Sunday, September 28, 2008

Glass Workers strike 1924

Glass Workers Strike May 1924

National Glass Workers Protection Association

The strike at the United Kingdom Glass Company Works at Dawley

"The factory has been closed several months because the management endeavoured to reduce the wages of the workpeople below the recognised standard trade union rate. This the work people refused to accept and blacklegs have been introduced from Alloa in Scotland.

Local Labour activist Robert William Gunton, High Road Hayes letter 23 May 1924 Advertiser and Gazette supporting the men on strike at the Glass works,

A conference of the National Federation of Glass Workers was held at the Brotherhood Hall in Hayes during this period and Glass workers union delegates from all parts of the country, including Scotland attended.

Opening session was Councillor Robert Leach and Mr Ernest Kirby Harding

Councillor Leach the Vice Chairman of Hayes Urban District Council pledged

"the wholehearted support of the local Labour Party who have endeavoured to do all they could to help the men in what they looked upon as a very legitimate grievance" (15% pay cut)

Mr G. Chadwick the President of the Glass Workers Union stated that they should......

"Pride themselves on the discipline the members have shown" however he could not guarantee this would last if blacklegs were introduced

Mr G. Lister stated "he had been trying to settle the dispute legitimately and in a proper manner"

"They had gone so far as to accept arbitration and a reduction in wages prior to arbitration"

On Sunday 18th May 1924 a march of over one hundred Glass workers and their supporters marched through Hayes in support of the Glass workers Union strike. The procession assembled at Botwell with two banners of the Glass Workers Union and the Southall branch of National Union of Railwaymen banner and marched down Central Avenue and Longmead Road to Hayes end.

Addresses were made at a number of points and collections for the strikers taken.

Hayes Women's Section Mayday celebration that year included a speech by Mr Thompson General Organiser of the Glass Workers Union (also in attendance Mrs Gardner (Southall) and Mrs Dubberley (Uxbridge).

The National Glass Workers Protection Association established in 1920 was originally formed as the Yorkshire Glass Bottle Makers United Trade Protection Society in 1827.

The National Glass Workers Protection Association joined the Transport & General Workers Union (TGWU) in 1940.