Meeting of Council 8pm, May 4th, 1897
9 Albert Square
Present Miss Bulley Chair, Proposed Mrs. Schwann. Seconded Mr. Flux. Mrs. Schwann, Miss J. Gaskell, Mrs. Eckhart., Miss Cooke, Canon Hicks, Mr. Flux, Mr. Preston, Mr. Herford, Mr. Barber, Rev. F. Dormer Pierce, Mr. C Henley, Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Dickson.
Letters of apology for inability to attend were received from Hon. Mrs. Lyttleton, Miss Cox, Miss Hertz, Miss M. Ashton, Mr. Johnston, Mr. Brocklehurst.
The minutes of last meeting of Council were read and passed.
It was proposed by Mr. Dickson & seconded by Mr. Preston that the minutes of the last Executive Committee should be read to the meeting, & the motion was carried. The minutes of the Executive Committee held on April 6th were accordingly read.
It was further proposed that the minutes of Executive Committee meetings should in future be read at Council meetings. Proposed by Mr. Hamilton, Seconded by Mr. Dickson.
The motion was carried.
Mrs. Dickenson then gave a report of work done since the last meeting of the Council.
The annual meeting of the Federation of Women Workers had been held on March 15th when there was a good attendance of members & Mr. Arrandale, Mrs. Marland Brodie, & Mr. Preston spoke. The balance sheet showed the present worth of the society to be £120. A sum of £10 was voted to the M. S. & D. Women’s Trades Union Council as a grant. The Shirt-Makers & the Folders & Sewers had during the year left the Federation to form separate trade unions but the membership had increased notwithstanding. The girls from the Linotype works formed themselves into a separate branch of the Federation electing their own committee & officers.
There had been some discontent among the Linotype girls over the question of hours & the manager had been approached & asked to make 6.00 the closing time as before the strike in December 1896.
The Shirt-Makers had held their Annual Meeting on April 27th. Their report showed that the number of women members had increased during the year. A meeting which had been held at the Factory of Mr. E. Collier Stevenson Sq. at which Mrs Dickenson & Miss Ashwell spoke on March 18th & had brought some new members to the union. A grant of £2-2d has been voted to the M. S. & D. Women’s Trade Union Council.
An attempt has been made to hold an organisation meeting for the Bleachers Dyers & Finishers on March 25th but had not been successful.
Arising out of the report Mr. Hamilton moved & Canon Hicks seconded that the organising secretaries be asked to continue their efforts on behalf of the Linotype workers & that if an interview with the manager should again prove necessary Mrs. Schwann should be asked to accompany them.
Mrs. Dickenson further reported that the Society of Women Engaged in the Printing Trades had now been in existence for a year & was in a flourishing condition.
Miss Ashwell reported that she had attended the annual meeting of the Upholsteresses' Society on March 9th and spoken to the members. The union had remained almost stationary during the year with a membership of 37 women. A grant of 10s had been voted to the M. S.& D. Women’s Trade Union Council.
On April 7th a social evening had been held for Women Shop Assistants at the London Restaurant Brown St. Shops in Market St., Oldham St. & Deansgate had been canvassed with tickets & the attendance numbered 70. Rev. W. Heap, Mr. Spurr?? & Miss Ashwell spoke & the objects of Sir C. Dilke's Shops Bill were explained to the meeting.
For some time past there had been discontent among the men & women employed as garment makers at Messrs. Maudelbergs factory Pendleton. The English men employed by the firm had formed themselves into a branch of the Amalgamated India Rubber Workers Union & sixty of the girls had joined the branch. This branch had no sooner formed than a difficulty arose as to the payment of some Land & Water Capes. The firm were asked to give 1s each for such capes on account of extra work put into the collars, an advance of 1d on the usual price. This the workers were refused. They then asked for the help of M. S.& D. W. T. U. Council. Miss Ashwell & Mrs. Dickenson saw the manager without success. A deputation from the union of I. Rubber Workers was then sent, & also one from the factory workers employed by Messrs. Maudelberg. It was stated that very few of these capes would be made & the extra payment was refused. Since then the firm had offered a 15s reduction to remain in force until November the right being reserved to keep or return the money. A fortnight’s notice was put as the alternative in the event of refusal of the reduction. The men had accepted the notice, & the girls had been authorised by the Amalgamated Society of India Rubber Workers to do the same thing.
Some discussion followed as the announcement of workers meetings held by the Council. Mr. Dickson suggested that Mr. Kelley Secretary M & S. Trades & Labour Council should be asked to include such notices in his monthly circular.
A proposal was then made by Miss Bulley that the information collected for the Fair List of Laundries should be utilised & sent in as a report to Sir Matthew White Ridley, Home Secretary. Mr. Flux moved & Rev. F. Dormer Pierce seconded that the Secretaries be authorised to send such a report. Carried.
Mrs. Schwann then drew attention to the Council's urgent need of increased subscriptions. She had received £10 from Mr. Mather & £2 from Mr. Philip Whyman but that only brought the Bank of balance up to £28.
The question of holding drawing room meetings to enlist further sympathy was considered, & it was resolved to hold such meetings as opportunity might arise.
Mr. Dickson moved & Mr. Flux seconded that the Hon. Secretary be asked to write letters of thanks to the Manchester & Salford Trades & Labour Council & to the various societies which has contributed to the Council’s funds. This was carried.
A. Amy Bulley