November 11th, 1908

Council Meeting held Wednesday, November 11th 1908 at 3 o’clock


Present Miss Cox (Chair), Miss Margaret Ashton, Mrs. J. J. Findlay, Mrs. F. M. Eddie (Midwives’ Association), Mrs. Horsfall, Mrs. O. M. Aldridge (Secretary).

Apologies. Apologies for non-attendance received from Mr. H. V. Herford, Mrs. Ashwell Cooke and Councillor James Johnston.

Minutes. The minutes of the last meeting were read and passed.

Miss Julia Gaskell. A letter was read from Miss Julia Gaskell resigning her membership of the Council. The Chairman reported that on receipt of the letter a reply had been sent asking Miss Julia Gaskell if possible to allow her name to remain on the Council, owing to the sad death of Miss Julia Gaskell this request remained unanswered.

Resolution of sympathy with Miss Gaskell. The following resolution was then moved by Miss Cox and seconded by Miss Ashton:-

“That the Women’s Trades Union Council desires to express its great sorrow at the loss it has sustained in the death of Miss Julia Gaskell. For her active and generous support and cooperation from the first year of its formation it has been deeply grateful. The Council offers to Miss Gaskell its sincere sympathy with her in her sorrow.”

Finance. In the absence of the Treasurer the financial statement for the month was presented by the Secretary.

Sub Committee Minutes. The Minutes of the Organisation Sub Committee were read and passed.

Meeting at the Cooperative Hall. It was reported that the meeting held at the Cooperative Hall (Downing Street) on November 2nd has been very successful. About 200 were present. Miss Cox presided - speakers were Mrs. Schwann, Miss Mary MacArthur, Mrs. F. M. Eddie and Mrs. Aldridge and Misses Critchlow and Guffick of the Corset Makers Union. The meeting was a thoroughly representative one.

Attempted reduction of prices at Blair’s and a threatened lockout. The Secretary reported that a new line of work has been given to the stitchers in no. 4 room at Blair’s. According to the amount of work to be put in each pair 1/6 per day should have been paid. The firm offered 1/-only. About 40 girls were affected. After consultation with the Union members they resolved not to accept the 1/-. Work was stopped for two days and the girls then obtained the 1/6 for which they asked.

The strippers in the same room (12 in numbers) were also being asked to accept work below what they considered a fair price. This too was a new line of work. The girls were asked by the forewoman what they considered a fair price for the work and they said 7 ½ per day. They were then told they could have 7. This was agreed upon and some work was done and booked to the girls at 7. Two days later they were told they could only have 6. Again the Union Committee had met and advised the girls not to accept the work. As the 12 girls remained firm the manager had threatened that unless they agreed to his terms the whole of the room of 150 girls would be locked out. The Secretary expected to hear at any moment that this had happened.

Cigarette Makers’ Union. The Secretary also reported that the Cigarette Makers’ Union was bringing an action for slander, on behalf of one of the girl members against a large cigarette making firm in Manchester.

G. F. S. Meetings addressed by the Secretary. In addition to attending the usual business meetings of the Unions the Secretary had spoken during the month at several branches of the Girls' Friendly Society.

Frances E. Ashwell Cooke
December 9th 08