Threatened Strike At Denaby Main – Trouble With The Pony Drivers.

May 1889

Sheffield Independent – Tuesday 21 May 1889

Threatened Strike At Denaby Main.

Trouble With The Pony Drivers.

Yesterday, the whole of the pony drivers employed at the Denaby Main Colliery prepared a fortnight’, notice to leave work, and state that they intend to hand them in to the manager to-morrow (Wednesday).

If the young men persist in this plan it will necessarily result in a stoppage of the mine, which would be a very serious affair and a very unfortunate one particularly at the present crisis in the coal trade.

The cause of the grievance is that the wage, of the pony drivers are said to be lower than at neighbouring collieries. Many of them declare that they are underpaid — that the last 10 per cent, advance had not been given them, and that they mean to have a satisfactory settlement on this point before the next advance is due.

There are about 200 pony drivers in the pit, and comparatively few are said to receive the maximum wage of 2s. 8d. per diem, the minimum being said to be 1s. 1d.

Last Thursday they had an informal meeting on the colliery premises, and were at the point of quitting the mine unceremoniously ; but the men cautioned them against that course of procedure, and they then decided to hand in their notices in the ordinary way. They have nearly all joined the miners’ union, and contend that they have as much right to receive support as the men. They are very resolute, and declare that unless the whole of them are paid the proper rate of remuneration, they will not resume work at the termination of the notice

The question will come before a meeting of the men shortly.