Tuesday, October 12, 2010

National Union of Railwaymen (NUR)1916-1917



(Trades Union Council)

At the Co-operative Hall, Yiewsley, West Middlesex a meeting was held under the auspices of the West Drayton branch of the National Union of Railwymen (NUR) Mr T. Stacey (NUR) presided and was supported by Mr A Mayer (ASE Engineering Union), J. Worsell, C. Fidler, H. Franklin, H. Bennett, J. Preedy, G Eaggleton, and J. Blake (NUR) and Councillor James Culley of Southall

The Chairman Mr T. Stacey on opening the proceedings stated that primary reason the meeting had been called was that their was no satisfactory response to the protest made by the National Union of Railwaymen to the appointment of two food traders (suppliers) to the Yiewsley Food Control Committee (Mr R.A. White and Mr Dominery - Platts Store).

Mr Mayer moved the following resolution

“That this meeting of all trade unions consider that the interests of the consumer is not advisable to have private trader in foodstuffs represented on the local Food Control Committee”.

The mover urged, that it was very necessary that labour should be more fully represented on the Food Committee.

“it was not advisable he urged to put cats to watch the cream unless they were chained so as to prevent them getting at it “

"The time was coming when labour would have to have a greater share in the government local as well as national affairs."

"As regards the Yiewsley Food Control Committee (12 members), the Labour representatives were hopelessly outvoted".

Mr Worsell seconded pointed out that the Food Control Committee had tried to stop a baker from outside the neighbourhood who desired to sell a loaf at 9d when locally a loaf could not be purchased for less than 1s

Mr C Fidler stated that the object of the food control committee was to prevent high prices being charged, but traders in food stuffs were continually protesting against not being allowed to charge higher than the maximum prices

Mr James Culley (Southall)

Expressed surprise that labour had not got a bigger representation on the committee. (By directive Food Control Committee were supposed to have a minimum of one representative of the trade unions)

Culley stated "Lord Rhondda was a very honest man – but he had spent his life in getting coal as cheaply as possible and selling it at the highest profit he could make”

"He appealed for closer co-operation between trade unionism and the co-operative societies".

Culley outlined what they at Southall were doing as regards local prices, and said that his experience was that tradesmen were grasping for the maximum prices. "There was no reason at all why milk should not be retailed at 4d a quart if the vendors liked to do so. the fact is the vendors met and themselves fixed it at 7d"

The meeting then considered the advisability of forming a Trades and Labour Council for the district.

Mr Culley said Uxbridge and Yiewsley were the only two districts in Middlesex that had no such (Trades & Labour Council),

He moved

“That this meeting now adopts the principle of a Trades and labour Council

An amendment that the words Labour Party be substituted for Trades and Labour was lost and the original resolution was carried.

Mr J. Worsell was elected secretary pro tem and he has asked all secretaries of all trade unions in the district should send thei names and addresses to Mr J, Worsell at “Clovelly” Warwick Road, West Drayton, Middlesex.

The Chairman Mr J. Blake Secretary of the West Drayton branch of the National union of Railwaymen (NUR) was the Labour representative on the Pension Fund Committee

September 1917


The motion at the Yiewsley Food Control Committee was lost 7-2

The Yiewsley Food Control Committee also banned the pres from their meetings stating a letter from the Ministry of Food

“In reply to your letter of the 23rd inst I am to say that as the work of the local Food Control Committee will be mainly of a confidential character, the admission of the Pres to their meetings would act generally appear not to be advisable

Yiewsley 1917 was experiencing great shortages of Sugar Mr Thorne stated that the Yiewsley Co-operative “were doing their utmost to supply their customers with a small quantity

Yiewsley Urban District Council agm 1917

Mr T. Hancock, , H.H. Thorne, E.A. White, C. Heron, J. Holland, T. Rudling, J. Sutton

with the clerk Mr W.H. Lea

Mr C. Heron stood down as Chairman of the Council and Mr E.A. White was elected Chairman. And Mr C. Thorne elected Vice Chairman

The National Union of Railwaymen have lost 2,758 members killed in the war (todate)

August 1916

Railwaymen and Food Prices

Protest Meeting at west Drayton

An open-air meeting was called by West Drayton and Uxbridge branches of the National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) at West Drayton was held on Saturday 5th August 1916 evening to protest against high cost of living, which had been brought about.

Speakers maintained through the “grab” of the merchants and the unreasonableness of the Government towards the claims of the workers

Councillor W Torrington presided

“if the Government did its duty to the people it would see that food prices were controlled and exploitation firmly put down “

”prices of practically everything had increased some articles by over 100% and he contended that in many cases the inflated prices were quite unnecessary".

Mr C. J. Kelly of Kings Cross (London) National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) moved the following resolution

“That this meeting of railwaymen of West Drayton and Uxbridge branches of the National union of Railwaymen (NUR) and members of other trade unions in the district view with alarm and extreme dissatisfaction the present high prices of food, and the principal necessities of life and having no security against further increases of such prices due to the action of certain food speculators calls upon His Majesties Government to establish an effective control and regulation of prices with such provisions as may be necessary for their enforcement."

“the cost of living had been forced up by a certain class of people whose only object was the accumulation of large sums by the exploitation of the working classes

The workers had in many cases given their all to the country, and yet the Government were allowing them to be exploited by the food monopolies”

The only way the workers could effectively protest was through the trade unions there ought to be some real revolution in the trade unions to stir the matter up and force the Government to move.

“There was the merchants ring and they ruled what prices the private buyer should be made to pay. The Government ought to take over the full control of Food prices".

"They could not deal with these things politically now a days he went on so that they must do it industrially – act in the same way as the South Wales miners did" (hear hear)

Kelly went on to say that "It was only by such means that the Government could be brought to their senses,"

"The exploiters were ringing the necks of the working classes and these people, he maintained were traitors of the worst type, far greater traitors than Roger Casement for they were traitors in our own camp, while he was a traitor in another camp".

Mr W,J, Hill of Paddington National Union of Railwaymen (NUR) seconded stating the resolution.

“The Yellow press were largely responsible for the inflated prices and he submitted that the apathy of the Government was due to the apathy of the workers, who must make their voices heard if they were to get these things remedied. He warned the audience of the danger of industrial conscription – another subtle move on the part of the monopolies".

The resolution was unanimously carried a vote of Thanks was moved by Mr Blake and seconded by Mr Worsell

August 11th 1916 Gazette & Advertiser