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QUAINT STRIKES.

WORKERS' PROTESTS

.•■"Leas''hours, .same pay," is. the, demand' of; the strikers to-day,< bufc' there is more than one instance onvrecord where'workmen have -actually?"downed tools" tor less pay!' For a,' pei'ipd of no less than twenty weeksj. ■•for:: instance, 'thejeoalnuncr6,of Durham and Northumberland once remained' out on ■strike' as---a 1 protest against earning more than- three shillings a- day., Their* idea—-the I'ostensible idea underlying the'present striker-was to .niake .the, work "go':round. ■■•" :. ■• ;- ' -■■^•• : .' ; : {<■ ■;-■■ l;^pme\\-h'at similar proposal^. ; but ior -i' difteren.t"reasoriv caused aj curious,in-, dustrial : #sput« -ftV Oadby and-Loices-tef■'lii'lS&i- "The vOadby sockTmakers offered to take ffs ,<por. ce.n| less wages unorder to' attract work from Leicester^ I'whereupon the Leicester operatives, offeree!- %0- ;;t»ke 5 per cent,less ,if. the ma*s;ters :v 'pi:6mißed not to send work to .' (Wdby^ahd *)» the offer being declined V-ent on'-strike to enforce ; it... . •;■,■•.. ! v Men '^iave-frequently icome out on . 4fi^e' for ifeasbks thafcjiad no connec- ' ;tion- with-'Moura- or pay-. ■ Upon ouo ocr casion - 'feollierv employed ■ \»i •: it South Wales coil mi4e came,out, and when the troubled and perplexed owner arrived; on the .scene, iiG ;i found the cau^e bf'tii^Strike was tha,t^an elderly pit''pciny •"'(a ■■■gr^-'farouinte with everyoiie> l^;ije,<?a-; fcr^ferredjthe day before to another iainc.'<"He was brought back in all haste, and the picks were swinging merrily again within an hour. It is a dangerous*'"tfttrig to interfere with.';uid t-Kta.oiJ.s|i.ed..^untoms.; as Major liraiiuou:" v>-no'*abbtft twenty .years ago bought the :; vCarurQfth Copper Mine, found to ! liis.co6t. His;,predecessor ha^' been ( «i' ,th'| of giving" the meW hoi so.up, or cocoa oh -their arrivail in the,..morning or %, the night .;shift. Thinking this; fi waste bf;>time,' lie stopped it, at th« same time intimating ,t-h&jt compeii^tiqn would; be> given: in thp'shape of a slight> increase in pay. Next day not. a man was at work. SoUpiv hot soup, and plenty of it, had to be distributed before 'the strike ' could: be endedj' . . ' • Superstitibia was once responsible for a strike ;among navvies at Dover. One of their matee had been killed while working, and the others, to the number of several hundreds,' were stated to be of ■ the "belief that tlie- next gang working, on 'tlie^'clifFs at.;.the point where the man, had met with his death would be the victims of another catastrophe. Matters were settled with difficulty. One of our northern towns wa,s the scene of a. curious dispute about a dozen years ago. The aggrieved parties were a number of factory girls, who complained that their foreman liad arranged mirrors in the workroom so that when his back was turned'ho could still observe all the actions of the girls under his charge. "Tliey indignantly, and not without justification, refused to work uftdersudi conditions. Even. the. sacred precincts of a church lias not <ieterred members of the choir from going on strike. This occurred at Preston,' where the officiating clergyman brought a hornet's nest about his ears by from , the pulpit, his cupir of'talking during the service. At the close,.the members of-the choir denied the accusation, and demanded an apology., This was, not immediately forthcoming, and the result- wa-s that there was no choir that evening. The Psalms had to be read, and the hymns fell dreadfully fiat. Next morning the minister intimated that he had no ,in-i tention of insulting the choir, and the" affair was Bmoothed over. A certain literary gentleman, known in some circles as the author of stories of "the highly sensational and the old "penny-dreadful" type, employed a number of hack writers, his meTliod being to furnisii, the, plots and general lines of '.the;;;Btoriea' ;'f6r them to work up under his name into the thrilling productions referred to. • Far- this lie paid them about 80s a week. They revolted, demanded higher pay, .and re- ' fused to write any more for'him until, they.got it. This totally unlooked-for; cris^ put our author into a cornerput the'tin-hat" on him as theywould nowadays say—and having quite a number of pr&sfling contracts on hand ke, much against his will, was forced to accede to the demands of the not tod; highly paid scribes. jjoth footballers and cricketers liave refused, to play as a protest against cet- i tain grievances.• At Celtic I*ark, for in-. stance, tlje' directorate were once face i to face with a serious predicament.. A •few minutes, before the kick-off" in an important match, three or four of: the leading players, for some reason or: an- i ' other, absolutely refused td turn but. j The strike was well-planned, as tlie reserves had also a pressing engagement 1 on that afternoon, and things looked, black indeed for the success of the famous Celtic brigade. The directorate, nevertheless, by a supreme effort, rose to the occasion, secured "subs," and eventually pulled off the match without^ .the assistance of the "strikers" who .'were handed their transfer papers. ! The,.famous strike of the' Notts clev-. en aiid of.the Surrey cricketers will ] still -be remembered by old-timers, ■ These" were not the only instances of the! kind, however, the most: notable previous, being the refusal of the j All, England; eleven to play again#t f; Lilley - white's ' innovation, overarm! | bowhngV BOine. eighty years ago.-^j : "Weekly Scotsman." 'lli\jj

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19190508.2.47

Bibliographic details

QUAINT STRIKES., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9604, 8 May 1919

Word Count
848

QUAINT STRIKES. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9604, 8 May 1919

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