Dispute 07 – February 13th – Dispute into Sixth Week

February 1885

February 13th 1885

The Denaby Dispute

A meeting of the miners of Denaby Main was held at the Mason´s Arms Inn, Mexborough on Tuesday. Opinions in favour of remaining out were expressed freely. The men have been out now for six weeks. Those who have been kept on the company, and who have been engaged in filling from the coal stack up to the present time, will finish work by the end of the present week.

It is rumoured that the deputies have received notice to leave their employment but this needs confirmation.

No action has been taken by the company in the matter of ejecting the men from the houses at Denaby Main.

Smallpox is spreading in Denaby Main, there being now no less than five cases. No case has, however, terminated fatally up to the present. It is stated that the company have taken to distribute disinfectants freely in the infected locality. It was reported on Tuesday that a case of smallpox had occurred in ” Sparrow Barracks,” but on inquiry it was discovered that the rumour was unfounded.

Some of the men are strongly in favour of a sliding scale being adopted in the district, which would have the effect of settling all differences without the need to resort to strike action. Their action however is negatived by the large number of Staffordshire hands employed at the pit, who have had experience of sliding scales in their native county.

Mr. Chappell´s proposed sliding scale differs materially from that in force at the Staffordshire mines. At the latter the wages of the miners were reduced or raised only when a fall or rise of 1s. in the price of coal occurred. Mr. Chappell´s scale proposes a rise or fall of 2 ½ % on every 3d. for both house and steam coal, the fourth rise to be one of 5%.

When the sliding scale was in force at Manvers Main the miners at that pit received 2 ½ % for six months more than any other miners in the area.

The agreement, however, lapsed about two years ago.