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COLLIERS' WAGES. I In reference to the notices on the part of the Stafford- shire colliers for an. advance of thjir wa^es, a confer- ence took place between tho men and their employers at Wolverhampton on Monday last. Tho masters present were—Mr James Bagnall, Mr W. M. Spar" row, Mr Word, Mr Thoma3 Barker, and Mr John Hart- ley. The conference was private; but the following has been supplied as an outline of what took placo :— ti The men commenced by stating that owing to the satisfactory nature of the last meeting of this kind, they had been induced to seek another interview with their employers, to remind them of a promise made by them at the former meeting, viz :-that when any advance took place in the price of iron the colliers should parti- cipate in that advance, by having their wages raised; and as they had seen iu the newspapers and other reports that an ad vance had taken place, they thought the time had prrived when they were justified in asking that the promise above referred to should be carried out. In addition to this, the increased price of some kinds of provision was referred to as a reason why the men desired an advance in wages. In reply to this it was statd by the masters that they fully recognised the pledge made at the meeting in December, 1857, and would, when the proper time arrived, he prepared to carry it out; but the men were reminded that so far from auy advance having taken place, it was just the reverse, for whilst the wages given in 18-57 were arranged upon the price of iron that then existed, there had been since that time a general reduction of 10s. per ton, without any corresponding reduction in wages. Of this 10s. reduction, no part whatever has been recovered so that to put both parties in a fair position, this 10s. per ton should be secured first, and then, if any further advance took place, they would be entitled to have their claims for increased wages properly considered. It was also urged that the question of wages and the price of provisions could hardly be discussed together, as it had happened, and may again happen, that provisions were sometimes at the lowest point when wages were at tho highest. The disadvantages which the district laboured under, as compared with other districts, in the production of iron at a cheap rate, were pointed out to the men, chiefly for the purpose of showing that any improvement in the iron trado may not be expected to affect South Staffordshire to immediately as it would have done many years ago; but it was hoped that in due time the trade would so fnr recover as to place both men and masters in a satisfactory position. The men com- plained, as on the former occasion, of tho evils arising from butties keeping public houses, and this was fully admitted by the masters, who promised that as far as they could use any influence this matter should be remedied. In reply to a remark made by the masters that they could seldom get their pits at work on Monday, it was stated that this was another of the evils arising from public houses being kept by butties, whose interest it was to get the men to their houses on Mondays, when they had a little money and in eome cases it arofe from butties desiring to work only half a day Oil Mondavs, but requiring the mon to givo more than a fair half day's labour, which caused the men to refuse to work at all oa that day, whilst in many cases it was admitted to arise fiom a general indisposition on the part of the colliers to work on Mondays at all, the masters regretting that a larger number of the men were not of the same sober and steady class as the deputation appeared to be. With reference to those and various minor matters, tho masters promised that so far as pos- sible the would endeavour to remove causes of complaint, but at the same time, with regard to some of them, it was pointed out that the remedy was as much, and more, in the hands of the men than of the masters. The men retired after expressing their thanks to the gentlemen who had met them, stating that they should inform their brother-workmen of the result of the meeting, and re- gretted that any notices had been given before this had been done. Wo may also add that the masters thanked the men for the very respectful aud straightforward mnnner in which they had conducted themselves d uring the interview, the result of which will 110 doubt be that the colliers throughout the whole district will resume t their employment, anfl await patiently the time when they will he fully entitled to an advance in wages. Such a period we sinuerely hope may som ilrrive. -.)Iidland Counties Herald,

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