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SHOP ASSISTANTS' SOIREE AT…

YAYNOR PARISH COUNCIL

THE MECHANICS' STRIKE AT DOWLAIS.

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THE MECHANICS' STRIKE AT DOWLAIS. The Intimidation Case. At the Merthyr Police-court on Thursday last, Thomas Roderick, one of the fitters on strike at Dowlais, was charged with intimidating Evan John Evans, another fitter, who had re- sumed work, by following him, with a crowd of other persons, about the 11 streets of Dowlais on the 12th inst. A good deal of interest was taken in the case.—Mr. Gwilym C. James appeared for the complainant, and Mr. Beddoe for the defendant. Mr. Gwilym C. James, in opening the case, stated that the complainant was a titter in the employment of the Dowlais Iron Company, and the defendant was a roller turner in the employ of the same company. Complainant had been removed from Vocliriw Pits to Dowlais in con- sequence of the strike amongst the fitters. He remained out on strike with the other men for some time, but eventually decided to return to work. He was not molested for some time after he went back to work, but on March 12th a large crowd met him as lie was returning from dinner, and lie was hooted by them. At six o'clock of the evening of the same day lie was met by a large crowd in Station-road, which in- cluded the defendant. He was practically carried along by the crowd, and when he reached Victoria-street the defendant pushed him. Complainant's wife pushed through the crowd and pulled her husband into a house near by for protection. The crowd remained there until a quarter to seven, and complainant had to get the protection of two cell ,tables. Mr. James hoped that the Bench would give the complainant proper protection. There was no reason why the people should put pressure on complainant because he chose to work. The company only wanted to manage their own affairs witnout interference from others. There was no doubt but that the defendant had gone beyond the law's limits, and lie (Mr. James) hoped that the Bench would inflict a penalty according to the law. Pickets could bo stationed outside works where a strike existed, for the purpose of obtaining information, but they went beyond the Act of Parliament if they did more than that. Evan John Evans, the complainant, said tnat lie was a fitter in the employ of the Dowlais Uompany, and lived at Mount Pleasant-street. He had been in the employ of the company for nine years. There had been a strike of fitters at Dowlais Works, and when it began he was working for the company at Fochriw. He came back to Dowlais, but lie did not go back to work immediately. He was out for four weeks, but at the end of that time lie went back to work at the fitting shop at Dowlais Works. On March 12tli, whilst he was returning to work from dinner about 10 minutes to two, he saw a crowd come down Victoria-street, through which place he had to pass. The crowd hooted him. About six o'clock on the evening of the same day, as lie was returning from work in company with Alfred Harwood, he saw a pre- cession of strikers in Station-road. The crowd were waiting for him (complainant). The defendant Roderick was there. Roderick shouted, "Fall in, fall in," and pushed against him. The crowd got around him there were hundreds altogether. His wife pulled him out of the crowd and got him into a neighbouring house. He (complainant) was rather alarmed, and he remained in the house until a quarter to seven o'clock the crowd were outside all the time. Sergt. Davies came down and fetched him back to the works the crowd followed him there. All this happened oh the 12th. On the previous night he had met the defendant in the street. He told him (complainant) that he supposed that lie was making his fortune now (laughter).—Cross-examined He was not, however, making his fortune (laughter). He did not know less than that the defendant was a quiet man as a rule. Complainant was not very nervous, as a rule, but lie was frightened with the crowd. The procession of the strikers was held twice a day since the commencement of the strike. The crowd were waiting for him on the day in question lie was sure of that. He could not have avoided coming in contact with the processionists. He did not know whether his wife shouted, "0 Evan bach Anwyl (laughter) -when she dragged him through the crowd to the house. He did not push up against anybody. There were two police officers watchirg the procession, but they did not interfere. The two police officers ^anieCl the proeessluua CVMJ ..1'°,1" W OOO that there was no violation of the law. Join Thomas Jones, an apprentice at the Dowlais fitting shops, said that he heard the crowd shouting and hooting when he saw the complainant in Victoria-street. On the evening of the same cby he saw the crowd again. The defendant, who was amongst them, pushed up against the complainant. The wife of complain- ant came on and pulled her husband into a neighbouring lwuiw The crowd were shouting Hurrah," Fall in," &c. :0 Alfred Harwood, another apprentice, said that lie also saw the crowd there were about 200 or 300 there. They were shouting black- leg at the complainant. P.C. Bryer said that lie also saw the pro- cession of the strikers, and Sergeant Davies deposed to hearing someone in the crowd shout- ing, Fall in, lads," Here he comes," Look out," &c. Evans was taken to a house, as already described, and witness had to accompany him back to work. P.C. James Taylor said that he heard the defendant shout, Here lie comes and Fall in," but he did not see Roderick do anything. Mr. Beddoe submitted, for the defence, that it was a great misfortune that there had been a strike. Whether it was the employers or the men who were to blame, he did not know. It had, however, arisen, and the Bench had no right to decide as to who was in the right and who was in the wrong. He looked forward to the time when there would be a law passed whereby all great industrial disputes would have to be referred to arbitration. Tt had not yet, unfortunately, come. In the present case the summons said that de- fendant followed Evans with the view to compel him to abstain from working." Had Evans abstained ? Had lie ceased working The summons also said, followed him." Where did the defendant follow him to ? There was no evidence to show that he had been followed he did not follow him it yard. The summons also stated that defendant followed him in a disorderly manner," but there was no evidence of his hav- ing been disorderly. He (Mr. Beddoe) sub- mitted that the case had not been proved, and it should be dismissed. The complainant said that lie had been hustled, but he appeared to have received no harm, and certainly no threats were made against him. These processions did no good, and lie had advised the men to stop what appeared to be a foolish practice. The Bench fined defendant 40s. and costs, or a month's imprisonment, for the following," but the charge of assault was dismissed. The strikers had made a mistake in acting as they had done, and the stipendiary hoped that the men would accept the advice of Mr. Beddoe and not get up these foolish processions again.

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