Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

10 erthygl ar y dudalen hon





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THE PENRHYN DISPUTE. REJECTION OF LORD PENRHYN'S OFFER. ANOTHER mass meeting of men on strike at Bethesda took place on Saturday evening, and as on previous occasions, the ball was crowded, and the proceedings were through- out characterised by much enthusiasm. Mr. William Evans, who presided, ex plained that they had assembled to consider what line of conduct to pursue in face of Lord Penrhyn's latest offer of employment. It now appeared that the position of the 71 suspended men had changed (laughter), but it also appeared that there would not be room for all the men. It was not, be de- clared, the position of the 71 that they fought for, but rather for the great princi- ple of combination and the right of work- men to deal with their employers through their accredited representatives. Whatever happened to the 71 men, the men were now going to make it impossible for any persons to be again placed in a similar situation (loud cheering). The present fight was for a principle which was recognised among all working men of the kingdom, and if the fittht should be unsuccessful it would be a betrayal of the cause of labour (cheers). Mr. Henry Jones (Gerlan) declared that the reinstatement of the 71 suspended men was an inadequate concession if others were to be substituted. The demand of the men was that freedom should be extended to all without distinction. He moved the follow- ing resolution In view of Lord Penrhyn's notice, offer- ing employment next week, together with Mr. Young's explanation in the press, we desire to inform his Lordship that he has again completely misunderstood the princi- ples for which we have now been out for five months. Also we desire to restate that we never thought of interfering with the management of the quarry, but that we are determined to secure recognition of our just rights to discuss our affairs with the man- agement, and to rectify our complaints as a body of workmen through our duly elected representatives and officials, without these persons being in future open to sufier in any way for acting as our representatives' Mr. Robert Davies, in seconding the reso- Ition, referred to the allegations that the Quarry Committee had been guilty of inter- fering with the management of the works, and asked the meeting whether there was the slightest foundation for the charge? (Loud cries of 'No'). That certainly was the case. The committee was not to be held responsible if the quarry agents chose to con- sult certain persons as to how the works should be carried on (hear, hear). Some time ago he (the speaker) had occasion to refer to the importance of reinstating the 'king'on the throne. He complained that his meaning had been grossly misconstrued all he meant was that the men should insist upon their right of being represented by their own duly elected committee (cheers). He unhesitatingly laid the blame for the misfortune in which Bethesda had found itself for five months at the door of those men who had misrepresented to Lord Ppn- rhyn the doings and intentions of the com- mittee (loud cheers). Mr. John Williams ('Rynys), supported the motion, stating that while the men had fought their battle on honourable grounds, he was not certain that their opponents- with the exception of Lord Penrhyn—had not been hitting below the belt (hear, hear). He observed that the last notice issued was different from its predecessors; but let it be known that the Penrhyn quarrymen did not regard a change of persons as a change of principle (cheers). What they asked was that, having done fnothing wrong, they should all be reinstated. Their unity so far had been ,uch as to attract the commendation of the whole country, and he ventured to say that any week-kneed men that might be lured by the present notice would, become hopeless prisoners' (applause). The resolution was then carried unani- mously. Mr. Thomas Roberts (Vron), moved the following resolution :— Before we can go to work a clear under- standing must be obtained of the terms under which we resume work. Also we wish to remind his Lordship that the resolution we passed on September 30th, 1896, makes it impossible for us to accept the offers that have now been make three times by apply- ing for work individually. The resolution referred to stated that whenever we return to work we do so together, upon the under- standing that each one returns to his old place. That resolution is also consistent with the precedents at the Penrhyn Quarry in the setlement of previous strikes, namely in 1865, in 1874, and in May, 1896.' Mr. David Davies seconded the resolution, which was carried. ,r T) Another resolution, proposed by Mr. Ro- bert Thomas (Pen-y-bryn), was the to follow- ing effect We, as workmen, again desire to inform the Board of Trade of our wish to place all matters in dispute between us and Lord Pen- rhyn to be settled by them, or for them to arrange any mode of bringing about honour- ably a peaceful settlement by means of the Conciliation Act or any other method they might think fit to adopt.' Mr. W. H. Williams, in seconding the re- solution, stated emphatically that he was foremost among those who desired peace, but not peace at any price (cheers). There was probably truth in the statement that by going in on any conditions they might gain many things held out as a bait, but that was not the question. The men bad endeavoured to secure peace by almost every means known, and had had resort to the only Conciliation Act in iforce in the country, but they had failed. In this reso- lution another method was suggested. They were now willing that the dispute should be settled in the way the Board of Trade might think best. Outsiders laboured under the misapprehension that ithe workmen were the weaker side in this dispute, but if these outsiders thought the men would do any- thing unfair because of their supposed weak- ness they were greatly mistaken (loud cheers). This resolution was likewise carried una- nimously. It was announced that the col- lections made at the Dinorwic Quarry dur- ing the past month towards the Bethesda relief fund were X-173, while at Festiniog they were £ 178, and the receipts of an addi- tional sum of XIO was announced.

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