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I THE MINERS' STRIKE AT DAY I DAW.
THE MEN'S VERSION.
As briefly chronicled in the West Aus tealian, a strike of miners is in progress in the Day Dawn district, on the Murchi- son. The mines affected are the Great Fingall Consolidated gold mine (locally known chiefly as '* the big mine") at Day Dawn, and the Victory mine at Cudding- warra. At the former property some 87 men are on strike, and at the latter 36, making 122 in alL Mr. J. B. Holman, the chairman of the Day Dawn Defence Com- mittee, who is in Perth in connection with the dispute, was seenlast night by one of our reporters, when he consented to explain the position of the men.'
" Previous to June last," remarked Mr. Holman, " the Great Fingall Consolidated mine was under the management of Mr. Goldstene, a practical mine manager, who always paid the men the current rate of wages -ruling in the district. At that
time the rates were:-Miners in wet
ground, ¿64 10s. per week; do. in dry ground, ¿63 15s. per week ; and labourers, 11s. 8d. to 10s. lOd. per day. Under this management the work appears to have proceeded satisfactorily, no trouble arising between the men and the management. Early in June Mr. Goodwin arrived at the mine and took charge and he immediately reduced the rates for wet ground to ¿64 5s., that being the rate decided on at tho conference between the managers and men la3t year. Recognising that an agreement had bean come to to this effect, the men accepted the reduction and worked on as
" Towards the end of June, however, Mr.
Goodwin had notices posted on the mine to I the effect that he intended as from July 1st to further reduce the wages to the following rates :-In wet ground, ¿64 ; in dry ground, ¿63 10s.; and labourers, ¿63 per week. The men naturally felt aggrieved at this action, and they decided not to accept the proposed reduction. We interviewed Mr. Goodwin and in- formed him of our decision, and at the same time informed him we were willing
to continue work at the conference rates. Mr. Goodwin declined to let the men work at those rates, and he gave as his reason for the reductions that he waa going to introduce the Kalgoorlie rate of wage in the Day Dawn district. Mr. Goodwin told the men that as the conditions of the
Day Dawn and Kalgoorlie districts were practically the same, it was only fair that the miners in the former should work at the same rates as those in the latter field. We, however, showed him that the cest of living was 20 per cent, higher in the Day Dawn district than in the Kalgoorlie district, and that the chance of employment was also very, much greater in the Kalgoorlie than in the Day Dawn distriot. The manage- ment, however, would not concede the point asked for by the men, and succeeded in obtaining three or four weeks'protection on the lease and also a month's exemption on the ground of scarcity of labour. ".They were making application for six months' exemption on the same grounds. I may add that Mr. Goodwin made an offer to the men on July l8 to fix the rates as follow :
In dry ground, ¿63 13s. 3d ; in wet ground, ¿64 3a. 3d.; and labourers, ¿63 2s. per week; but this offer was refused by the men.
" The miners are holding out and are being well supported. In all there were 87 men on the GreatFingallConsolidated mine of whom 46 were directly affected by the reduction in wages, and the balance of the men went out on strike in sympathy with them. It should be added that the men
feel that if they accept the proposed re- duction it will lead to a general rednotion in the rates on the whole of the Murchi- son, and the men are determined to resist such a step. The number of men out at the Victory mine at Cuddingwarra is 35, and the management there desire te bring about the same reductions as in the case of the other mine. The Victory management has als* applied for six months' exemption on the grounds of scarcity of, labour, and, of course, I am doing my best to oppose it, as
there are scores of efficient workmen will- ing to work at the conference rates. Miners all over the colony are well sup- porting the men, and the business people in Day Dawn and Cue, recognising the justice of the men's claims, are themselves paying between ¿640 and ¿650 towards the strike funds,
«Another fact that is of interest ia that a number of free labourers were obtained in the metropolitan distriot, and sent on to Day Dawn on Saturday morning. Accord- ing to telegrams >I have received from labour officials these men were met at
Walkaway, and on having explained to them the position of affairs at the mines they promised not to accept work. They, however, proceeded to Cue, and I have been informed by Mr. C. H. Corser, secre- tary to the A.W.A., Cue, that they have all joined the union, having, on the matter in dispute being made known to them, refused to go on the mine. I am also informed that it is intended to send another lot of free labourers to Day Dawn, but I antici- pate that they will act m the same manner on «3 they become acquainted with the facts of the case. The union is also adver- tising cautioning miners against proceed- ing to the scene of the strike until they make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the rights of the dispute."
STATEMENT BY THE LABOUR
Mr. F. Davis, secretary to the Trades and Labour Conncil.-on being seen yester- day stated that the council had decided, to give its support to the men on strike, and with that object in view had forwarded several sums through the general secre- tary of the Workers' Union (Mr. F. Gil- bert, Kalgoorlie), and had also distributed collecting lista to all the unions connected with the council.
Cue, August 27.
The miners' strike at Day Dawn, which has been proceeding uneventfully for a considerable time past, the men being paid strike pay out of the funds which are liberally forthcoming, was marked by an exciting development to-day, when news was received this morning that a special fcrain would arrive at Day Dawn at midday with 44 men for the Great Fingall Con- solidated mine. From an early hour mem- bers of the Workers' Association were astir making preparations to meet the men with the view to prevent them from going on to work at the mine, and at about 11 a.m. a, large body of men assembled on the Day Dawn railway platform to await the arrival of the train. There were also many others present, the crowd numbering in
all several hundred. ,
Shortly after 12 noon the train steamed in and on drawing up to the platform, con- trary to what might have been expected, the crowd' gave a cheer and immediately the train stopped the carriages were invaded by the union men for the purpose of en- deavouring to persuade the men not to go to work. There was no trouble whatever to get the men to do this, and the men at once left the station in company with the union men for their headquarters, the Miners' Institute, Day Dawn, where a meeting was held.
The mon who arrived to-day complained of being brought up on misrepresentations,
to the effect that tho strike was all over and that no trouble of any kind was now in existence, but that on account of the pre- vious trouble the men had left the district
and they were required to take their places.
Ths men were in charge of Mr. Holmes, of Northam, who, after the meeting had been held, interviewed the men" with the view to getting them to go on the mine, but they point blank refused to do so.
The union committee offered the men free passes back, or if they choose to stay to pay them strike pay.
Everything in connection with the pro cee lings were most orderly, and except in a fe tv instances no inflammatory speeches were made. To-night the men have bean lodged in the hotels, pending future ar- rangements. The men say that the first intimation of what they were coming to, was received at Mt. Magnet and Lennon- ville, where they were vigorously hooted and called "blacklegs." This latter they indignantly repudiate.
On Wednesday the Great Fingall Con- solidated mine is applying for six months' exemption. On the ground that they can- not get men to work, and the application is to be opposed by the men. The event is looked forward to with interest, and the result is doubtful, as the mine, in conse- quence of five years' continuous work, ha3 a considerable claim for exemption.