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CAERPHILLY PETTY SESSIONS. [Held on Tuesday, at the Castle Inn, Cacrphillv, before W. E. Williams, and Evan Williams. Esqrs.] IMPORTANT TO BOATMEN. Daniel Thomas, boatman, lat<> in tlw employment of Thomas Powell, Esq., was charged with having left-the service of Mr. Powell, without having previously S)ven a month's notice of his intention so to do, accordiug to the terms of an asreemc.it entered intu by him and his employer. The defendant did not appear, but as P. C. Maier proved that he had been duly summoned, the case was heard in his absence. Previous to entering upon the examination of witnesses, Mr. Phillpotts, of Cardiff, solicitor, who appeared on behalf of Mr, Powell, addressed the bench, stating that the defendant was on of many of Mr. Powell's boatmen who had suddenly forsakeo his work, thereby entailing grcit pecuniary luss on Mr. Power and inconvenience and loss to the colliers in his service. The defendant's conduct involved a breach of contract. lIe had n'lt acted ignoraatly, as he (Mr. P.) would put in various notices- given by the men some months ago to Mr. Powell of their intention, at the expiration of a month from the date of the notice, to leave their work in case he (Mr. P.) should refuse to increase their wages. Mr Phillpotts then entered into details- pointed out the consequences of the m;;n's conduct, which he contended was illegal—and then called the folio wing witnesses :— Matthew Augustus John sworn: lam agent to^ Mr. Powell, and reside at Cardiff. It is part of my duty to superintend the boating department. We generally agree with men previous to taking them into Mr. Powell's employ. We agree to par them the price of the day whatever that price may be. It is under- stood distinctly that previous to determining our agreement a month's notice must be given by one party" or tbe other; that is, if they wish to leave they must give us a month's notice and if we wish to discharge them or alter the rate of payment, we must give them a month's notice. This arrangement is well understood amongst the men. They commence work by taking an empty boat up from CardiiT to the Dafiryn Colliery, and bring the same boat, loaded, ba.-k to Cardiil'. That constitutes 6ne trip, liy the B3ncli; The agreement is fur the trip. We have no other agreement. They take to a boat and continue with it. Alter the trip has been made, the men cannot leave and go to another master without first of all giving a month's notice, which period of one month they must serve. This custom is well understood—well known-and is general amongst boatmen and employers of boatmen. The men make applications for emploj ment—for a boat in fact—and if we want them we give them the charge of a boat on the usual and current terms. Sometimes the agreement is in writing. We have no written agreement in this case. There was nothing more done than this He applied for a boat, and a boat was (riven him at so much per trip. I cannot say how long defendant has worked for Mr. Powell, but he has boated for us on his own account morc than three months. By Mr. Phillpotts It is most decidedly not usual for a man to leave his boat without a month's notice of his inteation having been given to us. Mr. Powell cannot turn a man oil without either giving him a month's notice or paying him a month's wages. I know that Mr. Powell d.d once give the men a month's notice of his intention to reduce their wages. I know it ot my own knowledge that Messrs. Duncan and Company, and other colliery proprietors, have similar agreements with their men. I do not know an instance when Mr. Powell dis- charged a man without notice, except he had committed some offence, such as to steal eoal. I saw Daniel Thomas on Thurs- day last with aI' the boatmen who reside at Cardiff. This was while they were standing out for all advance or wages. I en- deavoured to show them that by leaving their work suddenly they were acting very ill. They said they were afraid t ) return to their work on account of the Nantgarw boatmen. I toid them —" Unless you'll return to your work you must abide tho con- sequence;, which will be serious." They said—" We must have an advance hay is dearer, labour is dearer now than in winter, everything is dearer, and we must have mOTe W.lges." 1 totd them—"Very good; but why did yuu not give a munth's notice, as usual ] offered them V shillings a trip, which they refused, saying that the other boatmen at Nantgarw would stop them if they were to take it. 1 then said—" Go with me and Mr. Oakley to Nantgarw." They consented to do so, and we met the Nantgarw boatmen, and among others I saw John Gravid there. I spoke to them of the impropriety of their con- duct in leaving without notice, and said they had taken advan- tagc ol Mr. Powell, knowing that there was such a demand for his Duiiryn Steam Coal. Mr. Powell is now under very heavy demurrage in consequence of the conduct of those men. He has vessels now waiting for 4000 tons of steam coal, and which ought to have been loaded a fortnight ago. Ho pays demurrage to two vessels £ 7 a day, to others £ ■> a day, to others £3 a day, an 1 to others £:3 a day, according to the six.