some reason there was a misunderstanding as to the disposition to be made of the 3 other men against whom the company felt itself aggrieved. The employer insisted that the 3 men exempted from investigation by the terms of this agreement could not be taken back except as the result of investigation, since they had been discharged for sufficient reasons, to the best of his knowledge. This determination on the part of the employer was a great disappointment to all the others concerned. The Board, however, undertook to persuade the employees to find some peaceful way of handling this phase of the difficulty; the committee considered the matter in the presence of the Board, and after considerable deliberation finally rejected the proposition which had upset the agreement.
Mr. Taft was so notified, and a further interview had with him, in the hope of reaching some settlement.
The case lingered on till the 30th, every day made the breach wider, and all the hard feelings of industrial strife were accumulating on both sides. The question of a sympathetic strike involving all the transportation industries of Boston and vicinity began to weigh with heavy responsibility upon the minds of prominent officials, and grave apprehensions permeated all classes who were in any way appraised of the difficulty.
The question of extending the strike was taken up by the allied trades and the Transportation Trades Council of Boston; on September 30 they sent a committee to see whether all lawful influences that might affect the manager of the New York & Boston Despatch Express Company had been employed, and to urge the fullest amount of attention to the difficulty until it might be adjusted.
The Board invited the co-operation of prominent business men of Boston to assist in averting a threatened sympathetic strike.
On the 1st of October the strikers' committee announced their intention to refer the matter to the arbitration of the