MR JOHN EDIE'S CANDIDATUBE FOR CLUTHA. : . TO THE EDITOB.
Sir, — It was announced ktely through the Press that Mr John Edie had been accepted as the Government candidate for the Clutha seat at the ; general ejection. As it is generally understood that the present Government is l the working-classes' Government,' I wish to point out to the working .men of the Clutha electoral district the type of individual Mr John Edie is, so that they will be enabled to form an estimate of his worth and of the great love and practical sympathy hehas for them. Along with Mr John Kirkpatrick, Mr Edie, the would-be member for Glutha, is part owner of the undaunted hydraulic sluicing claim at Horseshoe Bend. 1 also understand that one or two other members of the Edio family are interested in the mine ; but that by the way. The undaunted for some years has paid handsomely, giving, I should say, Mr Edie and his partner, at least, from L6OO to LBOO a year each clear of all expenses. And how, think you, are the men who work in the mine treated 1 Are they paid the current rates of wages 1 No ! far from it. The poor unfortunates have to work for lower wages than are paid to men doing the same class of work in other hydraulic sluicing claims in the immediate and neighboring districts. But that is not the only objectionable feature. In the other claims, eight hours are recognised as the working day ; but in Mr Edie's mine the poor beggars have to work for nine (never under nine) up to 16 hours a-day ; and where overtime is paid — only in a few instances — the rate is the same as for the recognised nine hours. One of the jnen — a married man with a large family — gets 30s a week, another 365, three young men (ages from 18 to 25) from 20s up .to 255. Some months ago Mr Edie and his partner advertised for a number of cadets to learn mining at the undaunted claim, and several young men, who could get no other employment, made application and were taken on. And the rate of wages \ From 15s up to 20s per- week : the poor beggars to tucker themselves ! And all this when the mine has been earning for its fortunate owners a snug competancy — from L6OO to LBOO a year each ! Talk of the fat man grinding to dust the bodies and souls of his laborers after that ! And yet Mr Edie and his partner are true Liberals — sup* porters of ' the poor working men's Government,' the Government that makes a boast of doing so much for the down-trodden and the oppressed ! And this is not all. Every man at work in the mine has to attend a Bible class in Mr Kirkpatrick's house every sabbath morning, and has also to go to service evei'y second Sabbath afternoon at Ifcaes Junction, some three miles from the mine. If any of, the men fail or ncg'f3Ct to attend either the Bible class or the service, clu*y are not allowed to start work on tho Monday morning : their cheques are at ence made out and they are ordered off. And Mr Edie's partner makes a loud boast that he can get plenty of experienced men to work for him at 303 a week and find themselves ! Working men of the Clutha, cast not your votes for Mr John Edie. Give them to some one more worthy — to some one who acts fairly and squarely between man and man, and recognises in everyday life that the laborer is worthy of his hire ; who practises what he preaches and regards eight hours as a working day, giving in return, as an employer, a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. — I am, etc., A Working Max.\ Millars Flat, 26th. October. J>
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Original Correspondence., Clutha Leader, Volume XXIII, Issue 1165, 30 October 1896
Original Correspondence. Clutha Leader, Volume XXIII, Issue 1165, 30 October 1896
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