February 12th, 1908

Council Meeting held Wednesday, February 12th 1908 at 3o’clock

Present , Miss Emily Cox (Chair), Mrs. F. E. Ashwell Cooke, Mrs Aldridge (Secretary)

Apologies. Apologies for absence received from Miss Ashton, Miss Gaskell, Mr. Herford and Councillor James Johnston.

Minutes. Minutes of the last two meetings of the Council read and passed.

Affiliation to Anti-Sweating League Discussed. A letter was read from the Manchester branch of the National Anti-Sweating League was read asking the Council to affiliate to the Branch. It was decided not to affiliate for the present as the Council had as yet made no official pronouncement as to the desirability of the formation of Wages Boards.

Home Workers proposed organisation. Further correspondence was read requesting the Council’s assistance in the formation of a “Home Workers League” and with a view to this that a delegate from the Council be appointed to visit Liverpool with Mr. Robinson (Chairman of the Branch) to secure information as to the working of the Liverpool organisation started by the Women’s Industrial Council.

Mrs Aldridge appointed to visit Liverpool re-Homeworkers. Agreed that Mrs Aldridge accompany Mr. Robinson and that the Council give all possible assistance to the Manchester branch in its efforts to organise the Home Workers.

Annual meeting held at the Town Hall on February 4th. It was reported that the 13th Annual Meeting of the Council was held at the Town Hall on Tuesday, February 4th at 3.30. Miss Emily Cox presiding. Speakers being the Right Reverend Bishop Willden, Dean of Manchester, Lady Schwann, Miss Margaret Bondfield, Dr. Anselm Poock, Miss Margaret Ashton, Councillor T. Mallalieu (Hatters Union), Councillor A.A. Purcell (chairman of Manchester Trades and Labour Council), Mr. Herford and Mrs. Aldridge. There was a good attendance.  

Formation of Corset Makers Union. The Secretary reported the formation of a “Corset Makers Union”. About 70 corset makers from Blair’s, after being on strike for a week against a reduction of 3 per dozen on two lines of work, went to Miss Crompton for advice. Miss Crompton referred them to the Council and the matter was then taken up by Miss Emily Cox and Mrs. Aldridge.

Settlement of Dispute at Blair’s Corset Works. Two interviews took place with the firm resulting in all the girls returning to work and 50% of the reduction prevented. A Union was formed being the first organisation in the trade.

French Polishers. It was also reported that canvassing was still being done amongst French Polishers –several meetings having been held at Altrincham.

Business Meetings. The usual business meetings of the other unions had been held during the month.

Time Next Meeting. The Secretary was instructed to call the next evening meeting of the Council at 7 instead of 7.30 o’ clock.

Elizabeth D. Schwann