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The following is the official report of the Railway Commissioners to the Acting Premier with regard to the dismissal of the four Christchurch employees :— The Hon. the Acting'Premier—ln reply to your request for an explanation regarding the dismissal of four railway employees at Christchurch, we have the honor to report as follows : —The four men are Messrs Owen, Winter, Elvines, and Newton, who were members of the Executive Committee of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, a deputation from which waited on the Commissioners m June last m Wellington, the interviews with whom are recorded m Parliamentary Paper D.—4 of this session. The deputation gave an expression of loyalty to the service, through the President, who said ; — "The Executive . , , , counsel obedience to superiors, strict attention to duty, and an honest performance of work." By letter rom the Secretary of the Society, dated the 28th August, 1890, the Commisft oners received the following assurance:-—" This Executive does not wish the Commissioners to be under the impression that the Society upholds employees who may be guilty of insubordination." And on the 28th August we received also the following telegram:— "Informed loco, foreman, Wellington, siskin* men whether they will strike. TrustVeport false. No strike anticipated railway men.— W, J. Edwards." On the 29th August nearly the whole staff on the Westport railway refused to do duty m connection with runniug and discharging of coal trucks at the railway staiths. ()n the 2nd September ft numlxer of traffic and permanent way men at Lyttelton declined duty m connection with handling goods. | The Commissioners, believing the $smurances of the Society, at first thought that the action of the employees m striking was due to excitement and external pressure. The men at Lyttelton, however, stated that they had been "called out" by " the Executive," and on rft&eiot of mails from Westporfc we found also the following order had been issued there:—" Westport, 30fch August, 1890.—Sir,—I have the honor to inform you, by instructions from the Executive o£ the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, fchat engine drivers, firemen md guards are instructed not to shunt coajs on fctaiths,--Charles Reynolds, Secretary, A.S.R.S., Westport Branch- T. A, Peterkjn, Esq., District Manager, N,55, Railways," At a meeting held on the 3wl September at Christchurch, which was irspoi'ted m the local newspapers, and at which the President-and Secretary were present, and Messrs Winter, Owen, Newton and Elvines spoke, the following resolution wjw proposed and carried wnimimously:— "That this meeting express £t« unqualified approval and admiration of the manner m wnich the mon now out on strike, both here and tit Westport, have respond^ to the call of the Executive,

end pledges itself to come out to a man, n called upon, either to assist-, m terminating the present struggle or to force I bo reinstatement, of the muu now out. On tha motion of Mr Winter. Tho Commissioners, while they coulci not allow employees m their service to be openly counselling rebellion and dis obedience, wero unwilling to t-ike avantage of the wen's imprudence during inonie"iits of undue excitement ; but, as tijoy find it necessary that obemenee and order shall be maintained, they determined to remind the employees that strict obedience m future must be observed. They therefore issued the iollowing circular -—"Circular, No. 90-43, Head office, Wellington, 6th September, 1890. To all railway employees—The Ivailwr.y Commissioners have found with regret that some of their employees have been persuaded to acb recklessly and foolishly m disobeying orders, and that they have broken faith by refusing to observe the rules of their engagement, The Commissioners desire to remind all their employees that the only condition on which they can be employed as public servants on the Government railways is that they strictly obey the rules and regulations made under the authority of the laws of the co'ony. Those employees who cannot conscientiously continue to obey the rules are advised to give notice m a proper and orderly manner and to resign their places. Those who, as heretofore, do their duty as public servants faithfully and loyally, will have the entire support and assistant of the Commissioners m any difficulties which may arise.—Jas. McKerrow, J. I. Maxwell, W. M. Hannay, Railway Commissioners." " Officers m charge will please supply a copy of this to each employee, obtain receipt:;, and send them to then- District Officer." This circular was followed up by an order which required that the four employees who were specially counselling the others to disobey should give an undertaking to refrain from doing so m the future. The men preferred to take their discharge to pledging themselves as required.

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Bibliographic details

THE DISMISSED RAILWAY EMPLOYEES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2525, 23 September 1890

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THE DISMISSED RAILWAY EMPLOYEES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2525, 23 September 1890

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