Skip to main content
Hide Articles List

11 articles on this Page

----------------------_-----__n___---------.-----.-NEWPORT-

lllUDGEXD.

''"SWANSEA.

THE ABUSES OF THE RIGHTS OF…

TO THE EDITOR OF THE PRINCIPAJ.tTY.

MERTHYR.

. NEATH.

CAMERON'S COALBROOK STEAM,…

V CARMARTHEN.

TO THE MDITOit OV THE PRINCIPALITY.

News
Cite
Share

TO THE MDITOit OV THE PRINCIPALITY. RESPECTED Sm,-The above is a moral of the wolf and -,iie lamb in the fable, but I am rather afraid that it can be well applied as "descriptive" of .many of the iron and coal masters of the present day, and their working people; as it is very evident that the latter suffer much under the tyranny excercised by the former, in several other instances beside the Truck System, which is so illegally imposed upon the working-classes of our iron and coal districts. The iron-masters unite altogether in one, powerful body, and they exercise all the powers that can be con- stituted by their union, in order to reduce the wages of their men. When they meet, whether in London or elsewhere, they lix their intended reduction, at so much per cent., and they put th.s. in force without any difficulties. Why* It is evident because they are united together and their power is one. We know well that (Vis unita fortior), power is strengthened by union, an I-tin* is done against, the divided power of the disunited working classes but it is highly desirable that the working classes should open their eyes, and unitedly form a resolution, to an effect that they wiU no-longer bear the iron yoke of the illegal imposition of he truck system of payment for their toil and labour this they have a legat right to do for if the iron and coal-masters have a right to join to-.ether for the wise purpose of maintaining justice, as to the remuneration they pay the operatives for their labo.ur—the operatives as well have an equal right to uuite in order to protect themselves, from the injuries inflicted upon them by some of the iron and coal-masters, by the very unjust and disgraceful method of evading, the dignitied.and upright law of our land, through the imposition of trucking,, in the shape of a subtle round about scheme, as explained in former letters. Let us all unite together and imitate the worthy example set before us by our employers. Let us say at once, one and all of us, that we will have our get- tings in the coin of the realm, as the law directs and as is our in- disputable rights; and if we shall be obliged to go to the useless cashiers of truck-shops to receive our money, let us tell them that we have need to take our earnings to the cheapest and the best shops to spend them and let us claim our own earningt ill the coin of the realm, and take them where we have a mind; we are worthy of this, even if we were better paid than we are for oitr work. This, even if our magistrates would refuse to interfere on behalf of the legal rights of the working man, and to put the pro- tective law in motion-for. our defence, were we united together, would soon give the mortal blow to the truck system, and we should enjoy our freedom, which is granted us by the glorious constitution of this land, and which every one of us should claim in opposition to every imposition of the semi-slavery of the method of paying by truck. This would be an easy plan by which we could redeem ourselves and complete a general emancipation, and the truck system- which is in very powerful antagonism to our comforts and prosperity in all considerations would be laid low and buried in the shame which it is so deserving of. At present even our dear beloved wives are disregarded greatly by the truck- sters. They will not be pei initte(I to select for themselves only very seldom, and therefore they cannot economise for the benefit of their family our own wives (in the opinion of the trucksters) are doomed to be dupes to their own plan of economizing tor them, which must appear degrading in the extreme in ihe sight of every one who would regard and desire the welfare of himself and family. I am glad to learn that the English operatives are very earnestly at work in putting down this injurious truck method of payment, and it is to be hoped that the men of Gwentand Morganwg, with the whole Principality, will join this glorious band and follow them in this good work. Another thing which I consider quite as injurious in its effects as the truck system is, that whole trams of coal are cropt en- tirely without any acknowledgement made to the collier for it, though he took as much pains and care in the cutting and tilling as he would with the best coal, and this inferior sort of coal lo- used by the companies to supply the workmen with house-lke- coal,. and fur the boilers of engines, &c., notwithstanding that the collier is deprived very often of any remuneration for if, which is a very unfair practice in my immediate neighbour- hood, and the Welsh collier might find it so in the country coal districts., Another thing which is considered very unfair here generally in the iron dirtricts, is that the iron and steel tools of the colliers and miners are charged to them at about £ 33 per ton, but the fire-men have all their tools free; but £30 n':r ton is a very enormous price considering the present very low prices of iron in the markets. Half this charge would be am- ply sufficient for all the tools used by the miners and collier. Another matter which appears very unfair in the neighbourhood of Abersychan, is that our earnings have been reduced three or four times,, but the reuts of the companies' houses and our cual is as high and dear as ever. The rents and the coal should be reduced equivalent to the reduction of our earnings, if "Shod chvvareu teg" should live. The Welsh collier referred to the 1. O. U. system, and asked if that was practiced by the British Company. I am not aware that they do use this system, but the system of giving, the shop-book to any person doing any work for the workmen, is the method carried on here, which I consider more unfair doings than the I. O. U. system. Let an union bn formed of all the working classes in the iron and coal districts, with the view to overthrow the truck system and all other abuses which we have suffered. It is time now for us to be faithful to each other, and not betray one another. Let us now be proud of the law which the Government has made and confirmed for the protection of our rights and privileges. Let this law be the standard rule to guide us so convinced I am that no prosperity will be experienced, even by our emplopers, as long as they will suffer such abuses towards the working-man to exist. We want no more than justice and nothing less shall content us. I beg to remain Your very unworthy servant, AN OLD MINER. Abersychan, July 8th, 1850.

CARDIFF.