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THE DISMISSAL OF A BARRY OFFICIAL. -«»- PUBLIC MEETING AT BARRY. SPEECH BY MR. HARRY DAVIES. A mass meeting- of railwnymen in the employ of the Barry Railway Company was held on Sun- day afternoon at the Park Hotel, Barry, for the purpose of hearing addresses from Mr. Harry Davies and Mr. Alfred Hobbs, the two men who have lately been dismissed from the employ of the Barrv Company. The chair was occupied by Mr. M. Nicholas, president of the Barry Branch of the National Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, who. after having briefly opened the meeting, called upon Mr. Harry Davies to give his version of the events which led to his dismissal. Mr. Harry Davies, whose rising was the signal for loud cheers, said that he was sorry to find from a report that had appeared in one of the Cardiff papers that he had to contend, not only with the Barry Company, but also with one of his own fellow-workmen. (" Shame.") Mr. Davies then gave a lengthened account of his relations with the general manager. Whdn Mr. Harford visited Barry, Mr. Davies said that he (the speaker) took part in a public meeting, and -spoke very straight of the claims of the men under the strike agreement which the Company had not observed. He had. however, tried to speak plainly without using any hard words at all. On the Tuesday following the meeting he was asked to o-o to the office, and was told that his speech on that occasion had given groat offence to the management. After that time he had been very careful in looking after his work, more careful, in fact, than he had ever had occasion to be before. (Hear, hear.) The next occasion on which lie had come into conflict with the General Manager was at the last General Election. He (the speaker) ha.d said at a public meeting, held by Mr. Arthur Williams at Barry, that if the ballot had been in YOffue at the last Local Board election Mr. John Robinson would not have been at the top of the poll. On the following Monday morning he was requested to be at Mr. llichard Evans' office at tell o'clock. When he got there he was accused of Laving charged the officials of the GomjKiny with intimidation. He replied that, if his speech was carefully read, it would be found that he had made no direct charge at all against the officials. Mr. Evans then said that if he (the speaker) had not made such a charge at a public meeting he had done so ak street corners. He had answered that he had never made any allusion to the conduct of the officials of the company at street corners. Mr. Evans had then naked him why it was that he objected to the candidature of Mr. J. Robinson. He (the speaker) replied that he had opposed Mr. Robinson solely on the ground that In was the only one of the four successful candidates, who was in antagonism to the views and aspira- tions of Trades Unionism. Mr. Evans had then said that it was the duty of all the employes of the company to vote for Sir. Robinson. ('" Shame. ) Now he (the speaker) would give them an account of what happened on Friday—a fortnight to the last Friday—which was tho ostensible cause of his dismissal. About 5.15 on the afternoon of that day, at the time of changing shifts, he (the speaker) had gone out of the box. and was having a Chat abo"Lt 20v,ls. liierher uo with his mate, a man named Boastier. While this was going on his assistant, Allied JIvV;«, too'- a message by tele- phone from the JN»iVai Colliery Company to send 2G empties to Pandy. and 10 to Havod. Hobbs then placed the message on the file of executed orders, and never told him (the speaker) anything about it. The consequence was that the order was never complied with, and next morning Cardiff rung up and asked for the empties. Mr. Richard Evans asked him by telephone about the order, but as he (the speaker) knew nothing about it he could not tell him. However, after a little rough language, he was_ told to send 20 empties to Peterstone, which he did. On the Monday following, Mr. Harry Osborne spoke to him through the telephone, and said the Naval people had written to the Company to say that the mistake about the empties had causod the greatest inconvenience to the Xaval Colliery, and that it Had nearly caused the stoppage of the pit, and he would hear further about it. He wished the Press to take particular notice of this. He made special enquiries of the Naval Collieries'f ore- man to know whether any complaint had been made to the Barry Company about the matter, and he was distinctly told that no such complaint had been made. That showed that Mr. Osborne had told an untruth. (Shame). On Tuesday he (Mr. Daviea) and Hobbs were summoned to the General Manager's office, and, in the course of their interview with Mr. Evans, Hobbs admitted that he had taken the message, but was not sure whether he (Mr. Davies) had heard it or not. Mr. Evans dismissed Hobba for this If. as he said, he filed the message, lie knew at the time he filed it there was nothing on the file he (Mr. Davies) should want. He (Hobbs) always carried the orders in his own pocket. If Hobbs said he told him that he received this message, it was a lie. With regard to his (Hobbs) being a victim, when they came out of the office Minchin asked him why he had ha.d notice, and Hobbs replied, "Because I forgot to tell Harry about them blooming empties." Mr. Evans, in giving him (Mr. Davies) notice, said he had sown a consider- able amount of discontent amongst the men, and he was very discontented himself, therefore he (Mr. Evans) thought the bast thing he could do was to get rid of him. He (Mr. Davies) did not stay long because Mr. Evans was in a bad temper. His disatisfaction was not at his own position. but at that of other men, and as an officer of the organisation to which he belonged it was his duty to see that none of his fellow members suffered from any breach of the agreement by the company, and when he knew that the company had made a breach of the agree- ment. he thought it his duty to raise his voice in the matter, and that was all he had done at the public meetings. Thursday was the Licensing Sessions, and he went up to the sessions to give evidence in favour of granting a licence to the very building they were then in. This fact Mr. Evans referred to, and said he seemed to look after the interests of other people rather than look after the interest-i of the company. Tie (Mr. Davies) thought that if for 12 hours he did his work, for the other 12 hours he could do as lie pleased. He tried to argue that he was only up for a couple of hours from his sleep, and he did not think that did him any harm. He asked him if he could point to one single instance where he had neglected his duty in any way. Mr. Evans could not do so. He challenged any of the officials of the company to say that he had neglected his duty ill any way since he had been a foreman of the company. