Mexborough and Swinton Times February 6, 1909
Wombwell Pit Lads’ Dispute.
2,500 Men Effected.
A Question of Starting Wages
The pit lads’ dispute at Wombwell is a serious business, and is causing a good deal of anxiety, and a big loss of wages to about 2,500 hands employed at Mitchells Main and Darfield Main, where the trouble has arisen.
On Wednesday morning the Mitchell Main lads returned to their work, but it is their intention to hand in their notices this weekend. Meanwhile the Darfield lads continue the strike.
The grievance of the lads is somewhat confusing to the lay mind. It appears the rate of wages for lads commencing work is 1/3 per day with the percentage, in. addition and the wages. They are increased 3d. per day per year—in two advances, half-yearly. A lad starting at 13 will have 1/6 per day when 14 years of age. Recent legislation now forbids a lad under 14 from descending the pit after 9 p.m. or before 6 a.m. The lads are now complaining that boys starting work at 14 are only given the starting wage of 1/3 per day. They urge they should be paid according to the age scale—which would be 1 6 per day if they had started at the age of 13.
We trust the miners’ leaders will take the matter up and settle the question for the lads. It will be a very serious matter if 2,500 men are to suffer the ‘loss of wages for any length of time for such a trivial matter.