Dispute – May 22nd b – Refusal of Employers Terms

May 1885

Refusal of the Employers Terms
Dissatisfaction among the Fillers

A meeting of the Denaby Main miners was held on Saturday morning in the lodge-room at the Mason´s Arms, Mexborough, Mr. P. Hatton occupying the chair.

The report of the interview was read to the meeting by the secretary of the lodge. When reference was made to Mr. Pope´s remarks concerning the introduction of foreign labour loud laughter arose, and when it was mentioned that Mr. Pope had stated that he would not be bound by the decision of Mr. Burt, a Miner said,

“What´s the good of bothering with him, then?”

Mr. Dixon read his report of the proceedings, which was as follows :-

That all fillers have 5s. 6d. per day. That the filling prices remain as before, but that soft lumps and hard lumps be filled by themselves, and that all small, whether soft or hards, be filled together.

That the datallers´ wages remain as before the stoppage.

He read that over to the manager before he left the colliery.

( A Miner : That´s hand-picking ).

He had received a note from the company that morning, as follows :-

The list of prices agreed to be paid by the Denaby Main Colliery Company, limited, as submitted to a deputation of their late workmen on May 15 th 1885.

” Prices for getting coal to be separated into three kinds, namely, ” hards,”

” softs,” and ” slack.” The price for getting and filling hards and softs to be 1s. 3d. per to ; ditto, slack, 6d. per ton ; colliers to pay filler for filling hards and softs 6d. per ton, ditto slack 4d. per ton. No percentage to be deducted from these prices.

The company agree until the whole question has been reported upon by Mr. Burt, to guarantee colliers´ wages to be 5s. 6d. per day, and fillers 4s. per day of eight hours.

Datallers and drivers to be engages as before.”

( Laughter, and a Voice : here´s another twenty weeks ).

The Chairman said they were not going o accept the first part of the state -ment. They would accept the terms offered to the deputation – viz. that colliers be paid 5s. 6d. per day, and fillers go in as they came out.

That did not refer to sorting.

They would draw a hard and fast line that all men go back to work at their own places. ( Hear, hear )

They would have no fresh men in their places, no over-crowding, and no `doggies´ over them. They were going to have no `n—-r drivers´ at Denaby Main. They would accept 5s. 6d. per day for colliers all round, but the fillers must go in as they came out.

A Miner said if that were to be decided upon, the previous resolution must be rescinded. ( A Voice : ” If the colliers go in at 5s. 6d., the fillers want a day´s wage.”)

A Miner remarked that they did not want it – it should be swept off.

The Chairman said the fillers had been offered 4s. Would they accept it ?

( Loud cries of No.” )

A Miner said they wanted to go in same as they came out.

( A Voice : Give the fillers 5s. 6d., the same as the colliers.)

The Chairman asked the fillers if they would be willing to work at 5s. 6d. per day, the same as the collier, and a loud shout arose in the affirmative.

The Chairman said if that were the case there must be no `n—-r drivers.´ He thought they ought to send for Mr. Pickard. ( A Voice :” Let´s put it to the council )

The manager had offered terms one day which he had withdrawn the next. He thought it would be wise to adjourn the meeting.

A member of the deputation which waited on the manager on the previous day, said the latter would not promise that every man should go back to his own place. He also said he would not shift any of the men that he had set on.

( A Voice : ` Black-sheep´)

The Chairman said he should put the former resolution.

The resolution, that the men of Denaby Main resume work at the old terms, was carried with acclamation.

The Chairman said it had appeared in the Sheffield Telegraph that £100 had come to Barnsley for them.

The question as to whether the price lists of the various collieries should be published was held over until the arrival of Mr. Pickard.

It was stated that the summonses for intimidation had been adjourned for a week.

The meeting adjourned, after a member of the Fabian Society had addressed the men on the subject of the co-operation of the working men of different towns.