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Hobbs who had written to the Cardiff papers imputing the blame to him was the father of the lad, Hobbs. and knew nothing of railway work. The lad's parents were very anxious that he should be re- instated in the company's employ, and his mother had been to Mr. Butler about the matter. For his own part; he felt confident that he had been dismissed simply on account of his public utterances and his connection with Trades Unionism. (Loud cheers.) Mr. Alfred Hobbs denied the statement of Mr. Daviea that his mother had been to Mr. Butler to ask him to cancel the notice. His parents had no inclination for him to be reinstated. He could quickly get another situation. With regard to the taking of the order, at the time he took it Mr. Davies stood opposite the door, and he told him of the order. Mr. Davies said he said no such thin" bub John Rossiter was there, and he said he heard him say so. He put this order on the file, as Mr. Davies made no reply. Whether he heard it or not he was not prepared to say. Shortly after, he went home for some food. He did not think Mr. Davies had done his duty. It was his place to see that the orders were carried out. He denied Mr. Davies'» statement that he never told him. The Chairman Did you make use of the state- ment when you came out of the office that you were" sacked for not telling Harry Davies about them blooming empties ?" Hobbs No, I did not. Mr. Minchin, coming forward, said he asked Hobbs what he was dismissed for, and he told him for not telling Harry Davies about them bloom- ing empties last night. The Chairman asked Hobbs if he had anything else to say. Mr. Hobbs said he told Mr. Davies about the empties, and he thought it was useless to say more. Mr. Coke corroborated Mr. Minchin in his state- ment that Hobbs told him he was dismissed because of not telling Mr. Davies about the empties. Hobbs said he did not tell the General Manager that he told Mr. Davies, because he did not wish to make a row. Mr. Coke replied that Hobbs should have made the row before the General Manager not before the public. The Chairman said they had hoard what Mr. Davies and Mr. Hobbs had had to say, and it was for them to decide which to believe. Mr. Hobbs, senr., denied that he or his wife had ever seen Mr. Butler or the General Manager about re-instating his eon he had never seen either of them. The Chairman said he should like to know from Mr. Davies his authority for saying that Mrs. Hobbs had been to Mr. Butler. Mr. Davies said he was talking with his successor, and explaining his work to him, and he told him that Mr. Butler had said that Mrs. Hobbs had been to him to ask him to cancel the notice. Mr. Hobbs said that neither he nor his wife had any intention of seeking to get the notice cancelled. Tho Chairman said it lay entirely between Mr. Davies' successor, Mr. Butler, aad Mr. Hobbs. One of them was not telling the truth. The Chairman, in conclusion, said that Mr. Davies said he never heard Hobbs, and Hobbs said he did not know whether Mr. Davies did so. They must understand that Hobbs was still in the em- ploy of the company. Whatever they might feel they must understand that they should never show any ill-feeling towards him. They must take into consideration his youth, and the very responsible position he held. He thought the company should not have lads in such re- sponsible positions they should have men and pay them proper wages. (Hear, hear.) He knew of an instance where the company used to pay an assistant foreman 28s. a week, and where now a lad, not much older than Hobbs, did the work at 20s. a week. ("Shame.") He thought the General Manager would be con- sidering the interests of the company better by getting men, and not boys, to fill these positions. (Hear, hear). He hoped there would be a large attendance acthe lodge on next Saturday night, more s. even than on the previous lodge night. They must understand this much—Mr. Davies received the sack not for any negligence on his part but for taking an active part in the affairs of the district. If Mr. Evans was going to carry out this policy throughout the works, it would be a sorry day for all of them. Some time ago their hours were reduced from 12 to 10. but he should like Mr. Evans to know that he would prefer to work 12 hours a day and have his freedom of speech and action, than work 10 hours a day and have his mouth closed. (Applause.) That was the feeling of all who worked on the Barry line. (Hear, hear.) He thought it unfair of any company to take advantage of any man because he held opposite views to their own. (Hear, hear.) This was a free country. Of course, if Mr. Evans and the other members of the company continued these tactics it would be their duty to oppose them as working men. He should do all he could to get their friend re-instated or to get him the £ 50 from their society, which he thought every one there would say was quite due to him. (Loud (Cheers.) He should like to poiut out to the non- Unionist employés of the Barry Company that they did not know the day when they iwould also be discharged from their duty. The t labour was not ordinary employment. They had to work their way upwards, and they could not get a similar position to that which they held under the Barry Company on another Mne. They had to go into the shed first before they could get a job as fireman, and it was a very serious thing for a man with a, large family to be thrown out of work. (Hear, hear.) Mr. Davies proposed a vote of thanks to the members of the Press for their attendance there that day. Mr. Howells seconded. Mr. W. Llewellyn Williams (South Wales Star) responded, and in doing so thanked them for the hearty way in which they had passed the resolution. Mr. J. lL Llewellyn also responded, and said that there was no doubt that Mr. Harry Davies had fallen, it' not a victim to personal spite, a martyr to the cause of Trades Unionism. The way in which the General Manager had received him (the speaker) a few days ago was a great reflection on nim as the representative of tho Barry Company. The General Manager did not reasonably foster the interests of the local press, and how could he, therefore, expect to have their undivided support. (Hear, hear.) This brought the meeting, which had been con- ducted all through in a most orderly and impar- tial manner, to a close.