The “Bag Dirt” Strike – Seventh Week of the Stoppage

August 1902

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 15 August 1902

The Strike at Denaby & Cadeby

Seventh Week of the Stoppage

The position in the Denaby and Cadeby strike, so far as the prospect of a settlement is concerned, remains unchanged.

During the week the interview with Mr W.H. Chambers, details of which were published in last week’s issue of the “Times” has been freely criticised by the men and their representatives. Among other statements which they take up section is the declaration by Mr Chambers that he had not received any intimation from the men since the stoppage of the nature of the revised price list, which they say they require. The contention of the men is that the management know very well what the men’s grievances are, as they have been the subject of discussion at various interviews during the past two years.

At a meeting of the men held on Thursday evening in last week, Mr G.H. Hirst, the Cadeby check weighman, set forth a price list, which the meeting accepted as the list that they would meet their views, but no intimation has been forwarded in an official manner to Mr Chambers on behalf of the men. It is quite clear that unless some such steps are taken there can be no progress towards the commencement of the negotiations that must inevitably precede a settlement.

Meanwhile, an important matter is that of the food supply. It was stated at a meeting a few weeks ago that the collectors who are set out to the various collieries and districts would to have to bring £750 a week to supply every men and boy affected by the strike with a sum of five shillings a week. Nothing like £700 is coming in weekly, but the men’s representatives are not discouraged; indeed, they believe that with the settlement of the disputes at the other collieries the voluntary subscriptions from miners at other pits will increase. Practically the whole of the money collected is spent weekly in obtaining a supply of bread, about 8000 two pound loaves being distributed every Thursday morning.

Amongst some of the men dissatisfaction has been expressed with the distribution of bread, and a request made at the money shall be divided. The men’s officials however, believe that theirs is the better course, for by the provision of bread some wives and children are at least assured of a little food. A fear was openly expressed by one of the officials on Wednesday that if the bread money was divided some of it would not find its way home, but would be spent in drink. This was straight talk, but it was no doubt, applicable in some cases.

A weekly cash payment of nine shillings a man with one shilling for each child is made to those of the men are entitled to union pay, and it is a well-known fact that in some cases two great a proportion of this sum is spent in drink. The great majority of the men, however, appear to be careful how they spend their money.

The position of those men who were “financial” has now been defined. The decision of the Council of the Yorkshire Miners Association that all members of the scores were page June 7 Chelsea strike pay, and those who fulfil this condition and have not yet received pay the entire draw the arrears.

All new members not been in the Society the allotted period of 13 weeks at the time of the stoppage will not receive union pay. They were advised on Wednesday to pack up their clothes, and seek work elsewhere. The number of those who are not entitled to strike pay is less than 150.

It is now generally known that the amount for which Isaac Cooper, a defaulting collector, is responsible is £13 3s. 9d. Great evening nation has been expressed as a money should have been paid into the fund from which the wives and children received the case of bread. Cooper was sent in company with another man to collect at Hickleton Main colliery a week ago last Saturday. The other men returned with the book which showed amount gathered, and Cooper was also seen in Conisborough on the Sunday, and later he disappeared, and the money has not been paid into bread fund. The incident is a regrettable one, and the shame of the act further intensified by the fact that the money was intended for food for children and women.

“Be calm” continues to be the pass word and generally speaking the men are well behaved; but there are indications of impatience in some quarters. Some of the men of growing tired of playing a waiting game, but the advice of one of the principal officials on Wednesday was to maintain a quiet attitude; and he urged upon the men not to cause any acts that would make themselves or the Association to which they belong liable.