Dispute – May 29th b – Another Interview with the Manager

May 1885

The Denaby Main Dispute
Another Interview With The Manager

A deputation of miners of Denaby Main waited on Mr. Chambers, the manager, on Tuesday, at the colliery offices.

In answer to a question as to what they had to propose, the deputation replied that they had to offer the district terms, at the same time informing him what those terms were.

Mr. Chambers replied that all he could do in the matter was to inform Mr. Pope of their proposals.

The deputation then asked the manager if he could see his way clear to allow them to resume work at the old rate of wages, less the 10% reduction conceded at a number of collieries in the district, and refer the other questions at issue to arbitration.

Mr. Chambers stated that he could do nothing, but promised to acquaint Mr. Pope with what had passed at that interview. He informed the men that they were paid higher rates than those paid at other places in that district.

The deputation thereupon informed Mr. Chambers that they were willing to lay the prices paid at Denaby Main, together with those paid in the district, before Mr. Burt, M.P., who had consented to act as arbitrator or umpire, and that if the company could prove that their employers paid higher rates than the rest of the district, they would abide by the result.

Mr. Chambers told the deputation that he had not heard that Mr. Burt had accepted the position, although Mr. Pope might be aware of the fact.

The deputation then informed Mr. Cambers that a letter had been received from Mr. Burt stating that he would not accept the position of arbitrator unless he was asked by both sides, and that even then his decision would have to be binding. They were of opinion from the telegram they had received since, that Mr. Burt had either seen, or received a communication from Mr. Pope on the subject.

In reply to a question as to the proportion of small coal made at Denaby Main, Mr. Chambers said he would reserve his answer if arbitration were to be resorted to. The statements made by Mr. Nicholas and the manager at the start of the struggle, as to the effect that no reduction was required were referred to by the deputation.

Mr. Chambers admitted that the terms asked by the company meant a greater reduction than that asked in the district. He said he had no other terms to propose than those that had previously been offered to the men, and remarked that in the event of there not being any men engaged by Wednesday, the colliery would be closed, as everyone had received notice to leave, with the exception of the under -viewer, whose duty it would be to examine the mine daily. His own services, he informed the deputation, would not be required, as according to the Mines Regulation Act a manager was required only when there were twenty-five men employed.

The deputation then withdrew.

It is stated that a Rotherham auctioneer has been authorised to sell the pit ponies and horse.