April 15th 1881.
Proposed Reduction In Wages At Denaby Main Colliery.
A crowded meeting of Denaby Main miners was held in the lodge-room at the Mason´s Arms, Mexborough, on Wednesday evening to take into consideration a notice which had been posted on the pit-bank the previous day, and which was to the following effect :-
” The 5% given during the spurt in trade of late will be taken off and after the 21st inst.”
The Chairman said everyone present would have seen this notice which, amongst others, had been placed at the pit-bank. This meeting was called in order to take some steps in the matter. They would remember that this 5% alluded to, justly belonged to them, it being a percent which the men lent the company over twelve months ago, and which had only recently been returned to them.
But he (the Chairman) was of the opinion that the first thing to consider was the time specified as notice. He did not think a seven days´ notice was a legal one, they were entitled to fourteen days. Formerly they received a months´ notice, but subsequently it dropped down to fourteen days. Now it appeared that it was going to drop down to seven days.
( A Voice : And we have to play four days of it )
Seven days was not a legal notice, and they did not ought to accept it.
A Miner : If the men were better united together, we should not have this sort of thing. ( Hear, hear)
I don´t agree with having to play so much. We ought to be treated in a different way. It´s a scandalous affair. ( Hear, hear, and A Voice : It´s not good enough )
Another Miner suggested that a deputation should wait upon the Manager, and see if they could not get him to withdraw the notice. He might possibly do so. It seemed a great pity that unpleasantness should soon again arise.
( Cheers )
A Miner : How is it we have come to no settlement with regard to a sliding-scale ? Is it our fault ?
( A Voice : No; we have acted honourably in the matter.)
The Manvers Main men are sure to get an advance and we were given to understand that when they are raised we shall be.
(A Voice : But it looks as though we are to have a reduction beforehand.) – We were to be guided by Manvers Main.
Another Miner : It was named at the Council last Friday about this 5%. I said we had heard nothing about any alteration. But Mr. Chappell had been written to, saying it would be wanted back. The Council recommended Mr. Chappell to get an interview with the Manager and try and stop it being taken away.
The Chairman : It was the Manager´s own agreement that if the Manvers Main men obtained an advance through the establishment of a sliding-scale we should get an equivalent advance. No agreement was signed to this effect, but we were given to understand thoroughly, by Mr. Warburton, that this should be so. Mr. Chappell said it was not necessary that an agreement should be signed to that effect. It would be an honourable undertaking.
( A Voice : I hope it will prove an honourable one )
It having been suggested that the meeting should be adjourned in order that a deputation might wait upon the Manager.
The following resolution was unanimously carried :-
” That this meeting is not satisfied with the action taken by the Manager in giving the men notice of a withdrawal of 5%, and that the said notice given not being legal, be not accepted.”
The proceedings then terminated.