- of the vessel. There are from 90 to a hundred men out of work at the Duffryn Colliery in consequence of the boatmen's refusal to go on. The boatmen, by some means unknown to U3, get aware of Mr. Powell's position —that he pays heavy demurrage—that there is a great demand for the steam coal. When the demand is brisk they are always impudent and overbearing; bat when things are rather slack they become quite civil and tractable. I consider Daniel Thomas as one of the ringleaders. The men selected for this day's hearing are the worst, aall lead the others on. They refused to work unless they got 30 shillings a trip but they refused without giving due notice of tluir intention. It is that we complain of. We only want what is fair aud reasonable of eourse, John Klwards swom: He proved that when hoatmen entered Mr. Powell's sl'1'ice it was the rule to enter into a mutual agree- ment tu give a month's notice previous to determining the en- gagement. He only knew one boatman (Thomas Watkins) who had left without notice but steps had been taken to punish him for so doing, It was a well-understood thing among all boat- men on the canal that they must give a 111'Jnth's notice previous to leaving. They were paid so much per trip; but settlements did not take place oftener than once a month. The men had advances 011 aceount frequently. William Jones sworn He proved that Daniel Thomas and othl'1' men had abandoned their work previous to the 10th of this month. On Saturday DI. Thomas and others returned to their work, but they had been previously served with the sum- mons by the polic0man. Edward Morgan, John Gravel, James Smith, and Richard Davies, were charged with having similarly offended, and the same evidence was taken in support of the charge. It was stated to the bench that Mr. Powell merely wished to make an example of the ringleaders. The men generally had behaved ill, as by their conduct not only had thcy subjected him to im- mense pecuniary loss, but also thrown the colliers out of employ. It was invariably his anxious desire to treat his men well and if they had given him proper notice of their intention to stand out for an advance," he would have taken the matter seriously into consideration with the view of arranging matters amicably. Certainly the men bad returned to work 0 on Saturday, but yet that step was only taken by them after they had received the magisirates' summons—after they saw that Mr. Powell was de termined to punish them for their injustice. The room was then cleared. On our re-admission the magistrates said that the offence with which the men stood charged, seemed to have been clearly established. They considered it a very serious offence, inas- much as it was the means of causing not only Mr. Powell to sustain great losses, but also the colliers who had no part in the matter. They adjudged that Daniel Thomas, Edward Morgan, John Gravel, James Smith, and Iiirhard Davies should be seve- rally imprisoned and kept to hard labour in Cardiff House of Correction for fourteen days. They thought it right to mention that the sentence would have been much heavier had it not ap- peared that the men had voluntarily returned to their work. James Smith soon after entered the- room and was taken into custody. Warrants for the apprehension of the others were issued. STEALING COAL.^ Wilhum Dew, boatman, in the service of Thomas Powell, Esq., was fully committed to Cardiff Gaol, there to await his trial at the ensuing General Quarter Sessions for this county, charged with having stolen 81 lbs. of coal, from a barge entrusted to his care. The offence was clearly proved by P.C. Blyth Hume. ASSAULTING A POLICEMAX.— Morgan Jones, was convicted in the penalty of exclusive of costs, for having at Caerphilly, on Sunday night last, assaulted P.C. Thomas Price in default of payment to be imprisoned, ia Cardiff Gaol, for one calendar month. He was removed in custody. It appeared by the policeman's statement, that on Sunday evening, the defendant, who was drunk, had been most scurrilous and abusive—had accused him (the policeman) of having contracted a debt of f5, &c. &c., but no assault then took place. At a much later period of the evening, the defendant was sitting on the bridge —molesting no one-interfering with no person—when the policeman happening to pass spoke to him and said—" Morgau, what £5 is it you were talking aboutDefendant then, and not till then, re-commenced his abuse, and jumping at the po iceman assaulted him most violently. The policeman defended himself; but finding Jones to become very violent took him into custody. We understood from parties who were in the room, that the defendant is a man of the must violent disposition.


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