« PreviousContinue »
Board if the present negotiations should fail. The president of the Chamber of Commerce reported that the employer was now ready to refer the matter to the Board's judgment. Each party was thereupon informed of the other's attitude, and the same was made known to the mayor. An application for arbitration was filled out and signed by the committee, and all the strikers returned to work, with the exception of the 3 men whose standing was to be referred to the Board for decision, and the other 3 men whose grievances were to be investigated by the general manager of the express company. In this way all concerned believed that the expressmen's strike was practically ended, and that the threatened strike of 13,000 men had been averted. The employer's name had not yet been appended, but the employees had every confidence that it would be after word had been received from New York in sanction thereof.
On the 2d of October all hands returned to work except the two groups of 3 each whose cases were to be further investigated, when one Kelliher, employed by Earle & Prew, was directed by Mr. Prew of that company to cease working, and the claim made was that he was not loyal to the employer's interest, not that he had ever done anything, but in saying that he would obey the union rather than his employer. The feeling which this act gave rise to was so great that all parties interested in maintaining peace greatly feared that the expressmen's strike would be renewed with greater intensity than before, and that this matter would have to be
if necessary, by a hearing and a decision on the part of the Board, before any further negotiations were possible. This was the opinion of Mr. Lincoln, president of the Chamber of Commerce. In this view of the case a hearing was given on the following day. The employees only,
with the president of the Chamber of Commerce, were present, and all efforts to find the employer in question were fruitless.
The difficulty grew more and more acute; the necessity for acting quickly in regard to the Kelliher difficulty increased with every moment. The employer could not be found. Men were idle. Fellow workmen fancied a blow had been struck at their union. The influence of labor leaders and all public-spirited men appeared to be well-nigh exhausted, and everybody looked to the Board to find some way out of the difficulty. At this stage Mr. Kelliher announced his withdrawal from the difficulty, having secured a better situation with one of the prominent merchants of Boston, and thus a second disaster was averted.
The sanction of the chief office having been received, the manager of the New York & Boston Despatch Express Company affixed his signature to the application of the employees and the question presented by the joint document relating to 3 of the men who had been discharged. In view of other engagements, October 15 was the earliest day at which a hearing could be had, and notices to that effect were issued on the 8th. Under the provisional settlement all parties appeared to be content, and peace was restored. At the appointed time the hearing was had, and, after a long discussion, adjourned to the 16th. On the 16th, however, a private settlement was reached, whereupon both parties appeared and notified the Board that there was no longer any controversy between them.
WILLIAMS, CLARK & CO. – LYNN. The following decision was rendered on December 3 :
In the matter of the joint application of Williams, Clark & Co., shoe manufac
turers of Lynn, and their employees in the cutting department. In this case the Board is asked to decide “ As to which system shall be adopted: Whether the cutters shall be paid by the week at $17, with no agreed upon stint or specified numbers of pairs of shoes to be cut per day, or by the piece system, and if by the piece system, how much per pair on the various kinds of work.”
After a hearing in the case, interviews with such manufacturers in the vicinity as either party proposed, and a further conference with the parties themselves, the Board recommends that the cutters in this factory be paid by the week at the rate of $17, with a standard for a week's work to be arranged by agreement between the parties.
By the Board,
BERNARD F. SUPPLE, Clerk.
THOMAS A, KELLEY & CO. – LYNN, On the 28th of September, at 8 o'clock in the morning, 24 stakers left their work in the leather factory of Thomas A. Kelley & Co. because of the employment of a non-union staker. At 10 o'clock 46 glazers went out in sympathy with the stakers. On October 1, 23 employees in the beamster department also struck, in sympathy with the stakers. About 300 men were thrown out of employment
On October 2 a conference was brought about in the presence of the Board, which resulted in a written agreement, which was filed with the Board.
THOMAS A. KELLEY & CO. – LYNN. On the 1st of November Thomas A. Kelley & Co., morocco manufacturers of Lynn, laid off some 20 men known as stakers, for the purpose of curtailing the product of that department, in order to complete the manufacture of such skins as they had treated. One week later they sent for 6 of the stakers, having work for that number, but not any would return unless all were taken back, . In the meanwhile, 25 men in the glazing department were suspended for lack of work. On November 14 the employees in the beamster department, numbering 6 beamsters and 29 helpers who had returned to work under agreement No. 2, went out again on strike, in sympathy with stakers and glazers; two days later the business of the whole factory was suspended, 280 men being out of work.
On November 16 the Board interposed with an offer of mediation. Mr. Kelley said he had no knowledge why the men in the beamster department had left his employment, since he had no controversy whatever with them or with the stakers and glazers.
By this time difficulties arose in the morocco shops of A. B. Hoffman, the Weber Company, the Eastern Kid Company, and Pevear & Co.; and, the employers being willing to confer on the subject of settlements with a committee of employees, the parties were brought together in the rooms of the Lynn Board of Trade, whose assistance the Board had solicited.
On November 21 the discussion was limited to the Kelley factory, the others saying that they would accept for their shops such settlement as might be made in this case. After a full discussion a plan of settlement was committed to writing and submitted to both sides for consideration, the workmen saying they would have to consider it at their meeting the following evening. The conference was resumed in the evening of the following day, and the workmen's committee moved an amendment to the plan of settlement by adding two clauses : first, that the present rate of wages for beamsters ($12 a week) shall be paid for one year, or during the term of agreement; second, that, in hiring new men, preference shall be given to union men. The manufacturers did not accept the amendment, and the conference dissolved, subject to further call.
Subsequently the president of the Lynn Board of Trade made several attempts to bring about a settlement, but without success. At last, on January 24, 1902, a settlement was reached whereby the beamsters and stakers were to receive the same wages as before the difficulty; the bower glazers were to receive $11 a week and side glazers to receive $10.
On the 25th of January 30 returned to work, but immediately quit the factory and announced a strike, for various reasons, the principal of which seemed to be the presence of an objectionable foreman. There were some breaches of the peace that attracted the attention of the courts, and on the 28th the strike was declared off, and most of the employees returned to work. On the 29th, however, they all quit work to resist the employment of one Harry Brown, a Greek, who was said to be in poor standing with the union. This difficulty lingered until February 3, when a settlement was reached that has thus far proved satisfactory.