Dispute – June 5th – Meeting of the Topmen

June 1885

Meeting of the Topmen

A meeting of the topmen employed at Denaby Main colliery was held on Wednesday afternoon for the purpose of taking into consideration several matters of finance which have much exercised their minds of late. It was unanimously agreed to form a fund for the relief of the men out of work owing to the strike. There is no dispute between the topmen and the company, but they are simply thrown out of employment owing to the miners and the company not having come to terms for coal getting.

The topmen have waited anxiously now for nearly six months hoping every week the dispute would be settled, but now that the colliery is set down they are obliged to ask the sympathy of the public on their behalf, as there is much distress amongst them.

The earnings of the topmen have been from 18s. to 20s. per week. Several of the men have got work elsewhere, and others endeavour to do so as soon as possible. But still there are over two hundred unemployed, and a great many of them do not where their next meal is coming from. The topmen contend they ought to have had an equal share of the money that has been gathered from the public, but instead of an equal share they have had to be content with 1s. per week for the last six or seven weeks, and only about fifty of them have received that amount, whilst the union and non-union men have been receiving three or four times as much per week. Therefore, the topmen argue that they are quite justified in forming a fund on their own behalf, and hope the public will sympathise with them.

The blacksmith at the colliery has received orders to shoe the horses in preparation for their being sold.

A rumour gained currency on Wednesday to the effect that the colliery will be re-opened on Thursday next.