November 9th, 1910

Council Meeting held Wednesday, November 9th 1910 at 7 o’clock

Apologies. Apologies submitted for absence from Councillor Margaret Ashton, Miss Stapleton, Mrs. J. J. Findlay and Mrs. Tawney.


Present Miss Emily Cox (Chair), Mrs. C. J. Spence, Mrs. M.E. Frances (Upholsteresses), Miss Hudson (Clothiers), Miss Quaile (Waitresses), Miss. F. Guffick (Corset Makers), Miss M. Hall (Cigarettes), Mrs. Bamford Tomlinson, Miss Gilroy (Midwives), Mr. Edward Dale (NW Coop Employees), Mrs. Whittaker (Women’s Cooperative Guild), Mr. H.V. Herford, Miss Smith (Box Makers), Mrs. F. E Ashwell Cooke, Mrs. O.M. Aldridge.

Minutes. Minutes of the previous meeting were read and passed.

Finance. The monthly financial statement was presented by the Treasurer.

Midwives and Clause 17 of National Insurance Act. A letter was read from Mrs. Sidney Webb of the National Committee for the Prevention of Destitution asking the Council to oppose clause 17 of the Bill amending the Midwives Act. Mrs. Lawson (President of the National Association of Midwives) was present and spoke strongly in favour of a resolution rejecting the clause. Miss Emily Cox moved and Miss M. Hall seconded:-

“That this Council strongly protests against clause 17 of the Midwives Bill, which brings in the Poor Law Authority and imposes a new tax on the working classes and calls upon the House of Commons to reject any such proposal. Further this Council demands that whatever public provision is made for birth and infancy should be placed in the hands of the Local Health Authority and freed from all connection with the Poor Law and from all stigma of pauperism.”

The resolution was carried unanimously and the Secretary was instructed to forward copies the Prime Minister, local Members of Parliament and the leaders of the political parties.  

Sheffield Dispute Settlement. The Secretary reported the settlement of the dispute (at Messrs. James Dewsnap and Co. Sheffield) which took place on September 21st after a six weeks lock-out. The Chairman of the Directors, Mr. Black had asked Mrs. Aldridge to meet the Directors at the works and after two prolonged interviewe, the full Union Committee in addition to Mrs Aldridge being present at the second interview the following terms of settlement were agreed upon;-

Terms of Leather Workers Dispute Settlement.  

“That all the women return to work on the afternoon of Friday, September 23. The first year from recommencing to be worked on a datal system with systematic checking of the work done by each woman.  

The second year to be worked on a piece-work system if the datal system with the checking proves unsatisfactory to the company, with a guarantee of the average wages paid individually during the 12 months Septeber 1910 to September 1911 ie. from the recommencement. Plus advances due in 1912.

At the end of the second year for the Directors and Union representatives to meet to consider the system to adopt finally.  

Future advances to be made according to the recognised worth of each worker each case to be considered on its merits.”

This agreement was signed by Mr. Black Chairman of the Directors and Annie Weaver President of the Sheffield Branch of the Union.

Sheffield Leather Workers Picnic. After the settlement Mr. Black invited all the employees for a drive to Baslow on Saturday, September 24th. About 200 employees, Miss Stapleton and Mrs Aldridge accepted the invitation and with the directors spent a very pleasant day.

Box Makers Trade Board. Miss Smith gave an interesting and valuable report on the work of the cardbox makers Trades Board for which she is a member.

Clothiers Dispute at Messrs. Hollins. Miss Hudson reported that a dispute had occurred between the Clothiers’ Union and Messrs. Hollins & Co. of Lever St. About 120 women had struck work. The chief cause of the trouble was the refusal of the firm to give a satisfactory statement of prices until the work was completed. There were no signs of an immediate settlement. The women were on picket duty each day.

Emily Cox
December 14th 1910